June 16, 2009

The Cash Value of Misc Perks From Work

The other day I was getting a free lunch at work. I thought to myself that I get a few free 'perks'. I'm not thinking of my actual pay or benefits like medical insurance. The 'perks' I'm thinking of are just the various miscellaneous free things that I get from my place of work.

Free perks at my job include:

Free lunches : I get free lunches on occasion at work. Sometimes its just as a perk like we have a 'going away party' for someone retiring and other times it is because I'm in training all day and they feed us. I bring my lunches from home usually so they only cost me around $2 or less. I get free lunches probably around 10 times a year so this perk is worth around $20.

Rewards : We have a program at work were if you do something good then you can get nominated for a small recognition reward. The rewards are in the $10 to $100 range and come in the form of gift certificates. I usually get around $100-$200 in these rewards per year.

Printing: My employer is pretty giving with the printing services here at work. If you occasionally want to print out a webpage or something that is not work related then they don't care. Of course if you abused it then we'd lose the privilege. I might print 1 page a week so maybe 50 pages a year give or take. At 10¢ per page thats worth about $5.

Software: I get some software at work for free. They give us a free copy of virus scan and some other stuff. The software is worth over $20 a year. But I wouldn't necessarily pay for it if I didn't get it free.

Clothing: I occasionally get free clothing from work that has our company logo on it or I might get a free shirt from a customer on occasion. I don't really like being a walking billboard but if nothing else I can use the t-shirts under a sweater. While I might get 1-3 shirts a year they don't have a ton of value to me since I don't really use them. I could however donate them to charity and take a writeoff. I'd say I get $5 or more per year this way.

Total benefit I get in these misc. perks is in the $150-$250 range.

I doubt most people get all these kinds of benefits but on the other hand I'm sure many if not most employers have some sort of perks in this kind of category. Sure $5 here and $20 there over the course of the year may not seem like much but it adds up.

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