Frugal Friday:Should We Expect This From an Employer?
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Happy Friday everyone! It has been another hectic week in the Frugal Rules home. We’ve signed several more clients this week and work is keeping us busy. This is a good thing as summertime is usually the slow time of the year for us, which has me wondering what it’ll be like a few months from now when another busy time of the year starts to pick up. Regardless, I’ll happily take the business as more of it is generally a good thing.
Mrs. Frugal Rules sent me an article from NPR this week that I found interesting and thought I’d take the opportunity to discuss it as it encouraged me a good bit. The topic covered was in relation to a business owner looking out for his employees. I’ve written on this topic before in both Do Businesses Care About Their Employees Anymore and in Do We Care About Our Employers Anymore, so the article instantly stuck out to me as one showing me that not all is lost in the corporate world. The article discusses a gentleman who owns his own market research company in Seattle who has gone out of his way to try and help his employees. As an aside, the article does not state the size of his company though I would venture to guess that it is a smaller business. The article shares how Mr. Rosenkrantz, the business owner, regularly sees instances where his employees are making foolish financial decisions. From employees not enrolling in the company sponsored 401k and thus missing out on the match (which actually saves him money), to individuals taking out loans from their retirement plans, to being deep in debt he is seeing on a daily basis how these decisions are impacting those around him. I know that things like this are not really that unique as we see them around us all the time and are further evidence of the lack of financial literacy in our society. That said, Mr. Rosenkratz starting offering time with a local financial advisor as he felt there was a larger underlying issue than just dealing with a paycheck, but making wiser choices entirely.
To be fair, Mr. Rosenkratz is not unique as the article points out that roughly 25% of employers offer some sort of one-on-one financial counseling and nearly half offer some sort of investment advice as a part of their 401k plan. What does make him somewhat unique though is his apparent care for his employees, which is not common at all today. In my opinion, this raises a good question – to what extent are employers responsible for providing services like this for their employees? Certainly, it’s not required, by any means, but I think it speaks a lot about the character of a business. As long as the employer is following the laws set before them by the States they do business in, then that’s really all that can be expected of them and anything beyond that is really just an added benefit. I think it’s a safe assumption that there is some sort of out of pocket cost to the business owners which many firms would rebuff at. However, wise employers know that happy employees are more productive, productivity positively impacts the bottom line, and therefore investing in the financial literacy of employees is a worthwhile business expense. I can’t really speak to Mr. Rosenkratz’s motives, other than that the article pointed out his concern over bad consequences made in light of poor financial decision making by those under him, but I applaud his initiative in this as I view it as a vital step in helping bring greater financial literacy to our society. One case that showed me that was an example given in the article of a gentleman who was in fairly deep credit card debt, to the point that one creditor was starting to garnish his wages. He thought that he was making headway on his debts, but after meeting with a financial counselor he learned that he was actually getting deeper in debt. Thanks to the meeting he has started to curtail his spending and is finding new ways to cut it and throw it at his debt. I know it’s not terribly remarkable, but the road to financial literacy starts with taking the right action, which this employer is helping provide for even though he does not have to.
As I shared a few weeks ago, I’ll be gone next week for two different reasons. The beginning of the week I’ll be out of town helping my youngest brother move and the second half of the week the Frugal Rules clan will be enjoying a staycation. I know staycations may not be considered the most fun, but I am looking forward to spending a few days unplugged from my mistress, as Mrs. Frugal Rules affectionately calls the blog, and spending some quality time with the family. We’re not doing a major trip this year as we’re saving for a cross country trip to see the in-laws in San Diego next summer and probably can’t afford the time away from the business right now, so we’ll make do enjoying some things around town that we normally do not have the time for. I have the week filled with some great guest posts from some of my blogger friends, so I am sure you’ll enjoy their thoughts.
It’s been another great week in the blogging world. If you have the time this weekend, then enjoy some of my favorite blog posts from the week.
Blog Post of the Week
Want to Help the Poor? Just Throw Money on Stacking Benjamins
This was a very thought provoking post by my blogging buddy Joe. Joe discusses reading about a charity in Kenya called GiveDirect. The main gist is that this charity finds people in Kenya in need and gives the money directly to them. Joe points out that many African relief organizations can be giant scams and it makes sense, on one level, but would it necessarily help solve the problem? I could not agree more with Joe’s thoughts that often a lack of education or guidance, in the States, is generally the bigger issue as handing someone a pile of money may not really solve the larger problem. I know that comparing doing this in Kenya vs. in the States is somewhat of an apples to oranges issue – but it’s one that is very interesting to ponder. What do you think?
Other Blog Posts That Ruled
Millennial Speak – What is a Side Hustle? on A Young Pro
Why Do You Have to Beat the Market on Mom And Dad Money
Moment of Debt Repayment Pride on Girl Meets Debt
When is the Right Time to Change Jobs on Your Daily Finance
Making the Most of any Situation on Budget and the Beach
Living in a Payment Plan Society on Money Smart Guides
Successful Attempt at Making Money Online: Freelance Writing on Make Money Your Way
Odd Search Terms
How to get Rick…Can’t say as I know a Rick
Cheapest way to wipe you’re a$$…Sorry, I say spend the money for your bum!
Fast food employees use drugs…More than you know!
F-you blog, financial independence…Tell me how you REALLY feel!
I feel my head scratching me…Shouldn’t it be the other way around?
Is my broker crazy…No, but they’re certainly liking your money!
What to do when finding an object in a banana you just bought at Wal-Mart…Return the banana!
Do you think it’s good to see employers offer services like this, or do you think it’s really not their role? Do you have anything fun planned for this weekend?
Photo courtesy of: Pamela Stocks