Should your boss help you with your finances, or just pay you more?


Imagine dragging yourself into work one Monday morning. You open your inbox while slugging a second cup of coffee and see the dreaded all-hands meeting invite. Ugh. “Accept.”

When the meeting rolls around, you shuffle to the center of your open-floor office plan, dodging snifflers to keep from getting sick since your company-sponsored health insurance makes going to the doctor a nightmare. You sit on bean bags, since your company is super cool, and wait for the meeting to start.

WTF is this? Is everyone getting laid off?

Nope! Instead, the bosses say they’ll help you manage your money now because they’re funding a financial wellness plan!

“Now HR will help you plan your budget and offer you financial education. And, uh, did you see the Slack about the new digital submission process for your TPS reports?”

While I’m dramatizing a bit, there is indeed a growing trend of employer emphasizing financial benefits over bigger paychecks.

“Financial wellness” and student loan repayment are two ways companies are trying to stand out.

But the thing is, if you’re just getting started in your career, how much financial advice do you really need?

You know where your money goes: to your bills!

Anything left over is for bartenders, baristas, and Bikram to help numb the pain of the ridiculous state of work right now.

If your employer wanted to help you out with money, couldn’t they just put the money they’re paying the financial wellness company back into your paycheck?

And what about student loan repayment services? It’s pretty dope that you can make your boss pay your loans, right?

It is, except what happens when you start to hate working there? Or you get harassed by someone more senior than you in the company and you can’t afford to quit or find another job if you’re on your own again for your student loan bill? What a great benefit.

Every working person knows work is harder and more precarious than ever before.

But these financial wellness and student loan repayment companies are jumping on our misery because they see an opportunity.

I read a press release last week from one of the extremely well-funded wellness companies that said workplace anxiety and depression cost the U.S. economy $500 billion every year. And they said “this is great! Because we can build a company worth billions off this problem!” By helping you, and stuff.

I wish I was making up the fact that a company was applauding itself for raising a ton of money to make billions on our workplace misery by offering employers financial wellness.

So there’s the icing on the rise n’ grind cake—your boss doesn’t want to pay you more, but they’ll pay a company who says they’ll make you more productive by apparently reducing your money stress.

We’ll dive deeper into some of these companies and try to find the merits, but for today, had to look at just how cynical the proposition of financial counseling over better pay seems seems.

Have a good week…


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