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Starbucks Just Announced This Huge Employee Perk. Will Other Companies Follow Its Lead?

Over the past few years, many people have had no choice but to raid their savings, whether due to job loss during the pandemic or inflation. And of course, many people who are cash-strapped today never really had savings in the first place.

But not having money in the bank to fall back on is a dangerous thing. Without a decently funded  savimgs account you might instantly land in debt the moment an unplanned bill lands in your lap, whether it’s a home repair, car repair, or medical bill. And if you lose your job, you’ll need savings to cover your expenses in the absence of your regular paycheck since unemployment benefits will only replace a limited portion of it.

Of course, building savings isn’t an easy thing. But a growing number of companies are stepping up to help workers in that regard.

Starbucks is one of them. And now, employees of the coffee chain giant have a prime opportunity to shore up their finances.

Starbucks clearly recognizes that having emergency savings is an important thing. That’s why it recently introduced a new benefit called My Starbucks Savings.

Under this program, all eligible U.S. employees will be able to contribute a portion of their after-tax pay to a savings account. To make it easier to build savings, Starbucks will also contribute $25 and $50 deposits at different savings milestones, up to a total of $250 per employee.

Low- and middle-income workers in particular tend to struggle with building savings, so the fact that Starbucks is helping in that regard is an extremely positive development. And the hope is that more companies both large and small will follow in its lead.
In fact, financial guru Suze Orman is a big advocate of having employers help workers build cash reserves. To this end, she’s partnered with SecureSave, a fintech company that supports companies that are looking to help employees build up cash reserves.

Many workers struggle to sock away $25 here and $50 there because all of their income is earmarked for essential living costs. But for companies with the resources that Starbucks has, these $25 and $50 deposits here and there won’t impact their bottom line. That’s why Orman thinks more companies should play a role in helping workers build a safety net.

If your company offers help with building emergency savings, it pays to take advantage of that program. And if your employer doesn’t offer this perk, ask for it — and rally your colleagues to do the same.

Going without emergency savings could mean landing in costly debt when life doesn’t go your way. And you deserve better than that.

Now if your employer refuses to step up in that regard, know that you can still most likely set up an automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings so that money lands in your emergency fund every month. That’s not the same thing as having your employer contribute to your emergency savings. But you can at least automate the process to build up those cash reserves yourself.

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Maurie Backman writes about current events affecting small businesses for The Ascent and The Motley Fool.

We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.

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