Start your hunt looking for opportunities to save on regular expenses. So-called group purchase programs cover a variety of valuable discounts that companies negotiate with other businesses. For example, 40 percent of companies have group deals on homeowners and auto insurance, according to the outsourcing company Aon Hewitt. That can net you a discount of as much as 15 percent, just for name-dropping your employer when you get a price quote. About 45 percent of companies have discount rates with cellphone carriers on both devices and ongoing service, in some cases cutting as much as 20 percent off your monthly bill.
Some offices also offer on-site dry cleaning (25 percent), haircuts (4 percent) and basic auto maintenance (7 percent), saving you time and money.
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It can also be smart to check in with human resources (or at least, the HR website) when you're planning an expensive purchase or big life move. About a third of employers offer discounts on personal computers through companies like Apple and Dell, and 20 percent have partnerships that get you preferred pricing on your next auto purchase or lease, according to Aon Hewitt. Some companies also offer gym membership discounts or cash reimbursements for healthy behaviors, said Nelson—one recent client spotted a $1,000 bonus that was buried in her health-care benefits booklet.
You should, of course, still ask for a raise. It can't hurt, and might help: Employers say salaried workers can expect to see pay increases of about 3 percent this year, according to consulting firm Towers Watson.