Money Mondays

Today, my morning was a little different from usual. First off I got up a lot earlier to make sure I was in before the 7:45 norm; second, I left early. I mozy-ed on down to a government office, bought a copy of the Economist and stood in line.

Less than ten minutes after I started, I was in possession of a shiny new OHIP number and an underused copy of the Economist. Yes I underestimated the efficiency of the Bay Street OHIP office but I can now make full use of Canada’s health system and the excellent benefits that Fleishman-Hillard Canada offers its employees.

And that’s my personal finance tip for “Money Monday” (tips for underpaid PRs to have a better lifestyle). If you’re in a job that offers you a health plan, there are no doubt a lot of nice little fringe benefits – $XXX on massages a year; $YYY on counseling; $ZZZ for alternative medicines and so on and so forth.

These are benefits that are already owed to you and that you are losing money on every time you don’t use them. As Steve Carrell’s 40 Year Old Virgin asked, “is it true that it you don’t use it, you lose it?” He was wrong but you won’t be if you take full advantage of your benefits.

Plus, who couldn’t do with a nice back rub every month?

So that’s my personal finance tip for today. If you want to see what I’m tagging for this article, please check out this link to my del.icio.us personal finance page.

Bonus tip: In the interests of being inclusive, and knowing that my UK readers probably won’t be able to take advantage of this tip, here’s a bonus one. Keep a change jar. When I get home, I empty out my pockets and put all the coins that aren’t loonies ($1) or toonies ($2) into a jar. As soon as I’m a big-dog, I’ll start chucking the loonies in there as well…

It’s incredible how much money accumulates in the jar over time. In university we used the jars to fund nights out and now I get a free grocery pass every few months, all from money that would usually find its way down the back of the sofa or on small purchases that don’t really add any value.

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