Smart Reasons to Save, Use and Invest Money

Saving Money By Legally Using Your Employer Resources

Saving money by using your employer’s resources is both smart and legal.

Today I thought I’d challenge myself to think about the ways to save money using employer’s resources.

Company Resources

First, it’s possible to save money by using your employer’s heating and cooling system.  Just enjoy the mostly perfect temperature at work and turn your heating/cooling system down or off at home either by manually doing so or via a time controlled thermostat.  Think about it, why heat or cool the house for the plants?  They’ll be okay, they told me so, at least as long as it doesn’t get too hot or cold.

We always have software installs or vendor visits and they often bring bagels and coffee, or coffee and donuts from places like Panera and Dunkin Donuts!  Occasionally, my company has client site visits!  After these visits they often have left over club sandwiches and other goodies!  Every now and then pizzas will show up in the break rooms.  Yep, it’s possible to save a lot on food for lunch if you want.

Next, use their electronic technology!  My employer gives their employees both laptops and cell phones so that we can be very responsive at a drop of a dime.   That said, most of the time, I use the laptop at home for my own use.  And as for the cell phone… why buy my own when I can use the one provided from work for free?  My son likes to play the games on it, so he benefits too.

Why buy a beverage while at work?  My employer provides coffee, hot chocolate, cappuccino, tea and filtered water.   I use those single serving packets of Lipton white tea or crystal light when I want to add a little flavor to the filtered water.  It beats buying pop (soda) or a latte, at least from a cost perspective!  I even know one guy that fills up a big water container before he leaves for the day.

Lesser Ways to Save Money

  • Use their electricity for listening to music and other uses.
  • Some peers use the electricity at work to charger their electronic device batteries.  It’s very clever of them, plug it in and since you’re there anyway, you can watch it and unplug it at the proper time.  No more overcharging!
  • Need computer works?  Go to the smartest technician and plead for help!  This can save you hundreds of dollars!
  • Take their toilet paper when they aren’t looking (not really, but I thought I would add this as a joke, ha ha).
  • I know one guy that uses company paper to prints personal stuff to the printer.  Like materials for the kid teams that he coaches.  I don’t do this because this greatly frowned upon.  It’s kind of funny that the least expensive thing is what is frowned upon the most…
  • We have a shower in the downstairs men’s room and I know that of some joggers in the company use it in the morning after they’ve had their run.  Why shower at home in the morning when you can run in the morning and they get a free shower at work.  If you have a lot of members in your family, this could be very convenient!  Plus, no more cold showers.
  • We don’t have a company gym, but if you do have one… why buy a gym membership?

Of course people also use company folders, paper, notebooks, pens, pencils, paperclips and even batteries for personal use, but I didn’t include these since this type of using company resources isn’t legal.

What ways do you save money by using your employer’s resources, or do you feel guilty doing so?

-MR

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24 Responses to Saving Money By Legally Using Your Employer Resources

  1. I use the company gym, enjoy free coffee, tea, (skip soda), and grab some free fruits.
    They also had a program to help if you have some shoulder/back pain from ergonomic issues. I got a few therapy sessions out of that. This is a win-win though because if it get worse, I would have to go to the doctor and it would cost more money for everyone.

    Have you seen this xtranormal clip I made about free soda? It’s pretty funny, shameless self promotion here. 😉

    http:// retireby40.org/2011/01/overheard-break-room-xtranormal-animation/

  2. Other than occasional fax or printouts I try not to use company resources. It all depends upon who you work for – if your relations sour and this is ever brought up, it wouldn’t look very good.

    • To me they seem more concerned about what you print and fax, vs the stuff that’s not monitorable.

      Believe it or not, all the stuff you print can be stored for review, and even the contents. I don’t know of any company that has that kind of time to look at that stuff, but still… It’s worth noting!

    • Yeah, I personally need to take advantage of the heating/cooling benefits more at home. In winter it’s easier because the kids are in school, but in summer they off and at home. So I guess that the heating/cooling benefit is really seasonal.

  3. I second Moneycone I try to use as little as possible while at work. I drink plenty of water from the fountain and use the bathroom when needed. Otherwise all resources are theres and are only used for business purposes.

    -Ravi Gupta

    • Yeah, I stick to the legal stuff. Plus I’m quick with the food and beverages, so I don’t feel too bad about it.

      It’s always amazing to me seeing other take blatant advantage of the company though.

  4. I work from home, so I can’t really use an company resources! I don’t use the work computer for anything other than work just because I know they monitor activity.

    • Good point!

      I’m unique in that I put a linux image on my laptop once I got it home. The later (after I got tired of that), I put a Windows image back on. So currently my box is monitoring free.

      Unfortunately, you are correct though. Most users wouldn’t blow their corporate image away like I did.

      Big Brother is alway recording, if not directly watching…

      • Yep, that and my laptop probably has over 50 applications running at the same time doing god knows what… so I just leave it plugged in the dock at work and use my own computer when I go home. 😉

    • Okay, since you confessed so I will. I have 1 or 2 pens at home that are from work too. Not intentional, they just followed me home one day 🙂 That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

  5. I have a stash of pens and sharpies from work too, but unintentionally. There, we all admitted it! 🙂

    A lot of colleagues of mine bring personal stuff to photocopy at work. Often I find personal stuff (one time I found an application for another job lol) in the printer tray too.

    They frown on us using the work cell as personal cells, but my boyfriend’s company doesn’t mind him doing that. He actually cancelled his own personal cell phone and is using the business cell phone now. Saves $65 a month (i am so jealous).

    • lol, yeah, it’s so easy to do (the pens…)

      The guy in the cube next to me does that same with photos too. He’s even burns DVDs of family videos that he sent to friends and family.

      He also works on other people’s PC while he’s at work. And they even pay him for the work! He does a much better job of using company resources and time than I do! I would feel guilty if I took advantage of the company as much as he does…

      Opps, I jumped tracks!

  6. The company I worked for 10 years ago had free coffee available all day long. Other than that, I didn’t take anything else. Once the boss gave me a pen as a gift when I finished the project on time, within budget with the customer’s satisfaction.

    That’s about the “freebies” I got.

  7. I think the biggest cost saver is not having to heat, cool and light your own home while you are at work. Now that I work from home again, my utilities have gone up.

    Also, for women, many companies have tampons in the bathroom that you can use while at work. One saleswoman I knew used to go into restrooms of companies she called on to view their feminine products. She said that when tampon dispenser was empty, she knew they weren’t doing too well financially…when it was chock full of free toiletries, they were having a good year.

    • I think the heating/cooling cost would be great too. I haven’t taken advantage of it in the past though, but after doing the calculations, I’m thinking about buying one of those programmable thermostats…

      Interesting take on the economy, and ironically probably pretty accurate. Isn’t life funny the way we can predict things… You won’t see that indicator on the financial shows 😉

  8. If you have a work cell phone you might as well use it for personal use as well, especially if it’s on some sort of unlimited plan.

    • The business phone has a certain amount of free minutes each month. I don’t use it much though, so I don’t really worry about the minutes.

      Unlimited would be nicer though.