On Monday nights, she spends an hour-and-a-half commuting. She pays three bus fares twice a day, five days a week to get to and from work. With days before Christmas, she hasn’t started shopping. Today, holiday cheer surrounds her, but she’s not feeling it. She sees other people with shopping bags in hand, and she starts to feel pressure and guilt. How can she NOT at least get something small for her two kids to open on Christmas day?
With no access to a car or a credit card, she has to rely on one store. She looks at the bus schedule hanging on her kitchen wall and wonders what buses she needs to take. She doesn’t have much time, so she wants to shop tonight. But her husband works evenings. And now, she’s got to figure out what to do with her kids. She can’t let them see their presents before Christmas!
If she wants to save time and an extra bus transfer, she’ll have to use an out-of-network ATM. But that comes with a $3.75 surcharge, and she’s only got $35 in her bank account. On top of that, she remembers that ATMs only give out cash in twenties. If she wants to buy her kids those gifts, she’ll have to take out $40 and pay overdraft fees. The weight of the costs to take out $40 doesn’t sit well. Still, she reasons that’s what overtime is for. She already worked twenty hours of it over the last ten days, and she’ll be paid for it at the end of the month. She knows it ahead of time. It’s going to be a long week.
Your favorite employee—the one who shows up on time, always has the best attitude, and goes the extra mile—does not have access to the money she’s already earned but hasn’t been paid yet. She doesn’t have access to a credit card. She doesn’t have access to quick and convenient transportation or childcare for her kids. She has to make decisions, and she doesn’t have good options. Most people like her—hourly workers and those living paycheck-to-paycheck—have their fair share of financial struggles because they lack access at every turn.
But this Christmas story can be re-written, and in it, your favorite employee can take a deep breath and enjoy the holidays with ease. You can help.
As you consider gifts for employees this holiday season, consider the gift of access. With Earned Wage Access, or EWA, from Payactiv, employees can get earned wages as they earn them. Employers can incorporate the financial wellness benefit into their existing payroll and HR systems at no cost, and it only costs employees a maximum of five dollars every two weeks. Employees also gain access to useful financial wellness tools for paying bills, saving money, requesting Uber rides, and managing their finances. Best of all, timely Earned Wage Access is a gift that you can give that will last throughout the year.