This time of year can be the most difficult for sticking to a budget. Even with the economic uncertainty, total spending over the four-day Thanksgiving weekend this year reached a record $59.1 billion, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation released on November 25, 2012. That’s an average of $423 per holiday shopper, up from $398 last year.
The average credit card debt per household with credit card debt was $15,328 in September 2012, so many of your employees may still paying off last year’s holiday gifts. While some credit-challenged consumers have returned to using layaway plans in recent years, legislators and consumer advocacy groups have cautioned consumers to read the “fine print” and ask about all the layaway fees before they choose to participate as some plans may cost more than using credit cards.
However, better options do exist. Among those options are employee purchase programs, deployed as a voluntary benefit through an employee’s workplace, and facilitated through payroll deduction. Employee purchase programs offer all-inclusive pricing that includes the actual product, value-added features such as extended warranties and accessories, shipping and handling fees, as well as any applicable taxes. Employees know the total cost up front. A 12-month payroll deduction schedule helps ensure that they won’t miss a payment, so they don’t risk late fees or loss of merchandise like they could with layaway. And unlike layaway plans, merchandise is delivered to an employees’ door just a few weeks after they place their order.
Purchasing Power offers eligible workers the ability to buy brand-new, current-line products from many leading computer, electronics, appliance and furniture manufacturers. Last year the top-selling item during the holiday season was the iPad2, and many kids found the LeapFrog LeapPad under the tree. This year we expect tablets to continue their popularity with the 3rd generation iPad and iPad Mini, laptops from Apple, Dell and HP, and video games such as the Xbox 360.
The benefits of offering your employees the ability to purchase holiday gifts through an employee purchase program will reduce employee financial stress, minimize absenteeism and the likelihood that your employees will be distracted at work with their financial problems. And that’s the best year-end bonus you can provide your workplace.
Download our latest white paper to learn how to Get Your Employees Get on the Right Financial Track – and Stay There.