Starbucks Just Announced This Huge Employee Perk. Will Other Companies Follow Its Lead?

A barista handing a takeaway coffee mug to a customer in a coffee shop.

Image source: Getty Images

This is a benefit that so many people can use.

Important points

  • Many workers struggle to build savings.
  • One employer steps in to make the process easier.
  • Starbucks offers employees a savings account benefit, including matching contributions.

Over the past few years, many people have had no choice but to strip their savings, either due to job losses during the pandemic or inflation. And of course, many people who are cash-strapped today never really had savings in the first place.

But not having money in the bank to fall back on is a dangerous thing. Without a decently funded savings account, you can instantly go into debt as soon as an unplanned bill lands in your lap, whether it’s a home repair, car repair or medical bill. And if you lose your job, you’ll need savings to cover your expenses in the absence of your regular paycheck, since unemployment benefits will only replace a limited portion of it.

Of course, building savings is not an easy thing. But a growing number of companies are stepping up to help workers in that regard.

Starbucks is one of them. And now employees of the coffee chain giant have an excellent opportunity to support their finances.

Help build emergency savings

Starbucks clearly recognizes that emergency savings is an important thing. That’s why it recently introduced a new benefit called My Starbucks Savings.

Under this program, all eligible US employees will be able to contribute a portion of their after-tax pay to a savings account. To make it easier to build savings, Starbucks will also match deposits of $25 and $50 at various savings milestones, up to a total of $250 per employee.

Will more companies follow Starbucks’ lead?

Low- and middle-income workers in particular tend to struggle with building savings, so the fact that Starbucks is helping in that regard is a hugely positive development. And the hope is that more companies large and small will follow in the lead.

In fact, financial guru Suze Orman is a big proponent of employers helping workers build up cash reserves. To this end, she works with SecureSave, a fintech company that supports companies that want to help employees build up cash reserves.

Many workers struggle to get away with $25 here and $50 there because all their income is earmarked for essential living expenses. But for companies with the resources that Starbucks has, these $25 and $50 deposits here and there will have no impact on their bottom line. That’s why Orman thinks more companies should play a role in helping workers build a safety net.

If your company offers help building emergency savings, it pays to take advantage of that program. And if your employer doesn’t offer these perks, ask for them — and rally your colleagues to do the same.

Going without emergency savings can mean you end up in expensive debt when life doesn’t go your way. And you deserve better than that.

If your employer now refuses to act in that regard, know that you can still most likely set up an automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings so that money ends up in your emergency fund every month. This is not the same as having your employer contribute to your emergency savings. But you can at least automate the process of building up those cash reserves yourself.

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