Many people choose a government career because they love their work and because the jobs are dependable. But while career stability is valuable, the pay scale for many government jobs isn’t the best. It can get very discouraging to feel like there’s not much left in the bank account every month.
That’s why knowing where to look for deals and discounts is so important. Finding a great discount can make it possible to have that little extra bit of cash to save for a rainy day or put towards a nicer vacation. There are some great deals out there specifically for government employees. The trick is knowing where to find them. Here are five discounts that government employees can take advantage of.
Phone It In
People rely on their cellphones more and more. The bills can get pretty pricey, especially if there’s more than one line on the account. Most of the big cellphone companies offer a discount on both accessories and service. The amount of discount varies from one company to another.
The companies may not apply the discount to an already existing account, though. Government employees may need to switch to a new service to take advantage of the discount and provide proof of government employment.
When it’s time to stock up on wardrobe essentials, replace a pair of broken sunglasses, or grab a fresh pair of running shoes, government employees are in luck. Many top retailers offer significant discounts to government employees who can prove where they work.
Different states offer different website portals to certify employees for these retail discounts. The discounts can range from 10 to 35 percent or more, depending on the retailer. Usually, an employee only has to prove their work status once and can shop through the portal at any of the participating retailers after.
Try These Companies for Car Insurance
Many government employees live and work in cities. These are often far more expensive places to get car insurance, so finding discounts in this arena can make or break a personal budget. A lot of people don’t know that GEICO offers several great discounts to government employees. Their military discount is 15 percent, and federal employees can see their car insurance bill go down by 8 percent.
Government employees can check out GEICO, or if they are active duty or former military, USAA might be a better deal. USAA car insurance is unique. This is because it is only available to those who are currently in the military or have received an honorable discharge and their families. USAA also offers military-specific discounts. These include vehicle storage and garaging vehicles on military installations.
Low-interest Home Improvement
One useful perk for government employees hoping to finance a home is getting a low-cost loan. Paying lower interest allows employees to stretch their dollars further. Then, there’s more in the bank to finance needed home improvement projects.
Other people might be hoping to take a mortgage out on a new home. Fortunately, there are loan programs available to them that offer low or competitive rates.
Active duty and retired military personnel can also take advantage of the unique VA loan program. This program allows service members to buy a home with little or no money down, in some cases, and excellent interest rates.
Travel for Less
Government employees can travel smart and stretch every penny to the max if they know where to look for deals. Many of the website portals mentioned above that link employees to retail discounts also offer amazing travel deals. These deals include hotels, rental cars, and restaurants. By showing their government identification, people can automatically save 10 percent or more on almost every aspect of their travel and vacation.
Employees can also fly to their destinations for less. The major carriers all offer federal employees special fares. The caveat is that most airlines only offer flight discounts if the travel is work-related. Government employees should call the airline to ask about the discount and how to apply it.
Always Check First
Once people start asking, they find out that thousands of businesses offer extra perks and discounts. While the government employee paycheck might not be huge, all the extras that businesses offer make life a little easier. It takes only a little legwork. The payoff could mean splurging on a few extra nights of vacation or a new spring wardrobe. Or, it could mean saving up for college for a family member or early retirement.