Author Topic: How to count flexible benefit dollars?  (Read 1523 times)

rubybeth

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1402
  • Location: Midwest
How to count flexible benefit dollars?
« on: January 16, 2014, 08:52:22 AM »
My employer gives me a set amount each month with which to purchase benefits (mostly insurances and an HSA) on top of my salary, and calls these "flexible benefit dollars." Since I was able to find cheaper health insurance coverage via my state's exchange, I am putting most of these flex dollars into my HSA and government 457b deferred compensation plan (which I am required to match out of my paychecks, which is no problem). My question is: how do I count those flexible benefit dollars to determine my savings rate? It's not a big deal, but I'm never quite sure how to determine this. It's kind of like income, but I can only "spend" it on saving, so it automatically gets saved each month. I do think of it as income in terms of looking at other jobs, because it's basically another $9,000/year that I am 'forced' to save. Am I thinking about this correctly?

Zaga

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2180
  • Age: 39
  • Location: North of Pittsburgh, PA
    • A Wall of Hats
Re: How to count flexible benefit dollars?
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2014, 09:08:03 AM »
I would count the amount saved towards savings, but none of it towards take home pay.

My reasoning is this - some money that my company spends on me goes towards health insurance, but it is not reflected in my gross pay.  Nor is there any option for me to bring that money home, so it's not take home pay.

Overall, I think it doesn't matter so much what you choose, just that you are consistant and do the same thing from year to year for personal tracking purposes.