My Favorite Employee Benefits as a Millennial Mom

Employee benefits are more than "good health insurance" for millennial moms. Here are 8 employee benefits that are must haves for millennial moms.

I’ve been working for a long time and I’ve had quite a few jobs. My first job was as a cashier when I was  15 at the Henry Doorly Zoo. Along with my first job, I got my first employee benefit.

Yes. One employee benefit.

I kid. It was not one benefit, but more like, one major benefit: every summer that I worked, I got a $500 scholarship. 4 summers and $2000 later, I’d learned a lot about work, perks, and benefits–both monetary and non-monetary.

 The way my mom life is set up

While working at the zoo definitely had its privileges (year round zoo pass anyone?) and those scholarships surely made my financially strapped mother happy, as a mom and provider in a full-time non-animal related career, I look for a bit more when it comes to benefits. I have child care, medical costs, tuition costs, and a gamut of other things to think about now, whereas in the past, those things didn’t matter. They didn’t exist for me. But now as an adult, who’s fully charged with providing for and caring for another human being, I have to think through a bit more and choose positions where the benefits actually…well, benefit me + my family.

So after a lot of pondering and quite a few shitty benefits jobs, I’ve come up with a few employee benefits that actually benefit me as a working, millennial mom. I mean, they’re like #baebenefits. They’re my favorites.

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5 Free Tools to Help You Get Your Finances Straight

Girl in boots

I have a renewed interest in my finances.

That sounds really terrible and I know that I should always have an interest in my finances, but honestly, I don’t. Like with most things in my life, my desire to sit at my desk and crunch numbers ebbs and flows. Sometimes I can be extremely enthusiastic about the possibility of knowing where every red cent is going and on other days, I’m like, “yeah whatever.” It’s difficult for me to get and maintain that level of consistency needed to get (and keep) my finances straight. And I’m talking straight.

Knowing:

What’s coming out?

What’s going in?

What are the best investments?

Did I make a sound financial decision?

Umm, when is the electric bill due again?

I need systems and tools to see my money clearly and know what’s going on with it at all times.

A case for systems and tools

I should start this part by saying that I love, love, love systems. I am a sucker for routine, no matter how much I try to deny it. The INTJ in me just loves a good systematic approach! That, on the other hand, may not  be your thing. You may be a fly by the seat of your pants kinda gal and that’s okay. But let me at least try to turn you out…when it comes to systems.

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Second Job or Nah?

second job

Lord help me, I’ve been thinking seriously about getting a second job. Like another job on top of my full-time day job, full-time motherhood gig, full-time wife gig, and part-time ish blogging gig.

Again, Lord help me.

This all came about when I realized I wasn’t saving enough to fund the emergency savings account + our house fund + vacation fund. Due to some unexpected expenses related to my car, I all but wiped out our “oh shit” fund a couple of months ago. And since I haven’t been blogging nearly as consistently as I should have been to bring in any income, I was led to tossing the idea of a second job around more seriously than ever before. I started keeping my ear to the ground to find out who had openings. I started browsing the local job board to see what I could do that wouldn’t interfere with my day job and my family life.

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Managing Debt & Living Life

This is a sponsored post by Denny’s. All opinions (and debts) are mine.

Managing Debt

I’m pretty sure that I have more debt than the average 27 year-old millennial. Between mothering a kid with a chronic medical condition (hospital debt!!) and my shiny degree from the ritzy, private college, I owe people a lot. A whole lot. I’m not talking about, “OMG, how am I going to pay off this $5000 student loan that I just had to get to cover my last semester in college?” lot, but an “OMG, my insurance didn’t cover my C-section, my kid spent 12 days in the hospital when I’d just changed jobs and didn’t have insurance yet” kind of a lot. Sometimes it can be overwhelming to think of how much debt I’ve accumulated in my short 27 years. I’m trying to buy a house for goodness sake! That’s even more debt, even more people to owe. Ugh, what’s a girl to do?

Living with lots of debt

To be fair, I’ve had the internal tug of war between throwing everything I have towards the debt versus just living with it–on a near daily basis. It’s hard to willingly “blow money” on fun things when you have so much debt hanging over your head, day in and day out. In the end, though, I’ve always sided with living with the debt, doing what I can to manage it, but not stopping my life because of it. I just feel like life is too short to always be living for tomorrow. Yep, debt elimination is important and something that everyone should strive for. But am I going to miss out on any part of my life because of it? Not a chance.

I know this sounds like something a cocky millennial would say and that’s probably because I’m knee deep in millennialism right now. At 27, I see things a bit differently than, say, a 37 year-old might. I’m in the thick of it, with a family, and I’m doing the very best I can to manage my debt, but still live my life.

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How to Rock Networking as an Introvert

This grant was  provided to me by Collective Bias, Inc. All opinions are mine alone. #SoFabUOTR #CollectiveBias

SoFabU

Have you ever been that girl at a conference or networking event that totally and completely rocked it? You were going from person to person, handing out business cards (like a boss), chatting it up with other attendees, and making small talk like you invented the stuff. Right on cue, you laugh, throw out a perfectly-timed quip , and the whole room goes nuts because you are just that girl. As you make your rounds around the room, people are quick to want to get to know you and you’re ready to capitalize on the opportunity by wowing them with your perfectly polished elevator speech: “Hi! I’m Vaneese and I’m amazing. I’m a rock star at pretty much everything and anything I touch turns to diamond. Who are you?” Folks’ mouths hang open because ya’ll, there’s a unicorn in the room.

…Too bad I’m not that girl.

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What’s In My Bag? I’m Glad You Asked.

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CycleSurvival #CollectiveBias

What's in my bag? Check out the these essential items for what to have in your work bag? Working moms will totally related.

Since taking my new position, I’ve noticed that I’m out and about a lot. Most of my day consists of home visits, interviewing, going to and from appointments, and of course, meetings. What would work be without meetings? A whole lot better, in my opinion, but I digress. Because my job calls for me to be on the go so often, along with the ability to be extremely flexible, I’ve had to learn to pack an amazing work bag. There are just certain essentials that I cannot do without. One thing that’s essential, and I’m sure many ladies can agree with me here, is a cycle survival kit. There is nothing worse than being caught off guard when your period decides to make a grand entrance…while you’re at work. Ugh. Been there, done that, hated it, and it won’t happen again. Recently at Walgreens, I picked up some U by Kotex Curves® and U by Kotex Lightdays Liners® to add to my cycle survival kit. Before I go on, though, let me tell you what I recommend go in your kit.

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