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I get paid 20% of my salary in "food stamps"/"food vouchers" (they're more lightly taxed both for employees and employers so companies try to foist as much as possible upon employees). And they suck, a lot.

They're called "Ticket AlimentaciĆ³n", and they're provided by Edenred. They're electronic these days to prevent the easiest ways to convert them into real money.


Among the problems:

- most places don't accept it, so you HAVE to go to the places where they accept them. That sucks a lot (nowadays I can't go to the small local places as they don't have the infrastructure to process them, since government heavily monitors their use)

- you can only buy essentials with them, but that does not include stuff like paying rent.

- all taxes and stuff are taken from the "real" money, and you can have a negative "real" income while having too much in food vouchers (which can't be used to pay rent or utilities or transportation).

- you're basically forced to spend them (I make more than what I'd like to spend on food & essentials), you can't save unless you do some kind of hoarding or buy-to-sell scheme. I'm pretty sure some kind of black market would emerge where your proposed "necessity dollars" would be exchanged for "nicety dollars"

I don't have enough leverage to individually negotiate not getting paid in food vouchers, but it's definitely a factor I'm going to consider.

I had never heard of Edenred before. That is very interesting and it might actually solve a problem that I ran into about eight years ago.

Thank you very much for posting this. I owe you.

Glad to know it helps. Not sure what kind of problems they might solve for you, but they're definitely a big and established corporation.

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