Before I go over how to get a raise in 15 minutes (without talking to your boss) let’s cover an important concept. Which is easier?
Choice A: Getting a raise from your boss
Choice B: Reducing your spending
Perhaps you have a boss that is kind, understanding, sympathetic and willing to help you out with your money issues. Or maybe you are like the rest of us and you have to fight for every penny you get. That being said, let’s do a simple example of two different scenarios.
Which would you rather have?
Choice A: $1000 per year pay raise
Choice B: $1000 reduction in expenses
OK, some of you may have chosen Choice A and that’s fine. But let’s be realistic here. Is it that easy to get a raise at work? How much are you in control of your pay at work? Are you in any amount of control of your pay at work? Of course, you can work hard, increase your education and hopefully get a merit-based promotion if your employer believes in that. In most cases, that could entail longer hours, more responsibility and more time away from loved ones at home. However, let’s explore more by this example:
Choice A: $1000 per pay raise = $13.84 per week after taxes *
Choice B: $1000 reduction in expenses = $19.23 more money in your pocket per week!
Now, the major purpose of this article is to help YOU find that $19.23 per week in your budget and very likely a whole lot more if you follow all of the principles mentioned in this article.
* assumes federal tax rate of 27%
Making the lifestyle choice
My goal for this article is to show you several key concepts in life to reduce your costs (thus giving you a raise). I learned most of this from the “school of hard knocks” and personal experience and self-education. I would hope that these principles will start to become a way of life for you. Sure, there will be some readers that use this article for a quick shot-in-the-arm and then forget it about it or let it collect dust. Don’t be a one-time user of these concepts! Make them your part of your subconscious. I have heard it put best like this:
“Every penny I spend, I try to think of ways to possibly save money. I DO NOT use slimy or sleazy lying tactics. Everything I say and do is completely legal and moral. Some people may call me cheap, frugal, or a penny pincher….I like to call it being an intelligent, educated consumer.” I could not have said it better myself.
Many of the concepts covered here will get you the best deals just by asking! You don’t have to be some high-power negotiating attorney or steamroll a sales person every time you buy something. Let’s look at the different types of expenses in life and examine each:
Purchase: One-time large purchase:
Description: This may include a house, car, big-ticket electronic item or anything that is not purchased very often.
Potential for savings: HUGE! It is imperative for you to research these purchases and to get the best deal possible when buying big-ticket items.
Purchase: Monthly cost or fees:
Description: This includes cell phone bills, lease payments, apartment rent, utilities, credit cards, gym memberships
Potential for savings: These require some due diligence but can easily save you HUNDREDS or THOUSANDS per year. More on later.
Purchase: One-time setup fee
Description: This can be on a wide variety of purchases – cable/dish installations, ISPs, banks, credit cards, cell phones, auto mechanics, travel
Potential for savings: These fees can very often be reduced or eliminated by asking or threatening to go elsewhere with your business.
In each and every purchase let remember one thing, folks. YOU hold the upper hand. YOU hold the cards. YOU are their customer. YOU decide if the purchase is needed, worthwhile, cheap or expensive. Don’t let a sales person persuade, trick, steal or lie to you!
Think about price. One-time prices. Monthly prices. Yearly prices.
You need to retrain your brain to always think about price. I am not going to lecture you on whether or not things are a need or a want. My successful techniques can be applied to needs and/or wants. It requires only a bit a critical thinking. This also requires some common sense in that it is not wise to try negotiating the price of green beans at the supermarket. Based on all the examples throughout this detailed book, you should be able to recognize which items or services are negotiable and which are not. There are a few questions you need to ask yourself when deciding whether or not to attempt to get a better price.
Is the person I’m buying from considered or labeled a “Sales Representative”, “Account Manager”, “Customer Service Rep”, “Sales Associate”, or anything that resembles or represents a salesman? That will surely give you some negotiating power.
Bottom line: can the price for this good or service be reduced?
Let’s look at an important list of concepts to remember when making a purchase:
- If a purchase is more than $100 sleep on it or spend several weeks before buying.
- Don’t make impulse decisions on big purchases! Many sales people or retail stores want you to make an “instant buy” without thoroughly thinking through your decision. Bounce the idea off your spouse, parents, friends, etc. if you are unsure of yourself.
- If it is a big-ticket item ($300 or more in our opinion) be sure and check Consumer Reports from your local library for free or you can get a one-month only subscription for $4.95 at http://consumerreports.org if you need their ratings for just one month.
Now, rather than make this post even longer I am going to list articles below that relate to the topic of giving yourself a raise. The common theme among all of these articles is that it is up to you, the empowered consumer, to make these choices. It’s your money!