Archive for October 2017

How to Ask for a Raise at Work (and Get it!)

How to Ask for a Raise at Work (and Get it!)

How to Ask for a Raise at Work (and Get it!)You work hard. You?ve been nailing it.

Clients love you and you?ve brought in some great new accounts.

You were just handed some new responsibility.

You are going places.

The one obstacle in your way is that you don?t feel you are being compensated correctly for your current responsibilities at work. You want a raise.

So, how do you go about getting one? Depending on the company, raises may happen annually or they might be few and far between.

That’s why it’s important to take matters into your own hands when you feel that you deserve a raise.

Here are a few steps on how to ask for a raise and get it.

Be Prepared

Do your homework before you even think about going to your boss about a raise. You need to be prepared to present your case and answer questions.

Know Your Timing

The first thing you need to know is timing.

Is the company performing well or is it starting to shrink staff? Does your company give raises around performance reviews? If so you need to approach your boss a few months before to start conversation.

Raises are usually already determined by the time your review is held.

Keep Track of Accomplishments

Write down all the tasks you have accomplished, goals you’ve met and responsibilities you’ve tackled above and beyond what was required. Keep track of any stats and have specific figures.

For example, instead of saying you increased web traffic to clients? sites, say that you increased web traffic by 10% through x, y, z that increased client?s gains at x amount. The more information you have the better your case when you ask for a raise.

Find Out What Others Earn

Know what your industry is making salary-wise and in your geographic area. If your boss won?t go for your initial request, you can come back with that information.

Don’t present it in a hostile manner. Simply say, “Professionals in my field are making x and I?m at y, which is lower than the industry average.”

Knowing these numbers will help you provide a reasonable raise amount that would be within your employer?s capability.

Once you have your homework done and you feel you have a strong argument to get you that raise, you need to have that conversation.

Set Up a Meeting

This is obvious, but make sure you are upfront with the meeting topic. Also make sure your timing is still ideal. Letting your manager know up-front what your meeting is about will help them get in the right mindset and not be blindsided.

Present Your Case

You?ve done your homework and have the meeting set, now you need to practice your pitch. It sounds silly but the more confident you are about your case, the better you?ll come across.

Be sure to not get too emotional and give your valid reasons for the raise, not that you need more money to save for a vacation.

Have a Plan B

You might have nailed your pitch and feel super confident. But, there is always a chance your employer will say no.

If that?s the case, ask where you can improve. Ask what more can you do or extra responsibilities you can take on to show your value.

?No? is not the end of the conversation, it might be a ?not yet?. The company may not be able to provide a financial raise but they may give you extra vacation, more paid leave, and the potential to work from home. Have an alternative in mind.

Asking for a raise can be scary. Doing your research and have an open conversation with your boss usually leads to a better situation. Read the room and the economy. You might not get the raise the first time. But, by showing your worth and the value you bring to the company, that second ask may be more fruitful than the first.

 

Have you ever asked for a raise? Were you successful?

 

Photo courtesy of: StockSnap

5 Easy Debt Elimination Tactics for Millennials

5 Easy Debt Elimination Tactics for Millennials

5 Easy Debt Elimination Tactics for MillennialsThe generation often referred to as ?millennials? is facing many of the same problems seen by previous generations.

It is easy to fall into debt as a young adult, as your expenses will often outweigh the salary you are earning in your young career. If you aren?t careful, those debts can quickly mount, and you may find yourself in a bad financial position, even as your adult life is just getting started.

So what can you do about this? There are a couple of options. You can find a way to make more money, or you can find a way to cut your expenses. The five tactics below will include tips on both sides of this equation.

Pick Up a Side Hustle

This is an emerging option which is becoming more and more popular with the millennial set.

Since you are just getting started in your full-time career, you probably don?t have many options for increasing your income in that setting. As a newcomer, it would be pretty tough to walk in and ask for a raise. What you can do, however, is make some money while you are away from the office.

There are many different side hustle options available these days, from doing freelance work online to driving for a service like Uber or Lyft. Even if you only have enough time to make a little money from these ventures, that money could make all the difference in terms of paying down your debts.

Learn to Cook

Sadly, many young adults these days don?t know how to cook their own food. This is a problem for a number of reasons. For one thing, eating out all the time is rather unhealthy. Also, it is expensive.

You may be surprised to find just how much money you can waste by dining out for the majority of your meals. Learn how to cook and you will be doing something positive for your waistline as well as your pocketbook.

Find a Roommate

If you are not married, you would do well to find a roommate in order to split your living expenses. Living with someone else who is paying half of the rent is one of the best things you can do for your budget.

In addition to splitting the rent, you can divide up a number of other costs as well, such as the cable bill, internet expense, and more.

Set a Short-Term Goal

Since you are young, it is likely that your debts are not yet too far out of control.

Maybe you owe something like a few thousand dollars on a credit card account. That might seem like a big hill, but you can actually get over that hump with some hard work and sacrifice.

Cut out some of your other spending in the short-term in order to pay down the debt as fast as you can.

Craft a Careful Budget

While you are working on getting rid of your current debt, another beneficial thing you can do is create a budget for your life moving forward. This will help you to stay out of debt once you have caught up.

Staying out of debt is painfully simple ? you just need to earn more than you spend. Make sure that is the case through the use of a budget and you will be off and running.

 

What have you done to eliminate debt? Do you have any other suggestions for millennials?

 

Photo courtesy of: 5688709

5 Simple Ways to Live Cheaper in a Big City

5 Ways to Live Cheaper in a Big City

5 Ways to Live Cheaper in a Big CityBig city living can be great. Depending on what career path you chose, there?s a city for that career. Think tech in Silicon Valley, movie stars in Los Angeles and business in New York City.

But, big city living also means higher living expenses. Granted salaries are usually increased to match the inflated costs of large metropolises so you can afford to live there. But, even so, it can be a stretch on your take home pay to live in these areas.

So, how do you make it in the big city? Here are some ways you can live cheaper in a big city.

Ditch the Car

Depending on the city, you most likely won?t need a car.

Places like Chicago or New York City have great public transit. By not having a car you are saving on things like oil changes, car insurance?and parking lot and garage premiums.

The rise of Uber has also made it easier to grab a cab and get around. Walking to and from everywhere saves you money while giving you a daily workout. Some cities are pretty walkable, or?if you do need to go further than you want to walk, a short metro ride can get you in the general direction.

Get a Roommate

To save on rent, get a roommate, or several depending on the situation.

When rent is more than half your salary, roommates are a great way to save money. Not only is rent cheaper, but you can save on groceries and utilities by sharing costs. Your roommates can also become your new friends and support system, especially if you don?t know anyone yet.

Drink at Home

With so many options for dining and drinks, it?s hard to say just one drink or only eat out only once a week. By starting the party at home, or eating a light meal before, you can save on meals and drinks by not needing to eat or drink as much while you are out.

If you enjoy going out, or are expected to be out often for your job, this can save you a lot of money over time.

Find a Rent Controlled Apartment

In order to help with living expenses, some neighborhoods and cities have rent controlled properties. This means their rent doesn?t rise and stays constant. You might need roommates, but it is a cheaper option should you come across it.

Go Farther Out

Location is important to the value of anything. This comes true to when looking for a place to work. Depending of your company?s location, it could be super busy and bustling and also expensive to live near your job. If you can still get to where you want, it?s worth your time to look at renting further out. The farther you are from the downtown, the cheaper (usually) everything is.

Living cheaper in the city isn?t easy, but you can do it.

If you do see that a large metropolis and your salary don?t mix but you still want the city life, look at a smaller large city like Kansas City or Des Moines. The further from the coasts you get the less expensive cost of living is.

 

What do you do to cut costs in the city? How else do you save money?

 

Photo courtesy of: Free-Photos

5 Fun and Cheap Things for Families to Do This Fall

5 Fun and Cheap Things for Families to Do This Fall

5 Fun and Cheap Things for Families to Do This FallWith the end of summer can often come a feeling that the season for fun is done for the year. That doesn?t have to be the case, however.

Sure, the kids have gone back to school, but there are still weekends for you to sneak in some family fun. And, while the weather might be cooling off, there are things you can do which aren?t totally dependent on a bright and sunny day.

To keep you in the mood for family enjoyment as fall settles in, we have provided a list of five fall fun ideas below.

Go to the Zoo

Going to the zoo is a time-honored tradition for many families. Kids naturally love seeing animals, so this is a safe bet when you want to get out and enjoy a day together.

The nice thing about going to the zoo in the fall is you are likely to find it less crowded than it is during the summer months. As long as you pick a day where the weather is reasonable, and you dress appropriately, you should be able to have a great time exploring and viewing everything the zoo has to offer.

Try Your Hand at Bowling

If you need to take your activities inside for the day to escape some poor weather, consider paying a visit to your local bowling alley.

Bowling as a sport is not as popular as it once was, but kids can still get a thrill out of rolling the ball down the lane toward the pins. Ask the staff at the alley to put the ?bumpers? up if you have young kids who are having trouble keeping the ball out of the gutter.

Visit a Pumpkin Patch

As Halloween approaches, pumpkin patches start to pop up in many locations. If you aren?t sure if there are any near you, a quick internet search should provide the answer.

Kids will love walking through the field to pick out their favorite pumpkin, and many of these locations have other attractions such as rides, games for kids, snacks, and more.

Take an Autumn Hike

Depending on where you live, it may be possible to find a great hike for the family to take on a nice day. If you have trees which change color and lose their leaves in the fall, this would be a great way to get outside and enjoy nature ? and it will probably be free, as well.

Of course, check the weather carefully before heading out and bring the right supplies for the day.

Stay in and Watch a Movie

You don?t have to go out of the house in order to have fun with the family. On a cold night, consider staying in, making a few snacks, and watching a movie together.

Before starting the movie, put away all phones, tablets, and other devices so you can just watch and enjoy. You might find that everyone enjoys this kind of evening so much that it winds up becoming a tradition.

 

What do you do for fun in the fall? Have you used any of these activities with your family?

 

Photo courtesy of: sharonang

5 Steps to Change From Spendthrift to Thrifty

spendthrift

spendthriftSpending money can be fun, especially if it?s on something you want. This is how people get into trouble from spending too much.

You can spend too much whether you have a low income or high income. The spendthrifts of the world know no income restraints.

A spendthrift is someone who spends way more than they make. They buy everything or do anything. If you find yourself spending all your money and not using any or all of the items you purchase, you may be a spendthrift.

Don?t fear though, you can become a thrifty person. When we say thrifty, we mean someone who purchases quality items within their budget and sometimes for a good deal.

Here are five steps to take from spending outrageously to spending smartly.

Track Your Spending

List out your bills and receipts versus income. This is the first step to any financial stability.

If you don?t know what you are spending you don?t know where to cut back on. After you have the month?s expenses listed compare that to your income. If you spent more than you made then you have a problem.

Define Your Money Goals

You know you don?t want to continue spending as much as you do, but you don?t want to give up your current life style. Setting a financial goal will help with that.

Where do you want to see yourself long term? Is it taking overseas vacations every year? Is it getting out of debt or is it simply saving for retirement? Creating reachable goals will help you become thrifty.

Create a Budget

Once you have your goals in place you can create your budget. Budgets can be tricky but for the first couple months you can make sure you don?t spend more than you make.

Once this has been achieved, then set up a budget to start saving or putting money aside or paying debt. It?s hard to change habits and even harder to change spending patterns. So, it’s ok to start small!

Get Your Loved Ones on Board

The people you surround yourself with greatly influence your habits. If your friends or family don?t understand or support your decision to only go out once a week or pressure you to continue in your habits, you probably shouldn?t hang around them as often. It?s hard but you?ll feel better when you can afford to do things and they can?t.

Review Your Finances Weekly

This is extremely important as you first start out. Knowing how much money you have spent and how much is in the bank is important. As your habits change and your goals are met, you can move it to once a month. Make your money work for you.

Cutting back on spending is hard, especially when you are used to spending what you want on multiple credit cards and don?t look at your bank statement.

You can change your spending habits, but it won?t be done it a day. There will be times where you relapse and splurge. Every now and then it?s okay, but don?t get back into the habit of it.

Sticking with these five steps will help you become thriftier and honestly a happier person.

 

Are you a spendthrift? What steps did you take to change from a spendthrift to thrifty?

 

Photo courtesy of: webandi