4 Ways to Make Your Salary Go Further
Stressed about money? You’re not alone. According to a recent survey, 69% of workers said they were stressed about their finances. That should come as no surprise; while younger generations are currently making 20% less than their predecessors, the cost of living has risen exponentially.
If your salary isn’t exactly where you’d like it to be, there are a few things you can do before your next review to make your money go a bit further. If you’re hoping to make the most of your money this year and set yourself up for a more financially healthy 2020, keep these tips in your back pocket.
1. Take a Look at Your Spending
Do you know where your money is going? It’s very easy to lose track of what you’re spending each month, especially if you rely on your credit card for most of your purchases. If you need help tracking your expenses, consider downloading a budgeting app.
You might also opt to stick to cash; pull out a certain amount of money each month, so that you can see your cash reserve dwindling as the weeks go by. If your money runs out sooner than anticipated, you can probably more easily spot the areas you need to cut back on your spending.
Consider taking one month to document every single time you spend money. Turn it into a game and see how many days you can go without spending any money. This will help to increase the amount of satisfaction you gain from saving and will help you better analyze where your finances are going.
2. Make S.M.A.R.T. Financial Goals
Once you understand your current financial habits, take the time to refine your goals for the future. Your financial goals should be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound.
By creating financial goals centered on these facets, you can create a realistic, actionable plan for getting your finances on the right track. Here’s an example of a SMART financial goal:
S: I plan to pay off my student loan debt
M: I must save $5,000 to pay off the bill
A: I will reach my $5,000 goal by saving $300 every month
R: I’ve been in student loan debt for years, and want to have a clean financial slate
T: By saving $300 a month, I will save $5000 in 17 months, or 1 year and 5 months.
3. Shop for Better Rates
We all have essential expenses, such as car insurance, groceries, and internet, but in many cases, we may be paying more than necessary for products and services. Examine your regular expenses – would switching to a different insurance provider save you money? Is there a different streaming service you could purchase to save $10 each month?
Notice the price of groceries when you visit a variety of local grocery shops. Find out which items you should be buying at each grocery store and consider making a trip to more than one location if it will help you save extra money. You can also try to shop based on seasonality. Purchasing produce that is out of season is considerably more expensive than buying what is in season. It is also likely that you produce will be fresher if you buy what is in season.
4. Consider Negotiating
If you find that you’re still struggling to make ends meet under your current salary, consider asking for more. Are you prepared to fight for your worth during your next review? We posted an article about how to negotiate your salary and discovered that many candidates are reluctant to try in fear of offending the hiring manager and having their offer withdrawn. Negotiating for more money increases your immediate paycheck, and also impacts your lifetime earning potential.
Before asking for a raise, make sure you are prepared to make a strong case for why you are deserving of a raise. Make sure you are prepared to present any documentation for additional projects or responsibilities that you’ve taken on since your last raise.
If you have someone in the organization who you can trust, consider reaching out and asking for their advice on what you can do to leverage a promotion. It is most likely that if you are struggling to make your salary go further that you need to increase your income. The best way to do this is by getting a promotion.
Ultimately, we’ll leave you with this bit of advice: you’ll never get what you don’t ask for.
If you need to make your money go further this year, keep the above tips and strategies in mind. If you have ultimately reached a place in your professional career that is limiting the quality of life based on your income, it is likely time to get your resume ready and start looking for a new job.
Most individuals will cap out a certain pay if they do not continue growing and learning. Developing your professional repertoire is one of the only ways to continually increase your value as an employee.
Whether it’s making your income last longer or working on moving up with an organization, with a bit of foresight, planning, and negotiation, you can make 2020 your best financial year yet.
Samantha Rupp holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and is a contributing editor for 365BusinessTips.com. She lives in San Diego, California and enjoys spending time on the beach. Feel free to connect with her on Instagram and LinkedIn.