published about 5 hours ago
Stay tuned for more content like this
And while it may be tempting to just scroll right past these big financial headlines, they can – and do – have a very real impact on your own personal finances. Inflation in particular is something everyone feels (even to varying degrees of difficulty) when you go to the grocery store, fill up the car with gas or pay the latest electricity bill, for example.
Inflation, aka rising prices, cuts into the purchasing power of your paycheck. Even if you get paid the same amount every pay period, that money actually stays less valuable when prices rise. Because goods and services become more expensive, you cannot buy as many things with the same amount of cash.
So here’s your public service announcement: It’s time to ask for a raise at work.
Call it an inflationary increase, a cost-of-living adjustment, or just a good old-fashioned “it’s-time-to-pay-me-more-because-I’m-worth-it” increase, but the important point here is that you need to make more money to keep up with rising prices.
“If your paycheck doesn’t keep up with inflation, you’re making less money than you did the year before,” says Lindsey Bell, chief markets and money strategist at Ally. “This means you have less money to spend, save and invest. The longer this goes on, the further behind you will be in reaching your money goals. And if we’re being honest, most goals in life are tied to money, so this is a big deal.”
Asking for an inflation raise is a lot like asking for any other kind of raise. First, do some research on the current market rate for your job role. Check out sites like PayScale, Indeed, and Glassdoor. Ask around to friends, acquaintances and other people in your professional network to see if they’ll divulge a salary range for a similar position at their company—and offer to share yours in return, Bell suggests. It also can’t hurt to contact recruiters to find out what other companies in your industry are offering for the same job.
As you consider exactly how much more money to ask for, get a handle on the latest inflation numbers. But don’t let inflation alone determine the amount you ask for — doing so is a “sure way to get the smallest market-based adjustment,” says Team Toterhia career coach and personnel consultant.
Instead, come up with a number that reflects your value to the company, advises Toterhi. “You want to be the best person for employers to keep—and happily pay a premium to do so,” he says.
Next, craft some talking points about the value you bring to your team. While inflation can be the catalyst to drive the conversation, you want to be sure the message stays focused on your positive contributions and accomplishments, Bell says. If you can tie your contributions directly to monetary gains or other benefits for the company, point that out as well.
It can also help to use a little shameless flattery. Tell your supervisor exactly how much you appreciate her and why, and also throw in a few complimentary remarks about the company as a whole. “Everyone likes a pat on the back,” says Bell. “Make them feel comfortable with your commitment to being there for the long haul, which helps make it easier for them to invest in you.”
Also consider the timing of your inquiry. If your company offers salary adjustments or promotions at a very specific time of the year, it may be a good idea to wait and have a chat about inflation around that time. But you can drop hints and sprinkle parts of the travel conversation into regular check-ins with your boss so she’s not surprised when the time comes. “Signaling that something like this is coming will help develop trust and transparency and will likely lead to a more productive conversation when it happens,” says Bell.
When you finally have the discussion, have a contingency plan in your figurative back pocket. If your boss says no to a raise, you can always counter by asking for other perks, says Sarah Doody, founder and CEO of Career Strategy Lab. “Brainstorm a list of things you can ask for that would help offset your expenses or help you grow yourself professionally,” she says. “Some examples include more vacation, health or wellness benefits; a more flexible work schedule; a stipend to help cover childcare; or even for the company to cover more of your health insurance premiums.”
And if all else fails, remember that you can help yourself reach your financial goals in other ways. If you don’t have a budget, create one and start eliminating unnecessary expenses ASAP. Get another job or turn a hobby into a busyness. Sell items you no longer use on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Nextdoor and other platforms.
Or make a drastic change and get a new job in a company that is willing to pay you more, Bell suggests. “We know from employment data that job switchers are paid more than those who have been loyal to companies in the past year,” she says.