I Got My First Raise

Today my boss confirmed my first annual merit increase!

Time to rejoice like Ross in Friends?




I wasn’t expecting a huge raise, but somehow the raise I got disappointed me. I should be happier my paycheck is increasing by $50 every two weeks, but somehow I’m not. $50 is not going to change my life. Don’t get me wrong I love that I’m earning $50 every paycheck. An increase in income is always good by me! I just don’t want to be stuck in the pool of workers who expect and/or are satisfied with a small percentage merit increase every year.

I don’t know what this means for the future. I’m not going to quit my job anytime soon. But I am going to be proactive. Seek out opportunities. Drive change.

I have already increased my 401K contribution to reflect my new raise.

Have you received your annual merit increase? What did you do with it?

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  • Jessica Rodriguez

    I totally get where you’re coming from!. I got an increase of about $25 in my biweekly check this year, hey it’s $25 but it’s not life altering at the very least and I really thought I worked a lot harder than $25 extra dollars. This has got me thinking about diversifying my income a lot more now…

  • And this is why I work towards side hustles and extra income. The amount you get from a raise, is usually very small compared to what you can make with a side hustle. Anyways, still congrats!

    • You’re raise is limited, but the work you put into developing your side hustle results into infinite raises. No one is telling you, you earn too much money. No is limiting your earning potential on a side hustle. I agree! Thanks Michelle.

  • I remember my first year getting a $400/month raise (net) and not thinking it was much since it was really just extra going to savings. I now make enough that pretty much any raise means I reduce how much is going to my 401(k)! I’m now down to only 15% to max it out and when I first started maxing it out it was around 21% :) So instead my raises go to the mortgage/taxable investing.

    Contrary to Michelle, I actually feel that an extra raise and bonuses are worth more than a side hustle at this point in my career since I have tons of room for growth. The great thing too is that huge raises early in your career make an incredible difference because they compound over your career! Then again, my salary has gone up by a bit over 33% of my original salary since I started working post-college about 3.5 years ago!

    • Dang! $400 per month! That’s awesome. I’m still pretty early in my career considering I’m only 23, but there’s only so many raises you can get. At one point you reach your cap. I have talked to a lot of employees and they say the more you earn, the bigger target you have for layoffs. Corporations are not loyal anymore.

      As a young employee, I have to keep in mind I will not always work for this company. I have to keep my eyes and ears open.

      • Don’t sell yourself short! I got that particular raise (10%) during my first promotion at 23 and now I am (at some point this year) 25. Also, you are not “only” 23. You are 23!

        Caps tend to be within a particular level. So if you get promoted, the cap goes up.

        • It also depends on perspective. I started at a moderately high salary for someone at 22. But there’s room to grow. I think to reach the next level in pay I will have to get promoted to Sourcing Manager. Right now my boss is telling I will get promoted two years from now. I’m trying to get promoted before then.

  • Corporations are evil, greedy, slave masters :)
    Still congrats on your raise and retaining your job. However, I can tell you will be intensely looking for greener pastures. A woman of your caliber requires a great deal more.

  • Congrats on the raise! when I was still working I got a 30% merit raise the first year, then worked even harder the second but told my boss I wouldn’t brown nose like the others and got 3% or something, then gave notice!

  • Good job on your first raise! Any raise is a good one, right?

  • Congrats on the raise–it’s an exciting step in the right direction :)

  • Tie the Money Knot

    That’s always a nice feeling. Sounds like a good move to turn around and boost the 401k contribution, very responsible. Every little bit helps over time, with the benefit of compounding.

  • I’m getting my annual performance review in a few weeks. I’m hoping for a decent raise, but not sure what to expect since I’ve only been at the job for 7 months. Any raise I get will probably go towards student loan repayment and saving!

  • Pingback: Negotiate for a Raise or Work on Side Income? | Making Sense Of Cents

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