A Raise Could Help You Fight Inflation. 3 Tips on How to Ask for One – The Motley Fool

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by Maurie Backman | Published on March 15, 2022
Image source: Getty Images
The right approach to asking for a raise could lead to higher pay.
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Since mid-2021, Americans have faced higher living costs as inflation has reared its ugly head. And unfortunately, the cost of goods doesn't seem like it will be dropping anytime soon.
This prolonged bout of inflation has changed the way Americans live and conduct themselves financially. In a recent Nationwide survey, consumers said they have cut back on driving and dining out to cope with inflation. And 13% have asked for a raise at work over the past 12 months in the hopes of scrounging up more money to cover their bills.
Meanwhile, 21% of Americans say they're considering asking for a raise soon. If you're part of that group, it's important to approach that discussion strategically. Here's how.
These days, many businesses are struggling to hire, so your employer may be more flexible than usual in terms of pay to avoid losing you. But that doesn't mean you should expect your company to just raise your pay for no good reason.
In fact, a smart bet is to prove to your employer that you're due for a raise by digging up salary data for your industry. Do some online research to see what the typical person with your job title and experience level earns. If you can prove you're statistically underpaid, that alone could be grounds for a nice pay bump.
Perhaps you currently earn $60,000 a year and really want to see your salary increase to $65,000. If you ask for $65,000, your boss might come back with $62,500. And at that point, you may have to settle for that lower amount.
A better bet? Pad your ask. Rather than request the raise you really want, go a bit higher — but not unreasonably so. That will give your company some wiggle room on the negotiation front. So in our example, if you're really hoping for a bump from $60,000 to $65,000, you might ask for $68,000 and see where that takes you.
It's generally a good thing to be modest — but not when it comes to salary negotiations. If you're eager to get a raise, prepare to talk yourself up.
Before you sit down with your manager, make a list of the things you've accomplished over the past year. At the same time, list the various ways you go above and beyond as an employee. If you're the person who commonly logs in over the weekend to address client emergencies, that's the sort of behavior that should get rewarded with a pay increase.
A boost in your pay could make it easier to cope with rising living costs. Just as importantly, a higher paycheck could make it possible to build some savings so you have more of a financial cushion. In today's labor market, you shouldn't be afraid to ask for more money. Just make sure you approach that conversation with the right strategy.
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Maurie Backman is a personal finance writer who covers everything from savings to retirement to healthcare. Her articles have appeared broadly on major outlets such as CNBC, MSN, and Yahoo.
We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.
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