Monday, February 27, 2012

Asking my boss for a raise

If you knew me, you'd find I'm one of the quietest people you've ever met. I am an introvert. I rarely speak up in fear I'm going to make a fool of myself. Sadly it seems like if I have one of those rare feelings of confidence and blurt out what I'm thinking, I usually wish I'd just kept my mouth closed.

That's why I'm scared to do what I'm planning on doing. I am going to ask my boss for a raise. Gulp! My co-workers have been encouraging me to do so ever since I was thrown into a new position last Fall. They are currently doing annual reviews for the "real" employees (I'm just a temp), and so far it sounds like people are happy with their raises. I currently make $13.40 an hour. My co-workers are very careful not to say what they make, but I think they make somewhere in the range of $17-$21/hour. So I was thinking of maybe asking for $14.75 an hour. Is that too much? It would be about a 10% raise if I got it.

I'm doing more than the guy I replaced. I was given about 6 hours for him to train me in because he left without much notice (he was a temp worker as well, so he probably figured he didn't need to give a 2 week notice). However he did tell me he was given a raise when he was put in my position and he also said he made $14.85 an hour (he didn't really give a crap because it was his last day, so he offered information like that without me even asking).

Gas prices reached $3.69 today so if it takes about 2 gallons of gas to drive to work round trip each day, it's almost $8 just to get to work. After income taxes that's almost a hour of my pay. And speaking of gas prices, I'm sick of stressing myself out over pennies. I consider myself a very frugal person so I try to time the gas prices correctly only to be frustrated because I think they're going to go down, so I wait a day only to see them jump up another 10 cents a gallon. Or if I do fill up, it seems like the prices will naturally decrease the next day and then I kick myself for having bad timing.

Last week I had a coupon for 50 cents off yogurt that I forgot to use when I checked out. Sad to say, that little screw up ruined my day. I get angry with myself if I miss an opportunity to save money even if it's a few cents. I stress over little things like gas, being a smart shopper who only buys stuff when it is on sale and using coupons.  I'm not saying bargain shopping is bad, but will it really make a big difference in my financial future whether or not I saved that 50 cents on the yogurt? Is it worth being bummed out and mad at myself the rest of the day if I'm not perfect in being a smart shopper.

I need to start thinking about earning more money rather than saving it by getting bargains. There is only so much we can cut back on before our quality of life suffers.  I  try to make "money" online by doing things that only bring a few pennies each day such as MyPoints and Swagbucks. But, I need to think bigger. To try to motivate myself to be brave enough to ask for the raise, I calculated how much extra money I could be making.

Current: $13.40/hour = $27,872/year (based on 40 hour work week)
Proposed: $14.75/hour = $30,680/year

That's more money than I made at that job last year even though I worked overtime almost every Saturday between January and April of last year. I need to keep telling myself it is a $2,808 decision. Even if I only get a 50 cent raise, that's still $1,040 a year! Maybe then I won't be so hard on myself when I realized I should have filled up yesterday.

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