Giving Yourself A Raise
People every year are looking out for that big 'raise' at work. For most of us in the workforce that are on salaries, that usually means 5% or less. Actually 5% is almost unheard of these days. Some companies - especially larger ones - give 2% or lower. You get to the point where you are complaining about getting either 1.25% or 1.10%. Nevertheless, these raises that people complain about really don't amount to much - at least when you compare them to what kind of raise YOU can give YOURSELF.
I'm not talking about living poor or selling that house or car. I'm not talking about lowering your quality of life. In fact, your quality of life can get a lot better. What kind of raise am I talking about? Am I talking about using coupons to buy things? Am I talking about being smart with credit cards and taking advantage of cash back and point rewards perks? Am I talking about belonging to clubs and memberships of services you already buy? Am I talking about manipulating the products you buy and eliminating the ones you don't use? Am I talking about never paying full price for gasoline again? Am I talking about using gift cards to their maximum? Am I talking about changing your idea of what money really is? No. I'm talking about all of these and more to create a raise that no employer can match ever.
People rarely use them and in fact billions of dollars of coupons go unused and trashed every year. I don't mean to become a coupon mom and dedicate your valuable time weekly on buying garbage you really don't need. I mean just be aware of which one are available to what you already like to buy. You have a favorite fast food joint? Well the odds are that that place has coupons that you are NOT using.
Without going into too much detail, I am willing to bet you are nowhere close to maximizing the purchasing power of credit cards. There are 3 classes of users - those that pay the credit card company, those that break even, and those that have the credit card companies pay THEM. Be the third kind and more. There are many ways to get free airline trips, opening and closing cards to build up miles, and using credit cards that benefit your current purchases like gas, groceries, and restaurants.
Many people are so unaware of what kind of memberships exist that it is sad. People must like buying retail everything. There are too many to list but look around at the big picture of what you buy and see if there is a membership or club that you can pay a fee for in order to get bigger discounts later.
Do you really need 200+ channels on TV? Seriously? You can't figure out a better way to use your valuable time? With the internet and so many options, you can easily turn that $150+ cable bill into $20 or less a month by using a streaming service and a few rentals a month. If you want sports, news, and shows, have YOU been on the internet lately?
People whine about raises or the lack of one. But if you really focus on where your money is going, you can easily create the ultimate trend only dreamers imagine. Imagine a life where you wind up making more and more money annually while spending less and less. You want to talk about compounding interest? Well think giving yourself a raise as something even better.
Happy 4th of July Weekend!