Inflation is taking a bigger and bigger bite out of paychecks, but there is a solution: Negotiate for more money.
With companies desperate to hire and retain workers, employees are in the driver's seat right now.
"Entry-level is coming in at $20 an hour, $23 an hour," said job hunter Ramar Burns. "That's good pay."
Burns is considering several offers of warehouse work, but job counselors suggest not taking an initial offer. They say to take a minute to factor in the schedule, childcare costs, and commuting costs.
How to ask for more money
Andres Lares is a salary negotiating expert with the Shapiro Negotiations Institute.
"If you are making the same as you were making last year, you're now making less," he said.
With consumer prices soaring, Lares says now is a great time to ask for more compensation.
- Writing out a script detailing the desired raise.
- Doing a "dress rehearsal" of a presentation to the boss.
- Using high inflation — which is now close to 10% — as a reason to ask for more money.
"Rather than saying, 'Hey, I'd like to get a raise,' now you can say, 'I'd like to get a raise because inflation is x,'" Lares said.
But Lares says people need to do some homework first. To find out what others are making in a similar position at other companies, he suggests checking job sites like Glassdoor, Indeed, Salary.com and Payscale.com.
"Ten, 15 years ago was harder," Lares said. "You didn't have a lot of information."
Ramar Burns' employment counselor, Adam White, also suggests asking how far a person can advance in the company in five years.
"I would really encourage people to look at the growth path at companies because there is a lot of projection upward that you can do," White said.
Burns is taking those tips to heart in his salary negotiations.
"You know what the cost of living is like; you know what your expenses are like. Negotiate your pay," Burns said.
The bottom line is that this is the best time in years to ask for more than a few extra dollars, so you don't waste your money.
Don't Waste Your Money" is a registered trademark of Scripps Media, Inc. ("Scripps").
Like" John Matarese Money on Facebook
Follow John on Instagram @johnmataresemoney
Follow John on Twitter (@JohnMatarese)
For more consumer news and money saving advice, go to www.dontwasteyourmoney.com