Unfortunately, you will always be underpaid. Companies try to pay you the minimum salary that will keep you complacent. If you feel underpaid and make a stink, they may increase your salary by the minimum amount to make you complacent again. The thing is, I want to be compensated based on what I’m worth. I want to work hard, and build a life that I enjoy living. Unfortunately, your company may not agree with you. In the end, there are only 2 ways that you can increase your salary: complain to your management, or get a new job. Both can be daunting tasks. Luckily, given our modern society, both are much easier than ever.
February is over, so I’ve got another Zero Day Challenge update! If you haven’t read about the challenge, check it out before you read any further. This month was very different than last month. My fiance moved to New York to start a new job. I spent a lot of capital building a bug-out bag. I received a bonus at work, and I’m in the process of leaving my job because you won’t make more money without changing companies. Although my expenses were higher, my bonus income mostly bridged the gap.
I also added a new page to track my overall savings and net worth progress for 2017. Check it out if you’re interested! I’m hoping to average about 4% net worth increase per month for a total net worth increase of 60% by the end of the year. We’ll see how I do!
Building an emergency fund is one of the single most important financial decisions you can make. It is typically a Savings account that contains between 3-12 months worth of expenses. If you lose your job or have some large, unexpected expenses, you dip into your emergency fund. Preparing for financial hardship is a great way to give yourself some peace of mind just “in case” something happens. However, how many people prepare for natural disasters or other situations that can arise? This year, 188,000 people have been evacuated in California because of a potential catastrophic dam failure. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy left my parents without power for a week, and they had to wait on 8+ hour gas lines. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina displaced over 1 million people. The blackout of 2003 left people without power for days, and in some cases, without drinkable water (without boiling) for several days.
You Will Always Be Underpaid
I hate to say it, but you will always be underpaid. The majority of Americans are underpaid. Unless you are a CEO with millions of dollars in salary, tens of millions of dollars in stock bonuses, and a hundred million dollar severance package, you are underpaid. It is very easy to see how we are underpaid. Lets say that you are an Apple Sales Associate. You work in the Apple Stores and sell iPhones and MacBook Pros. Lets say that you are a bad employee, and only sell a single MacBook Pro for $2,000 every day. You are paid $120 in wages per day, but you generate $2,000 in revenue per day. Of course, the stores have to pay rent and a host of other overhead expenses. However, would Apple go bankrupt if they paid our hypothetical sales associate $16 an hour instead of $15? The answer is very obviously no, and our Sales Associate is therefore underpaid.
Everyone should track their spending at least once a month. If you don’t ever go through all of your transactions, you’ll forget all of the small expenses. As we all know, the little things add up and you’ll spend much more than you think. Unfortunately (or fortunately) for me, my credit card companies finally prepared a year-end report for my 2016 spending. When I looked at the results, I was really taken back. If you read my post about the Little Things Add Up, you know that I’ve really underestimated my spending over the past few years. Now that I have actual data, its much worse than I could have ever imagined.