All In

My adventure as I jump into life all in!!

Making the Best Use of an Annual Raise

Do you get a raise each year? Or are you on some sort of raise schedule at your job? Does it seem as though no matter what you do, that ‘new’ money seems to not make much of a dent in helping you work out your budget? If this sounds like you, I have a plan to make the most out of your raise, even if it isn’t a big one. (Disclaimer, this is totally not an original idea of mine, but I wanted to share it because it is a way to make the best use out of your increase in cash-flow)

At my current job, we are offered the possibility of a merit increase (raise) if we have met certain criteria (done well at our jobs). You never know if you will get a raise or what it will be until about a week before it hits your bank account.But it seems like each year, the raise never seems to help me knock down my debt or build up savings any faster than before. Friends, I have found a solution!

First, you need to know what your raise is. If you don’t know that until the last minute, that is okay, you can start as soon as you know. There are two was to do this:

Way number 1: Let’s say that you will get a $0.50 raise per hour and you work full-time (40 hours a week). Do the math to figure out how much you would make (pre-tax) extra per check than before. In our example, 0.50 x 80 (if you get paid bi-weekly) = $40. Next, if you know the numbers of what gets deducted each check, than you can subtract that from your new amount, our you can decide whether you will work with your $40 extra or choose a slightly smaller number like $35 or $30.

Way Number 2 – Rather than go through all these steps, you could simply wait for your new pay to hit your bank account once, then take the difference to find out how much extra your raise got you post tax. For example. If your post-tax check before getting a raise is $800, and your next check, including the raise is $830, than your difference is $30)

Anyhoo, now that you know what you make, open a savings account and set up an automatic transfer of that $30 every 2 weeks (or $60 per month, if you can’t set up a bi-weekly transfer).

Now you will be able to actually utilize the extra you receive via a raise, rather than letting it absorb into your monthly budget without even realizing it. You can choose do keep building it up as savings, or pay extra towards a debt or save up for something special.

Has anyone tried this method? It really sounds pretty straightforward, it just isn’t something that we all think about when getting a raise. What normally happens when you get a raise? Let me know if you have any questions. Comment below 🙂





When you need to save money, how does it actually work to save your raise? (with example, such as .50 raise equals moving $40 to savings when you get your biweekly paycheck.

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Goal Progress – February

What in the world happened to January!? It seemed to take forever while also being gone in the blink of an eye. Anyway, a new month means time to update my progress on my goals. Here goes:

Financial Goals:

Start a Side Hustle – January Fail – I kept telling myself that when I found time, I needed to dig through my closets and find a few things to list on Ebay. But of course, when I had time, I sat on my but in front of the TV. It truly is a time-sucker, isn’t it? My sister-in-law and I still have plans to work on some soaps, but we have to find a time when both of us aren’t busy.

Earn $100 extra each month – Pass-sort of– Through overtime, I was able to make about $75 extra on my post-tax post-benefits paychecks in January. I knew this goal wouldn’t be easy to hit and I hope that if I would have worked on a side hustle that I could have easily made up the $25 to bring this total up to $100.

Pay off at least 1 student loan this year – Pass-ish We are working away at chipping down our debt, payment by payment. I was only able to pay $20 more than our usual payment on this, but we will continue to work on this goal a little at a time. I am hoping to receive a bonus at work in April and I plan to use a portion of it for debts, so that will help, but it will probably not wipe it out completely.

Grow our Net Worth by $10,000 (20%) – Fail – We had done well and brought our net worth up by around 4%, mostly by paying down a few debts and the markets doing well in my 401k, but then we replaced a vehicle, which added a loan (which included being upside down on the previous vehicle, which I HATED but it had to be done), which then dropped our net worth down 7% where it had been in January (so a drop of 11% total from day before purchase to day after purchase). This definitely will hinder our efforts to raise our net worth by $10,000 this year, but I still hope to pay down on our debts as fast as possible to attain this goal. Plus, what’s the point of a goal that is easily attainable, it should take hard work to hit it our it wasn’t set high enough, right?

Personal Goals:

Read the Entire Bible – Fail – While I did read the Bible a little bit last month, I certainly didn’t keep up with a pace that would help me have it completed in a year.

Write at least two blogs post per month – Pass!!! – I posted my 2017 goals last month as well as a post about foster parenting. Feel free to check them out! I hope I can keep up the momentum this year.

Read 13 books – Pass – I read “Believing God” by Beth Moore (I strongly recommend this to everyone by the way), and I am half-way through a biography of C.S. Lewis.

Grow Deeper in my relationship with God – Pass – This isn’t exactly trackable, but I do feel that I’ve put more effort into my relationship with God in January. While I didn’t read much of the Bible, the book that I read, “Believing God,” helped push me into a deeper relationship with God and to trust that He is in control. I have been trying to pray every morning on the way to work as well, something that I didn’t do before. I am excited to see what God has planned for my life and excited to grow deeper this year!

Make a point to do something special for my husband once a month – Pass-ish – Again, these personal goals are a bit harder to track. I’m not going to get into details, but I worked on being more intentional in our relationship. I still have a ways to go, but a start is a start.

Keep Our House Tidy – Fail – While we make a conscious effort to keep things off of the floor and out of reach of our little foster guy, that doesn’t stop our kitchen from looking cluttered anyway. We are terrible about doing dishes the same day they get dirtied, and once there’s a sink full of dishes, they just pile up until one of us gets sick of it and does them. We actually ended up getting our annual surprise visit from our foster licensing case worker at the end of the month. Our house wasn’t terribly filthy, but those dishes make the kitchen look so cluttered every time. We still got a pass, but I am still aiming to get our house up to a standard of where I feel that it is clean, not just “good enough.”

Well, there you have it. Although we didn’t do that well on our goals last month, I won’t let that get me down, as there are 11 more months this year! Did you set any goals this year? Have you been tracking your progress? Are they any tips I can offer for your goals or do you just need a partner to keep you accountable? Let me know in the comments. If we work towards our goals as a community, encouraging each other, they seem much closer to reach.