Tag: Money

On Compensation

When trying to understand (and let’s be honest – increase!) my pay, I’ve found it really useful to first understand the processes around compensation at the company I work for. Here are some questions you can ask. Your manager can probably answer many of these, but your colleagues might know too!

Questions you can ask about compensation – Julia Evans

Two questions I like to ask in interviews are very similar to these:

Who makes decisions about raises? (is it at the discretion of the manager? Does the manager have a fixed budget they can give out? Is there a formula based on past performance evaluations?)

When do we adjust salaries? (on the employee’s work anniversary? Right after a performance review?)

I like to ask something like, “In a year if I’m hired and I excel in the position and bring a ton of value to the company, what does the review process look like? How is performance reviewed and what is the outcome from those reviews?”

Now, in the world of government contracting, often times the “performance review” is a performance in itself. There’s no actual review. There’s no outcome other than checking the box for received performance review.

But in the private sector, there should be a review of your performance. And it should mean something. If the interviewer(s) can’t answer these questions, then there may not be a plan in place and it could be a warning sign.

If that’s the case, negotiate strong up front. Push for as much money, time off, other benefits the company offers as you can. This may be your one and only chance.

All of the questions Julia lists are great and depending on your situation may or may not apply to your situation. But they’re good things to think about. Especially if the money isn’t where you want it to be, ask for more vacation time or some other benefit that can often be considered.

And when it comes to salary, always, always, always, always ask for more money.

The worst that can happen is you’re told no.

But there’s often a couple thousand more dollars per year you’re leaving on the table if you don’t ask. If you’re offered $30k, ask for $35k. Even if they only offer $32k, that’s an extra $2,000 per year you wouldn’t have gotten.

Never take the first offer. Always ask for more. There’s more to be given, all you need to do is ask.

Savings is security

How do you take a $35,000 investment and turn it into nearly $800,000,000 in sales? You pay your employees. You pay them twice the national average and you keep paying them to be the best.

Container Store founder and CEO Kip Tindell explains that the secret to the company’s high wages is what he calls “the 1=3 rule,” meaning that one great employee will be as productive as three employees who are merely good.

As a result, Tindell feels he gets ahead by receiving three times the productivity of an average worker at only two times the cost.

Everybody wins!

“They win, you save money, the customers win, and all the employees win because they get to work with someone great.”

He also has a plan to keep those great people by continuing to pay them well through raises.

Tindell then keeps these “great people” by giving them annual raises up to 8% of their salaries, based on their performance.

Not one-time bonuses, but real raises. This investment in the employee by the company tells the employee their company really cares about them and wants them to stay and be happy there.

Many people don’t love their jobs, but they’ll work hard if they feel the company is investing in them as much as they invest in the company.

“Everybody loves to say that it’s not all about pay,” he explains. “But pay is more important than most people realize, particularly if you’re trying to attract and keep really great people.”

It’s all about the money. Every time I’ve changed jobs, even jobs I loved, it was for considerably more money.

Money opens doors. Money is the great enabler. It allows me to save for retirement, afford insurance, and contribute to my savings account.


More time or more money is the solution to any problem.

I can either throw more money at a problem to save myself time. Or I can throw more time at a problem to save myself money.

When I was thinking about getting a TiVo, I debated setting up a DIY DVR system. I could reuse a small computer I have, and get a CableCARD to stick in it and wire it into our cable… I could get software setup and make it friendly and convenient enough for myself and my wife to use.

Or I could buy a TiVo. Far more money, but far less time.

We now own a TiVo.


Do I still wrestle with money? Absolutely!
Do I still have days where I wonder where it all went? For sure!
Do I still often think it would just be easier to buy the nice things I want and let the future sort itself out? Embarrassingly, yes.

Getting our financial house in order has taken a lot of work. And recently, when my car died and my wife’s car needed some costly repairs, it wiped out nearly every cent we had saved.

**Nine months of hard work, gone in an instant.**

It was devastating to see all of our hard saved money evaporate into a new car. Sure, it’s nice to have a new car that runs well and has air conditioning, but we weren’t planning on spending the thousands to make that a reality for a couple more years. It just goes to show, you never know what life is going to throw at you, or when. And it pays to be ready.

I have learned a lot since we paid off our credit cards, got student loans under control, made a plan to pay off medical bills and started savings a large part of our income while donating another sizable portion every month.

It’s been a long road and it’s nowhere near over.

Financial control is a journey, not a destination. There is never an end to the struggle and saving. There is never a point where the money starts replicating itself tenfold and all your worries are gone.

Keeping your finances under control is an ongoing endeavor and one I’m happy we’ve done.

There is an amount of peace and security that comes from saving for the future. I’m a calmer person knowing there is money going into savings every pay check.

I am happy to contribute to my 401k and pay Future Carl. He is going to appreciate the efforts of Present Carl one day.

I am happy to be able to pay down our debts and student loans. I am happy I know we have the money to live comfortably while making this happen.

I am happy we’re able to donate 10% of our monthly income to the church because I know it goes for good things. I don’t care where you stand on religion. I’ve been on both sides of the debate in my life.

But for now, I am happy where I am. I feel the religion I am living is mostly in line with my views. I am part of one fo the largest humanitarian aid organizations in the world since the church has a worldwide network of people and communication in place ready to act and serve when the need arises.

I didn’t think there was any way we could contribute to a 401k, put aside money in savings for ourselves and donate to the church every month.

But we do. We can. We are.

And I feel better because I know where my money is going and I know what it’s being used for. Can I afford to buy myself new gadgets, games and other toys at will? No.

But I know the difference I am making in my life as well as the life of others is well worse the sacrifice and hard work.

Healthcare Blue Book

Healthcare Blue Book
Find fair prices for surgery, hospital stays, doctor visits, and medical tests, based on the average fee that providers in your area accept as payment from insurers. Healthcare Blue Book also provides money-saving tips for each procedure and a pricing agreement that makes it easier to negotiate with out-of-network providers.

I never knew such a thing existed. Had I know it a couple of months ago I could have saved 2/3 the cost of my recent root canal. Spend a few minutes with this site and it will open your eyes to the costs of various procedures and give you an idea if you’re being overcharged.

via Wisebread