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How to Make the Most of a Raise

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There’s a 50/50 chance you’ll get a raise in the next year—at least according to a recent survey that found about half of all American workers (52%) got a raise in the past 12 months.

That may seem like good or bad odds depending on if you’re a glass-half-full or a glass-half-empty person. But according to economists, it’s reflective of how much progress the U.S. needs to make before it fully recovers from the 2007–08 financial collapse.

Raises and annual bonuses used to be a mainstay of having a job, but have been few and far between since the Great Recession. Today’s average hourly wage has about the same purchasing power it did in 1978 after adjusting for inflation. Don’t be discouraged though —getting a raise isn’t impossible—sometimes it’s only a matter of asking. As many as 84% of people who ask for a raise get one. And if you do get a raise, it’s all the more reason to be intentional with your money. To ensure you’re making the most of your raise, take these seven steps now.

how to make the most of a raise

Getting a promotion can backfire, but whether your raise is due to a promotion or not, if you practice some restraint and are intentional with your spending, you set yourself up a successful financial future. Getting a raise is a time for celebration—you’ve worked hard and you earned it! But, before you buy top-shelf bubbly, take a minute to make a conscious decision about what’s right for you and your money.

Sources: Economic Policy Institute | Pew Research | Bankrate 1, 2 | Jobvite

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