6 Things To Do When You Get a Raise

What is one thing someone should do when they earn a big promotion and raise at work?

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To help you make the best out of your promotion and raise at work, we asked business leaders this question for their best insights. From expressing gratitude to updating your resume, there are several pieces of advice that may help you make the best use of your promotion and raise at work.


Here are six things to do when you get a raise:

  • Express Gratitude

  • Make Smart Decisions

  • Avoid The Trap of Overspending

  • Improve Your Quality of Life

  • Adjust Your Monthly Savings

  • Update Your Resume

Express Gratitude


The concepts of the self-made man and overnight success have begun to unravel as professionals start to recognize the contributions of others. After a big win, it’s tempting for hard-chargers to set the next goal, but allow yourself a moment of reflection. Consider what you learned from the victory and who helped you along the way. Then, thank them and commit to repaying the kindness. Mentors move mountains.


- Tim Toterhi, Plotline Leadership


Make Smart Decisions


When you receive a promotion or raise, make sure you adjust your investment and retirement plan. Take advantage of this increase and put more into your 401k or IRA account. Pay down high-interest debt and build up your emergency savings with 3-6 months of expenses. If you have those taken care of, set up a non-retirement investment account to accumulate funds for the mid-term. Review your plan with a Financial Advisor to make sure you are making suitable financial decisions.


- Alison Stine, Stine Wealth Management


Avoid the Trap of Overspending


Once your income goes up, you will probably feel inclined to spend more because you will likely afford more. For that reason alone, you should take things slowly, or you might end up in debt even though you’re making more money. Lack of planning, more than lack of money, is what leads to debt. When you think you have more, you often start spending more, which can quickly drain your bank account. The first step is to begin a new budgeting plan and track money in and money out. Know what your expenses are, then compare how much you still have left at the end of the month before you spend any more. In the end, it’s about avoiding bad money surprises. Avoid the need to resort to credit cards to cover the gap of what you still need to pay until your next paycheck.


- Andrei Vasilescu, DontPayFull



Improve Your Quality of Life


While the emphasis is on paying off debt and other financial goals, a raise should also improve your quality of life. A better quality of life often makes you happier and healthier, making it an excellent way to utilize the promotion. You can get a gym membership, learn a new skill, refurbish your car, or even see a therapist. Whatever you choose should make your future much more pleasant. This activity can be your way of celebrating yourself and acknowledging your hard-earned achievement. Take the opportunity to recognize your accomplishments.


- John Tian, Mobitrix


Adjust Your Monthly Savings


Once you learn your new income level, you should review your financial plans to determine how much you want to save and spend each month going forward. It can feel tempting to want to spend your increased income on anything you please, and perhaps at first, you may want to treat yourself as a reward for your raise. However, you do not want to be financially irresponsible in the long run.


- Drew Sherman, RPM


Update Your Resume


When you earn a big promotion and raise at work, update your resume immediately. Even if you do not expect to actively job hunt in the near future, this action can help the promotion feel more official. Plus, the act can help you better structure your journey. By envisioning what bullet points you might like to write in a few years, you can create goals and timelines for the new position.


- Carly Hill, Virtual Holiday Party


See my feature in How To Ask For a Pay Raise on Wealthy Single Mommy for additional tips.

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