You know I’m a big fan of saving. Whether it’s saving a few dollars at the supermarket, putting away thousands in a bank account or saving for retirement, I very much condone it as a concept.

But saving does have downsides. It often means denying yourself something in the present moment. It involves self-discipline. It also requires effort (ugh) like looking for a better deal on things.

So it’s important to remember that on the road to financial freedom, there is another lever we can pull: earning more!

I know it sounds obvious, but it’s amazing how often we forget about this very important figure – one of the four friends who will make you rich (read about of them all here). And you know the best way to earn more? Ask for it.

Ok sure, you can’t just march into your boss’s office and demand a payrise tomorrow. But let me tell you something I learnt the hard way.

It’s ok to negotiate your pay.

Does this seem obvious to you? Because it took me like 15 years to work out that I could ask for more than I was offered, and nobody would die.

One particular incident galvanised me into being more demanding: when I left a job and found out the mediocre white man who replaced me was earning $30K more than me.

The next time I was offered a role, I knew it was a low-ball offer. I also knew there was no other candidate in play. So I asked for $10k more – and guess what, they agreed! It was the first time I tried this whole negotiation malarkey, and it actually worked.

But you don’t always need to change jobs to get more money. If you are thinking about askingfor a payrise, I have helpfully written a whole post about it, with input from actual experts. You should read it here: That awkward payrise conversation: how to slay it (and not piss off your boss)

The reason this is important is that being underpaid compunds over time. Every payrise is based on last year’s salary, so the lower that salary, the smaller the increase … and so on. Sometimes moving jobs is the only way to see it jump – but even then, you may be held captive by the mental picture of what you currently, and accept less than you deserve (I certainly have).

Of course if you are in some award-wage type of job maybe it’s not that easy. But in the salaried world of secret pay deals and zero transparency, it’s up to you to fight hard for every dollar. Because if we twist the old age around, a penny earned is a penny you don’t have to save. You can spend that penny on something you want, or you can invest it so it multiplies.

That’s it. That’s the post. Just your reminder not to sell yourself short when it comes to earning what you deserve.