How to Carefully Manage Monthly Salary

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Working Adult Guide: How To Start Managing Your Monthly Salary?

No amount of money is going to be enough if you don’t know how to manage your finances.

After more than a decade and a half of education, many young Singaporeans (finally) graduate from school and enter the working world. They start thinking about the kind of jobs they want, the people whom they wish to work with and the salary they hope to earn.

While these questions are important, it’s equally important for young working adults to learn how to start managing their monthly salary. And similar to eating right and exercising well, adopting the right financial habits can go a long way in ensuring that you manage your money well.

Start Saving Early

The first thing you need to learn is how to save. If you do not save, you will never have enough to plan financially for other areas such as 1) big-ticket items that you need to spend on, 2) insurance policies that you need to buy and 3) investing for additional returns and income for the future.

One of the first financial goal that you should work towards is an emergency saving account. This should be between 6 to 9 months of your average monthly expense. If you spend about $2,500 a month, you should aim to have about $15,000 to $22,500 in savings.

Your emergency savings should also earn you a good interest return. You can read more here about the best savings account in Singapore for working adult.

Here are some other articles that you can consider reading.

Plan On Your Insurance

As young graduate who are just entering the workforce, your health is the biggest asset that you have. With good health over the next few decades, young working adults will be able to work and earn a living for themselves and their family.

Insurance matters may appear challenging, but they don’t have to be. To begin, you first need to understand the various types of insurance policies that a young working adult may need. Once you have a basic understanding of the various types of life, health and general insurance policies that are available, you can find out more about them in details, before committing to a plan.

Here’s a list of articles that you can read to better understand the common type of insurance policies.

Invest For Your Future

Once you have taken care of your saving and insurance need, it’s time to start investing for your future.

The idea of investing boils down a very simple principal. Instead of working for money, you let money (i.e. your investment) work for you.

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You have to start somewhere. In the past, there was a perception that you need to be knowledgeable and/or have lots of money to start investing. This isn’t true.

You do not need to be super rich or to hold a degree in Finance to be investing. Investing is also not gambling or trying to make insane profits. Rather, investing is a valuable tool in your long-term financial planning portfolio that allows your money to create more value for you. There are in fact many ways you can start investing in Singapore from as low as $100 a month.

Beyond that, it’s also good to know some other investing strategies and approaches. As your investing knowledge and experience grows, you may also be keen to try out different ways and methods of investing.

Get Yourself Equipped

Whether it’s saving, insurance planning or investing, it’s important to get yourself equipped with the right knowledge and information in order to make the best financial decisions for yourself.

Unlike other choices in life such as what to eat for dinner and where to travel to for your holidays, financial planning decisions such as the insurance policies you buy and the investments that you make have long-lasting effect. It may be years, or even decades, before you have to claim on your insurance policies, or reap the reward of your investments. So it’s important for you to make the right decisions for yourself today.

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Career Guide

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If you believe that you should be paid more for your work and want to do something about it, you have two choices: find a new, higher-paying job or ask for raise.

Both of these choices can introduce new anxieties, but they are each a gateway to new opportunities. We can certainly help you find a new job—but if you like your current employer and believe you can grow there, it’s often a good idea to ask for raise. After all, your employer may not know that you’re dissatisfied with your pay until you speak up.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to asking for a raise.

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1 . Choose the right time to ask

It’s not uncommon to want a raise. In fact, in a recent Indeed survey, only 19% of people were comfortable with their rate of pay. However, when you do ask for a raise, you need to carefully choose your timing. Ask yourself these questions as you’re identifying the right time to ask for a raise:

How is the financial health of the company?
If the company is not doing well, this is not the time to ask for a raise. As an employee, you may be aware of the company’s financial health. You should look for warning signs, such as cutbacks in spending or layoffs. Check the news for stories about your employer or industry. Do company research and look at financial reports.

Even if the financial health of the company is good, this research will be useful to you when you talk to your manager.

How is your manager’s workload?
If you know that your manager is under a lot of stress or focused on too many things right now, it may not be the time to ask for a raise. Paying attention to your manager’s moods and identifying how to help them demonstrates a level of maturity that will be useful to mention in your conversation about compensation.

When is the best time of year to ask for a raise?
In many businesses, there are times when it is natural or convenient to talk about pay. Some employers may conduct annual or quarterly reviews with employees. If you have one coming up, your employer might already expect to discuss your compensation.

The end of the fiscal year could be another option. A fiscal year is a 12-month period that companies use for budgeting and tax reporting purposes. At the close of that period (the end of January is common), employers are likely making hiring and compensation plans for the next year.

If you see that one of these opportunities is coming up, make note of it on your calendar. This will give you a headstart on planning for the conversation with your manager.

Have you successfully completed a significant task or project?
If the company is doing well and your manager isn’t too stressed, but a convenient time to ask for a raise isn’t coming up, reflect on your recent accomplishments. Have you just reached an impressive milestone or exceeded an important goal? This could be a good time to ask for a raise.

Be sure to document the details of the specific accomplishment(s) you’ll reference in your conversation about a raise. Even though your manager may be aware of your work broadly, they may not be up to date on precisely how impressive it was.

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At this stage, you may be asking yourself how much of a raise to ask for.

Every job has a market value. This value is usually within a certain range. To learn the salary range for your job, visit Indeed Salaries and enter your job title. This salary information comes from over 450 million data points. You’ll be able to see the national salary trend for your job title. You can then choose the state or metro area where you work to get a pay rate that’s appropriate for your city.

On each salary trend page, you’ll see a figure that is “most reported” (see note below). Your education, experience and other factors will influence how your pay rate compares to that figure.

By learning about the trend for your job title and your city, you will have a foundation for understanding the monetary value of your work. From there, take the following steps:

Compare what you’re currently being paid to the trends you find. Where you fall within that range may affect the increase in pay that you ask for.

Consider your education, years of experience, years you’ve worked for your current employer and any specialized skills or attributes you bring to the table. These all add value by increasing your ability to perform the job. Ideally, your employer would take them into account when determining your compensation.

Make a list of your accomplishments, taking note of which ones added the most value to the organization. When possible, use numbers to illustrate an accomplishment. For example: “Launched a rebranded company website, which resulted in 20% month over month increase in site visits last quarter.”

Identify a salary range or percentage increase in pay that you’d be happy with. Note that 3% is considered an average or even generous pay increase. That shouldn’t necessarily deter you from asking for more if you believe your current pay is significantly out of alignment with what you could earn, but it can give you an idea of where to start.

You can use Indeed’s Salary Calculator to get a free, personalized pay range based on your location, industry and experience.

Note: All salary figures are approximations based upon third party submissions to Indeed. These figures are given to the Indeed users for the purpose of generalized comparison only. Minimum wage may differ by jurisdiction, and you should consult the employer for actual salary figures.

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3 . Set a meeting

It’s ideal to ask for a raise in person and in private. If you’re not in the same location as your manager, have the conversation over a video call, if possible.

Do not ask for a raise without setting an appointment on the calendar first. The best setting is a room with a closed door. Don’t discuss it in workplace common areas, such as a kitchen or hallway. If you can avoid it, don’t ask for a raise in an email.

If you have a performance review coming up, you may not need to expressly invite your manager to a meeting since that review may already be on the calendar. If you’re not asking for a raise during a performance review, you may want to put the meeting on the calendar at least two weeks in advance.

In either case, it’s good to let your manager know that you plan to discuss compensation in this meeting. Here are some lines you can use in the meeting description or in an email.

“Would it be alright if we spent some time during my performance review discussing my compensation?”

“I’d like to set a short meeting to discuss my compensation. Please let me know if this time works for you.”

You should approach asking for a raise with the same level of seriousness you would have for a job interview or an important presentation, and you should dress accordingly. Even if your workplace has a relaxed dress code, consider dressing slightly more formally for this meeting. Your appearance can convey to your manager that you understand the significance of the conversation.

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4 . Prepare what to say

Before your meeting, you should prepare what you’re going to say to get a raise. Below, we’ve listed some guidelines and an example script.

As you’re preparing, it may be helpful to recognize that feelings of fear and anxiety are natural when discussing money. Writing and practicing a script is one way to manage those feelings. If you rehearse it enough, you’ll be able to stick to it even when you’re nervous. Throughout your script, focus on the professional rather than personal reasons why you deserve this raise.

How to start
Begin your conversation by clearly stating the purpose of the meeting. You may consider opening lines such as:

“Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today. In my current role, I’m excited to keep working towards key company goals and grow my personal responsibilities. As a result, I’d like to discuss my salary.”

“Thank you for taking this meeting. I’m excited to share some of my recent accomplishments with you and discuss my salary. Is now a good time for that?”

If your manager is open to the conversation from there, follow up with specifics: tell them the increase or salary figure you’d like, cite the research you’ve done to arrive at that number, and close with examples of your work that justify a raise. When you give an example of your work, include a metric that makes the value clear. Here are some examples of accomplishments backed up by metrics:

“Over the last few months, I planned and then executed our largest client event to date. Attendee feedback significantly surpassed last year’s event satisfaction scores, averaging an 8 out of 10. Lead generation is also up 10% since last year.”

“I’ve consistently exceeded my sales quota, most recently reaching 128% of my monthly goal.”

Here’s an example script for asking for a raise:

Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today. In my current role, I’m excited to keep working towards key company goals and grow my personal responsibilities. As a result, I’d like to discuss my salary.

Based on the research I’ve done, which includes looking at averages for my job title in this metro area and considers my tenure here, my years of experience and skill set, a salary increase of X% is appropriate.

In the time since my last salary adjustment, I’ve worked on several initiatives that have added significant value to the company. For instance, in the last few months, I [ insert example your most impressive accomplishment ] . These achievements have made me ready for a raise.

Does that sound fair?

Pro-tip: Throughout your pitch, avoid words that could undercut your position, such as: believe, feel, think, just, only, might. These words can make it seem that you are not feeling confident or sure—and if you convey uncertainty, your manager may become uncertain, too. Go into this conversation knowing that you deserve a raise and communicate your confidence with strong words that leave little room for negotiation.

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5 . Be ready for questions

If you’ve asked for a raise at a good time and given evidence that you deserve to be paid more, you should expect your manager to give your request careful consideration.

You can expect them to ask you follow-up questions, such as inquiring about the details of your recent accomplishments or the salary research you’ve done.

You can also expect there to be some negotiation. Listen carefully to how your manager responds to your request. If you feel intimidated at any point, return back to your evidence to strengthen your case. Ask your own questions to understand where they’re coming from. Phrases such as “Can you tell me more about…” and “What I’m hearing…” can create space in the conversation for more understanding. Here’s an example of how a conversation may unfold:

Manager: Thank you for that overview. While I agree that you’ve contributed a great deal to the company, a raise of X% may not be possible at this time.

Employee: From my research, I’ve learned that X% is a reasonable increase and in line with what I’ve contributed. Can you tell me more about why that increase isn’t possible today?

Manager: That amount is not something I have in the budget right now but it’s something I could make a case for in the future.

Employee: That makes sense. What I’m hearing is that you agree that my receiving a raise is appropriate but maybe not right now. How can I help you make that case in the near future?

Of course, there is the possibility that you receive a rejection when you ask for a raise. In this case, you should learn more about why you are being rejected. Ask questions such as:

“Are there skills or accomplishments you’d like to see from me before increasing my compensation?”

“Are you satisfied with my performance overall?”

“Is there a better time for us to have this conversation in the near future?”

It’s also normal at this stage to negotiate about the salary increase you initially suggested. You may need to ask for a lower amount if you are met by a lot of resistance.

If a raise doesn’t seem possible at this time, you may consider asking about other elements of your compensation, such as vacation time or flexible hours.

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6 . Thank your manager

Regardless of how the conversation went, end by thanking your manager for their time. Later that day or the next, send them a follow-up email that recaps your reasons for asking for a raise and includes a summary of the conversation you had.

If your manager needs to ask someone else about your raise, this email will make it easier for them to have a conversation on your behalf. If they reject your request for a raise, this email can serve as a record of the conversation. You may decide to request a raise again at a later date, and you can reference this email at that point.

If you feel you are not being compensated fairly and aren’t making progress with your current employer, it may be time to look for a new job. On Indeed, you can research employers and see how they are rated for compensation/benefits and job security/advancement, among other factors.

Training Budget 101: How to effectively manage your training costs

Well-trained employees are essential to the success of any company. Unfortunately, in a bad economy, a lot of businesses consider employee development to be an unnecessary expense. But while cutting your training budget can seem like the logical thing to do, stop and think about its long-term implications, as they can far outweigh the immediate costs saved.

The right training program will have a plethora of benefits for a company: it increases employee engagement, retention, and productivity; it decreases the need for supervision, reduces absenteeism, improves customer service, and boost sales.

Well-trained employees make fewer mistakes and, because they feel valued and appreciated, training increases their commitment and personal confidence.

It’s all about creating a positive and stimulating work environment. If you plan your training budget wisely, you can minimize staff turnover and maintain productivity.

As you attempt to make money-conscious choices on staff – always turn to your trustworthy HR department on suggestions for how to manage training and development budgets. Their guidance will help you handle motivation levels and business inefficiencies before they’ve gotten out of hand.

According to the Training Industry Report, an average training budget for a small company amounts to $234,850 on an annual basis. The average training cost per employee 2020 comes to $1,041.

Proper training has a positive effect on employee and customer retention, sales and overall profitability. Of course, your training budget will vary based on your specific business training needs, but typically 2 – 2.5% of the company’s budget allocated to employee training is considered standard.

What is a Training Budget

There is no real need to go into lengthy explanations about the training budget definition, but it’s good to have a general idea of what it is and what it isn’t. Think of it as all direct and indirect costs associated with courses and materials needed to analyze, design, develop, implement, evaluate, and maintain employee training or retraining.

In some sectors, there is an ongoing requirement for maintaining certifications to adhere to local, state and federal regulations related to their jobs. This can create substantial expense for small and medium companies.

Creating a training budget plan is not just necessary from a regulatory point of view, but it does make sense financially. It is one way to ensure your personnel has the skills and competencies required to complete tasks up to the required standard of quality.

The question becomes how to prepare training budgets without breaking the bank? Let’s look at a few ways to maximize the return on your training cost.

How much do companies spend on training

Many medium and large organizations invest anywhere from 2 to 5% of salary budgets back into training. While that may not be realistic for a small business, it’s important to find a training budget per employee your company can absorb. For this purpose, you can go on a ‘needs’ basis. For example, outside trainers can seem attractive, but they are not absolutely necessary.

Sometimes, senior employees under management supervision can do just as good a job as external training providers, and they’ll cost you next to nothing. Of course, it all depends on the type of training you’re interested in, as some professional and industry-specific subjects can’t be handled internally.

Before you begin planning your budget, start by assessing the training needs of your business. You may need to focus on researching which skill deficit is affecting productivity and performance. This way, your program can identify and focus on the real issues and actual needs of the business and its employees, and your training budget can be put to good use.

How to manage training expenses

Budgeting for your company’s training needs does not mean using surplus money when you have it. Ideally, you need to build a separate line item for training into your annual budget. A training budget should factor in the following costs:

· Initial briefing about the training program
· Training delivery (e.g. classes, video tutorials, eLearning, course fees)
· Training materials (workbooks, videos)
· Staff time (including replacement time)
· Instructor fee (if applicable)
· Travel, lodging or meal expenses required to participate (if applicable)
· Ongoing training (upkeep)
· Contingencies

Upon approval, your training budget needs to be carefully managed if you want to stay on track. This responsibility lies with the HR department. Naturally, every now and then there will be extra costs due to unforeseen events, such as employees quitting or temporarily leaving the company (maternity leave, sick days, vacations, etc.).

Bear in mind that training costs increase if you need to rely on external resources. As your company and staff grows, your training cost per employee will increase as well.

Keep in mind that the most important item in effective cost management is understanding the cost-revenue structure of your business. When you take a strategic view of your training program, you can accurately determine what your company needs and how to go about delivery in the most cost-efficient way possible.

Prioritize and develop a clear understanding of how the learning and development activities can be factored into your organization’s strategy. This will allow you to achieve the desired results without going over the budget.

Optimizing training structure and minimizing costs

Once you have prioritized the training needs of your employees and drafted an initial training budget, you can look at ways to maximize its cost efficiency. Once you look at the cumulative expenses of training cost per employee, you can consider several ways of reducing them:

Internally

There are a lot of options for employers who can’t afford to bring outside help and they can produce adequate results in training your employees. These include:

· Group training: earn volume discounts by training multiple employees at once.

· Find Trainers within your company: focus on training one employee with strong communication and interaction skills and have them train the rest. You can expand their job description to include training their colleagues.

· Hosting Weekly or Monthly events: These don’t have to be formal and are a great way for team members to get involved, educated and motivated. Select a topic of discussion in advance and cover all questions and concerns they may have. Listen to the information they’re sharing and synthesize it in follow-up e-mails or memos for quick access.

· Cross-training employees: This is common practice in businesses that rely on an agile workforce. Give your employees new roles or responsibilities and have them sit with someone who is comfortable performing the tasks you want them to learn. Change roles frequently to keep your employees motivated and continuously learning.

· Starting a Mentorship Program: Expanding on cross-training employees, a mentorship program benefits new and inexperienced workers without having you actually pay for their training. Have a senior worker act as a mentor and ease their transition into your corporate environment. The added benefit of a mentorship program is increased accountability.

Externally

External training resources don’t have to break the bank and throw your training budget out of order. If you’re smart about how you distribute resources and take advantage of industry-specific offers, there are ways to optimize your training costs:

· Re-using materials: most training materials such as videos have a long shelf life and may be used repeatedly. A lot of offices don’t want to have anything lying around that’s not constantly in use, but text books, CDs, and DVDs can be stored and used for new employees, so don’t be quick to throw them away just yet.

· eLearning: electronic options are more affordable than traditional training. eLearning is usually associated with decreased material costs as all or most of the training information is available online. It allows for flexibility and reduces travel costs too, as employees can access courses remotely.

The eLearning model supports the learner’s development in real-time and offers a certain degree of personalization and synchronization.

· Associations or Trade Groups: some industry associations offer discounted or free training programs for members at annual events, online, and through seminars.

· Turning to your Vendors and Clients: you can negotiate free or reduced-cost training from your vendors for specific projects or products. Clients are motivated to invest in training if it means they will receive better service.

You can use these techniques individually or try a combination based on your business needs. Ultimately, having the right training program in place will save you money in the long run.

Supporting Company Goals through Efficient Training Budgets

Ultimately, efficient training cost management comes down to employee commitment. If you want to be successful you need to factor in this component. This means setting specific goals for employees that you expect them to achieve.

Of course, they shouldn’t feel pressured that their jobs depend on it, but holding them accountable is part of the dynamic of your working relationship.

Many employers use training courses as part of employee annual performance reviews to address competency gaps, as well as employees’ desired areas of improvement. This includes setting specific training goals for each employee and letting them know they are monitored.

It’s a good idea to assess the impact training has had on their overall skills and performance on a monthly and annual basis as well.

If you are paying for outside classes to improve their knowledge on a specific subject, get employees to commit to working for you for a specified period of time after completing the training. You can have your HR department include a reimbursement clause in their employment contract if they aren’t able to fulfill the agreement.

Ultimately, you want to have the full support for training efforts from your senior staff and HR employees. If they understand the long-term value of employee development and training budget allocation, they will be able to assist you in every way possible.

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How to Calculate Annual Salary

Updated: January 26, 2020

This article was co-authored by Michael R. Lewis. Michael R. Lewis is a retired corporate executive, entrepreneur, and investment advisor in Texas. He has over 40 years of experience in business and finance, including as a Vice President for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas. He has a BBA in Industrial Management from the University of Texas at Austin.

There are 16 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

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