On pay day: notes on income increases

Watching my income compound with raises is pretty cool.

As of today, I have now grossed as much as I had grossed by:

  • September 30th in 2011 (so two months ahead of last year’s income pace)
  • November 30th in 2010 (so four months ahead of 2010’s income pace)

Assuming that I get a paycheck at the end of August, I will have then grossed as much in 8 months this year as I did in all of 2010. By October, I will have grossed as much in 10 months this year as I did in all of 2011.

Also pretty cool: my net monthly pay is now pretty much what my gross monthly pay was when I first started working full-time. That means that my gross monthly pay has grown approximately by the tax rate or almost 30%.


This is why growing your career is so important for your finances. The difference between a 4% raise and a 5% raise for me is now over $1,000 per year.

Growing your career also sucks for your sleep sometimes. After moving this month, I started working 12 hour days, so I haven’t really had some time to rest in a while. We’ve been really good about not working weekends – just working extra hours during the week, so at least I’ve had those two days a week to recuperate.

Readers, have you done the math on how your income has increased throughout your career?


12 thoughts on “On pay day: notes on income increases

  1. That’s fantastic, congrats Leigh.

    Coincidentally I did the math recently and I’m up 167% on my gross salary since I started four years ago.

    I then wonder at times whether anyone deserves increases like that and then I remember the weeks where I’m working 14-15hrs + weekends and feel better about it. But there are many people working just as much and aren’t as lucky (e.g. multiple part time jobs), so I’m really grateful for the position I’m in.

    • Congratulations to you as well! 167% in four years is pretty impressive.

      I have similar sentiments. I’m 24 years old and making this much money?! Why do I deserve that much? Then I remember about supply and demand and that despite what I think, my job isn’t super easy and not everyone can do it.

      Yeah, I’m not a huge fan of those crazy weeks myself… at least my manager lets us expense dinner and I’m still managing to play sports a little bit.

  2. Sadly, while my income has increased since leaving grad school (a jump from $15K to $40K gross), it has not increased once since getting my first “real” job, which I’ve had for four years. Which means, with inflation, that I’m making less every year. I will just keep applying to other jobs that pay more!

  3. That is an interesting way to look at it! Any income increase is good. Ours has been drastic because we have decreased our expenses while increasing our income. It’s a double whammy.

    Great job!

    • Thanks! I haven’t really changed my expenses much, but my income has kept going up, which is pretty cool. Your double whammy is pretty awesome too!

  4. Congrats!

    I actually make less now than I did before business school. However, it is due to a conscious effort to make a big career change and I couldn’t be happier. I feel lucky to have learned in my 20s that money does not always buy happiness. I also am thankful that I saved a lot during my ‘old’ more lucrative career.

    • Thanks!

      Interesting that you make less after business school when so many people go to increase their income. It sounds like you made a good decision though!

  5. I’ve just started my career so I don’t know how fast it will grow yet, but growth like that is important to me. I grossed my 2011 earnings in the first six months of 2012 so that was pretty cool (though it almost doesn’t count since last year I was a starving grad student for the first half of 2011!)

    • You talking about how you’d grossed your 2011 earnings by the end of June was what made me think about this again! I didn’t run anything like this last year, but having two years of past history now is pretty cool. I’m sure you’ll have even more interesting data next year!

  6. Awesome, I got a random salary adjustment this year so my income has definitely gone up. Ever since I started working, I’ve increased my 401k by the amount of my raise. But now I’m maxed out, so I don’t know what to do with my next raise ! haha. I guess it’s a good problem to have :)

    • Thanks! Congrats to you as well – definitely a good problem to have :) I actually had to reduce my 401(k) contribution with my raise this year because I would have maxed it out before December! I would just send your next raise to savings – you’re saving up to buy another rental property, right?

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