Asking for money is terrifying, there’s no doubt about that. But there are some occasions in life when it’s a must.
Thankfully, there are ways to ask for money without sounding like a greedy brat, so here are three situations where you need to ask for money and how to do it in a way that doesn’t ruffle any feathers.
Asking for a payrise
So you’ve worked hard to be the best employee ever, you’re doing tons of work and still getting paid buttons? Sounds like you need a raise.
It is not, in fact, career suicide to ask for a bit more money, especially when you’re valuable to your employer. But there’s a right way to go about it.
If your performance review is coming up, it might be a good idea to bring your request up during that, but if not, ask your manager if you can schedule a meeting. Don’t ask by email or over the phone, make sure it’s in person if you can.
Go into the meeting prepare. Firstly, do some research and find out how much others who do the same job as you get paid. You can use a salary checker like this one to find out. Make notes on what you’d like to cover during the meeting - why you feel you deserve the payrise, any recent accomplishments or successes, any work you’re currently doing that is outside your job description - this will help you to feel more confident and make sure you don’t forget anything.
Don’t get emotional, compare your salary to others in your office, or get overly personal in a bid to pull on your boss’s heartstrings - it won’t work in your favour, and you want to focus on the amazing value you’re bringing to the company rather than throwing a pity party.
Oh, and don’t issue an ultimatum that you can’t follow through on! It will lose you respect and discredit your hard work.
Increasing your prices
Raising prices for your business can be like walking a tightrope - too high or at the wrong time and you can alienate your customers and lose out on business, but if you don’t increase them, you won’t be able to sustain your business in the long-term.
The secret to getting it right is in the delivery - make sure your current customers are aware of your new prices well in advance, and share openly on your website that your prices will be going up, and when, which can be a clever way of getting new customers, as they’ll feel that they’re getting a bargain by getting in before the price goes up. When I increased my prices recently, I let my email list know first, swiftly followed by my Instagram followers as a bit of an exclusive. I’m also planning to write about how I went through the process in detail to keep things transparent and to help you if you’re wanting to do the same.
Timing is also an important factor. If you raise your prices during a period of low demand, you’ll lose out. If you can, make sure your price increases happen during, or just before, a busy period in your business.
Finally, it’s at this time more than ever you need to really emphasise the value your customers will get from working with you or buying your products. Think less about the actual work you’ll be doing and focus on how this will help your customer and improve their life.
Asking for money you’re owed
Ooh, this is a tricky one. How infuriating is it when you’ve lent money to a friend and then see them sunning themselves on an exotic beach in a brand new bikini with what looks like a very expensive cocktail? It’s enough to make the veins in your forehead throb, isn’t it?
As with asking for a payrise, it’s best to ask in person and not to get emotional. Keep calm, this is a simple transaction. They borrowed money from you, and they agreed to pay it back. Simple, right? Well, maybe not…
It’s important to be direct, and not hint that you’d like your money back. If they agreed to pay you back by a certain date, remind them. If not, ask “when do you think you’ll be able to pay back the £x that I lent you?” If you’d like it back by a certain date, make it clear. Try not to get angry.
A word of warning: this kind of thing can ruin previously lovely relationships, so think twice before lending someone money. Don’t feel guilty about saying no; it isn’t your responsibility to fund someone else, no matter how unfortunate the circumstances.
If someone messes you about or comes up with every excuse in the book not to pay you back, obviously don’t lend them anything again! They are saying that they don’t appreciate or prioritise you with this behaviour, whether intentionally or not.
TL;DR? Here are the main takeaways:
It’s all in the delivery - stay calm and polite
Ask in person, if possible
Don’t try to guilt trip the person you’re asking
Be clear on the value you offer and make sure that forms the basis of your case
Have you ever had to ask for money, and how did you go about it? Are there other situations you’d like me to cover? Let me know in the comments.
I'm a financial coach helping women to to manage their money and live fulfilling, financially sustainable lives. If you're ready to take control of your money and reach your financial goals, click a button below to find out how I can help you to master your money.
I also create courses and resources to help female entrepreneurs to manage their business finances.