Making the Big Money Decisions

Mike Cashion, MFF Director of Operations

By: Mike Cashion, MFF Director of Operations

Recently, I came across an infographic on LinkedIn that resonated with me. The focus was on the big wins or where the big money will be over the course of your life. In much of the money advice that is perpetuated out there, it is often focused on the small dollar items like a $3 coffee. Sure the frequency of this can add up to be a lot, but there are also other areas where people often do not realize that they are either spending a ton of money or missing out on a significant increase in earnings. So, I ask you to think about what are some big money decisions that you could be making that will have a large impact on your financial success over the course of your life.

Some big examples from the infographic include investment fees, negotiating salary, and student loan interest. These are far from the only ones. One of the biggest aspects of financial literacy revolves around having and growing the money you have available so that you can put it to work. Let’s start with an example with some nice round numbers to paint a picture before diving in.

Let’s compare

Eliminate your subscription to Spotify to save more money

Monthly Savings $10

Yearly Savings $120

Earn a raise/ Get Promoted/ Change Jobs to increase your income

Monthly Increase $500

Yearly Increase $6000

The difference between the two is pretty dramatic, right? You could go after a $120 savings or an increase in compensation of $6000. That is a 50x difference in value. Which would you prefer, the small savings or going after the bigger, more impact change in your financial situation? My guess is that you have more interest in the larger number associated with increasing your compensation.

Growing at work

One way to increase your income is by growing at work. You can do this by doing things as simple as showing up on time, communicating well, completing projects on time, presenting yourself well, and sharing ideas that may add value. You can also grow at work by taking on tasks that others do not want to do, learning new skills, stepping up when a new project becomes available, shadowing colleagues in another department, and by growing your network within the company.

Any and all of the above can lead to positive performance reviews and increases in your compensation without leaving your current role or company.


A lot of what is mentioned above under “Growing at work” will play to your advantage when selling the hiring manager that you are the right candidate for a new role. They will also play to your advantage when you are selling your value during salary negotiations. If you have the credentials, knowledge, and experience to go after a promotion, this is a great way to increase your responsibilities, which will in turn lead to higher earnings. Even if you do not necessarily have the skills yet for a new role, it doesn’t hurt to look around, learn more about what you need to get there, and start taking the needed steps to level up.

Changing Jobs and Organizations

While going after a job at another organization can be a great way to level up professionally and to increase your compensation, this is not something you want to be attempting to do often. If you have not been with an organization for a couple of years, it can reflect poorly on you. Stay with an organization for some time, gain experience, make an impact, and then take that value to another organization.

Going to a new organization offers a great opportunity to take a higher level role, more responsibility, or position yourself to add a lot of value to your new company.

Concluding Thoughts

It is good to be ambitious, work hard, and provide value over time. Asking for a raise, promotion, or changing jobs on a frequent basis may reflect poorly on you. It is best to not change companies more frequently than every two years. If you love where you work and are compensated well, you may be better served to stick around and grow there until an advantageous opportunity surfaces that makes sense.

Make sure you are adding significant value, going above and beyond what is expected of you, and exceeding your goals before selling your manager, company, or potential job on a salary bump. You definitely do not want to look like you are begging for more money without adding value or job hopping all the time. Employers want to invest in people who will provide value and be a part of the team over time. If you are crushing it at work, it doesn’t hurt to pitch your boss on a salary bump, go after that new role that just opened up, or consider applying to the company that caught your eye on LinkedIn this morning.

April is National Financial Literacy Month

This month-long campaign highlights the importance of financial literacy and reminds citizens how to establish and maintain healthy financial habits. 

Morgan Franklin Fellowship’s signature program, Standards of Financial Literacy, has helped hundreds to learn the concepts, rules and vocabulary of money, finance and banking. This robust curriculum is adapted from the National Standards for Financial Literacy, developed by the Council for Economic Education. This free curriculum is available to both individuals and to organizations wishing to empower those with whom they work. 

Upon successful completion of the Standards of Financial Literacy program, participants become MFF Fellows. MFF Fellows have access to additional MFF courses and opportunities for mentoring, networking, internships and participation in real-world projects. These are the opportunities which support MFF Fellows as they continue on their personal financial success journey.

If you would like to learn more about our programs, please email us.

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