Chicago Bankruptcy Lawyers Say Workers Could See Rise in Raises and Benefits

Good news on the job front. With the economy picking up steam, employers are again warming up to the idea of raises, bonuses and 401k matches, according to USA Today.

It's a welcome change going into the new year. But it also brings up a couple good points.

First, getting a boost from your boss is not a given. As the article pointed out, 40 percent of employers said they plan to review salaries based on employee performance next year, according to a Towers Perrin survey. You might already know this, but a poor economy is no time to be slacking off. Nor is an improving economy, as businesses might be preparing to hire again - and there are plenty of experienced, educated and job-hungry candidates flooding the market.

Second, and maybe most important, a raise doesn't necessarily mean more money. As a wise old man once said, it's not the size of your wallet that counts, but the way you spend it.

If - like most folks - you're already in the habit of relying on credit to spend more than you earn, what's to say you won't just increase your spending in proportion to your higher income? You might make more money, but you could end up with an even higher debt balance, meaning more payments, more interest and, you guessed it, more stress. If you want that raise to count, you're going to have to modify your financial behavior and start tackling your debt.

It might sound like bad news, but it's actually not. Look at it this way. If you are going to be making more money, you'll have more to apply towards paying down that debt burden. The more debt you pay down, the less you'll owe in the long run - particularly because you won't be paying as much interest.

It gets even better. Since your debt - not your income - has the greatest impact on your finances, you have the power to make yourself richer by lowering that debt, even if you aren't in line to get a raise.

Decide how much of your paycheck you can allocate towards your debt burden each month. Forget the minimum payment on your bill, which will barely cover your interest. Remember, the more you pay over the minimum, the faster you'll be free. But if you simply can't spare any extra change right now because of circumstances beyond your control, there's a better way. Bankruptcy can make paying down debt manageable for your unique financial situation.

To find out how bankruptcy can make paying off debt more manageable and secure, contact our Chicago bankruptcy lawyers for your free personal debt analysis. Because you don't have to wait for the green light from your boss to start 2010 off on the right financial foot.

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