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How to Negotiate Your Cost of Living When Necessary

How to Negotiate Your Cost of Living When Necessary

Photo by Theo Dorp on Unsplash

Where you live is often influenced by where you work. But with the pandemic forcing many companies to send their employees home to work virtually, your geographic location isn’t as big of a factor. 

If you have decided or have been thinking this is a great opportunity to move and explore other places, you’re not alone. Even though the choice may be spontaneous to get up and go, there are some elements of moving that you will have to think about. One of those is can you afford the cost of living in that area? The cost of living is the total amount of money required to cover food, housing, healthcare, and taxes.

How to Determine Your Cost of Living

To determine the cost of living you can use a cost of living calculator that allows you to compare the costs of living in your current city versus the city you are interested in moving to. This will determine if you would be able to maintain the standard of living based on your current pre-tax income. The calculator will compare housing, transportation, food, and utility costs between both cities. If your total income doesn’t quite fit that standard of living, it will show how much more is needed to 

How to Negotiate Your Cost of Living Adjustment.

What happens when, to complete your job responsibilities, you have to move to an area that has a higher cost of living. Let’s say you currently live in Atlanta, Ga but your line of work would be more successful if you moved to Sacramento, CA with a pre-tax household income of $80,000. The calculations would show that the cost of living in Sacramento is 17% higher than in Atlanta. So you would need $13,346 more than your current income to maintain this cost of living. In that case, you would need to negotiate and adjust your payment. Adjusting your pay usually involves an increase, which is not always the easiest conversation to have with your boss. 

Creating a Living Expenses Guide

Creating a living expenses guide can be useful whether your cost of living has increased, lowered, or you’re maintaining it. This will provide you with a detailed guide to figure out what you can afford in terms of housing costs. Having a solid budget ensures enough money for living expenses, unexpected situations, and leisure activities. 

Plan Accordingly   

When you realize your current income isn’t going to allow you to afford that area’s standard of living, notify your employer. Allow enough time for you and your employer to set up a meeting and discuss your price adjustment. 

Be Confident

When it comes to presenting your price adjustment, be confident. Make a list of what important points you would look to touch on during the meeting. This will demonstrate to your employer that you’ve done your research, you’ve used the cost of living calculator, and you know the expenses.  If need be, practice what you are going to say. Also, be prepared to have evidence of your impact at work. Highlight your achievements and even connect back to how your new location will benefit your future work. Negotiating your pay can be an intimidating task. 

Give Thanks

After your discussion, follow up with a thank-you email. Briefly summarize what was discussed. If everything went well and your price adjustment was granted, revisit the email to confirm. You will now have the confirmation in writing as well. If you were not able to get the adjustment, still send an email. It shows that you are professional. 

If you want to further prepare, try out these conversation starters to help you have a successful negotiation. 

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