In Career, Entrepreneurs, Money, Salary, Wealth, Women

My salary over the years

In detail:

Age 23: $65,000

This was my first job out of school. I was offered $50,000 initially, counselled by the interviewing partner to “not ask for more than $50K“, and being a rebel, smelling a weasel, I negotiated an extra $15,000 by leveraging the other 2 offers I had and asking for WAY MORE than $50K.

I didn’t even really give a number as to how much more I wanted. I just knew if they really wanted me, they’d give me their max to seal the deal, and they did, a full $15K more which none of the other offers could come close to matching.

Everyone else, accepted at $50,000, grateful that they were even offered that much at 23 (which I am not denying is a BOATLOAD of money, but if there is more on the table to be had, why would I not ask for more of it?)

Now especially as a freelancer, I negotiate often, here are some posts I have written over the years:

Age 25: $67,000 at the start and then $130/hour ($260K)

I got a raise of $2K after a year. WOO HOO. Not really. But if you think about it, my base is already getting bigger – $67K versus other employees who joined at the same time, only going up to $52K.

I was not pleased with the company at this point, but sucked it up and waited until I was fully vested to get their employer contribution match, and then quit a few months later to freelance, as I got so frustrated/fed up with the entire project and the managers I had (I had 4 of them overlooking my shoulder), that I quit on an impulse, with only $2000 saved.

I panicked the next day, but stayed calm – what is the worst that could happen? I get another job at another company making the same salary or more?

2 days later, I signed a new contract for $130/hour and started working. It was with that contract that I cleared the last $18K of my student loans in a single cheque.

Age 26: $0 (traveled for a year)

After that contract (it was gruelling, I worked a lot of over time and banked about $30K/month from it), I took a break and traveled for a year around Europe and Asia with my boyfriend (now partner).

It was pretty awesome, but in hindsight we should have held off for a year, took another contract as more of a buffer, as the recession hit the year after.

Age 27-28: $117.50/hour ($235K)

After our trip, I only had about $30K to live on, so I kept it simple and super cheap, unwilling to plow it into the market during the recession to buy things ‘on sale’ because I was so scared I’d have no money to live on.

After a year or so, I found another contract working in another city (I was Baby Bun-free), and we did the long distance thing again while I was there. The market was pretty depressed at this point so I couldn’t ask for more than that.

You may be wondering if that extra $0.50 makes a difference and it does. That’s an extra $1000/year. Every. Penny. Counts.

People who negotiate with me may think I am a penny pincher, but I don’t really give AF.

If $1K is peanuts to you, then give it to me. I’d rather have, hold and eat those peanuts.

Age 29: $325/hour ($650K) but I worked only 10 weeks

Then, I moved to the U.S. on a TN Visa, working for a company, but only lasted 10 weeks and chilled out the rest.

I lived in Dallas, Miami and mostly Manhattan for about a year before realizing the healthcare & benefits here would cost me an extra $2K/net a MONTH. That’s $24k/year, or let’s say $50K gross. It is far too much to cover even as a freelancer, and I quickly realized Canada had the best benefits and the best rates because of its universal healthcare.

For that time, I had asked for $325/hour, and got it. I did my 10-week stint, and then saw the rest of Manhattan like a tourist until my visitor’s visa ran out. I DID shop a lot, but ended up regretting a whole bunch of it when we had to move back to Canada because I should have realized our car wouldn’t fit all of this NEW stuff.

Age 30-31: $0 (chilled out)

So, after being in the U.S., I came back to Canada to re-settle either in Toronto or Montreal, and chilled out… so much that I got pregnant, and had my entire pregnancy and 7 months of maternity ‘leave’ unpaid for by the government and draining my savings, to have and care for Baby Bun (now, Little Bun).

By the 7th month, I was getting antsy and my savings were dwindling. I basically raided some of my investment accounts to keep living because I hadn’t expected to get pregnant (A), and (B), I didn’t save enough extra cash aside, a hard lesson to learn.

Age 32-35: $115/hour ($230K)

In the meantime, while on maternity, I was waiting for the PERFECT contract to come up, and went to a few interviews that were bust, although one called me back after I signed my second contract, asking me to come work for them as I was the best they’d found. Too late.

I went to this contract for less than what I’d normally take, because I was a teeny bit desperate for money at that point. I still got my BARE MINIMUM rate, but it wasn’t what I was used to.

Luckily, the project like all the others was crazy AF and I worked so much overtime I think I made over $300K gross, and netted $250K that year in my company.

I did negotiate up my rate sometime after, but I soon left because the client became toxic and really stressed me out with their nonsense.

I shored up all of my savings and investments again, and things were beautiful. I purchased a house in cash ($300K was my half), and a brand new luxury car in cash.

Age 36: $130/hour ($260K)

And now, here I am. Working at a new contract, asking for the rate I really want, and getting it. I had to negotiate that extra $5/hour out of them by again, leveraging other contract offers I had.

I am aiming for a $900K net worth by the end of the year, and to be a millionaire (and stay there) by the end of my contract.

Share Tweet Pin It +1

You may also like

“Where’s your nanny?”

Posted on June 27, 2018

Don’t wait to enjoy your life

Posted on April 10, 2014

Would you rather have money or time?

Posted on April 16, 2018

Previous PostSunday Shopping: A pretty, practical & professional lunch bag that isn’t ugly AF
Next Post6 Best Ways To Teach Kids About Money

1 Comment

  1. Katie (Canadian Budget Mama)

    K, woah, I’m new here haha what do you do for a living?!?

Leave a Reply