How to come to peace with low salary increase

Post date: 2021-10-26 04:56:19
Views: 27
I am so, so well off and happy. I don't need another penny. I perform at par with work. This year, they only gave me a 3% salary increase. How can I mentally envision my salary, in a way that doesn't make me sad?

I've had 3 jobs. My first job, I was at 5 years, and I went from about $50K to 100K/year. My second job, they hired me at 115k, and kept me the second year, before firing me. That job also had a 17% bonus, for a total of 135K.

My third job is amazing. Everyone here is young, hard working, and the culture is as good as it can be. There's more vacation, career progression, and everyone is (generally) happy and upbeat, compared to my last two jobs where people were sad and downtrodden and constantly complaining. They handled covid great, and I can still enjoy working from home, or going in for some meetings. I love it.

However, my third job started me at $118K + 5%, and just gave me a raise of 3.64%, to $123K ($130K total). Many employees are unhappy, but it's a huge company and likely won't budge on their policy/number, or make personalized exceptions (they just removed that ability).

$130K total is more than I ever need. I'm saving a crap ton, and can retire at 45. If I got an extra 10K/year, it wouldn't improve my life in any meaningful way. I already spend on virtually everything I could want. I live conservatively, but I don't think that would change with more money.

Something deep, encoded inside of me, still feels like I've made negative progress over time. That little number being smaller makes me feel bad. And - I watch the news. Inflation, depending on how you measure it, is incredibly high. Probably like 3-5% in my estimation. So... my raise was potentially flat or negative.

My smooth monkey brain sees the inflation number, and my low bump, and it says "you should be unhappy". At the same time, I know that's ridiculous. I don't want to fight hard to get the money, and I don't want to quit for more money. I just want to change how I think about it.

Do you have any ways you think about money that would help? Have you struggled with a lower salary than in the past, but were able to be content? Or were you always chasing that high / increasing number?
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