I am going to make some assumptions and you can adjust the math for yourself as you see fit.
Let’s say the usual raise keeps pace with the standard of living and you get your 2.8% annual raise. That works out to an increase of about $35 a month on $10/hr.
$10 x 2.8% = 28¢/hr increase
28¢ x 160 hrs worked in a month = $44.80
44.80 x .8 (20% for taxes) =35.84 take home a month
Now let’s see if YOU can do a better job and give yourself a better raise!
Let’s say you spend $150 a month on groceries and the occasional fast food. Cut out a stop or two at the fast food joint, cut back on some unnecessary junk food and now your grocery bill is down to $110 this month. You have just finished the month with an extra $40 in your pocket and the IRS didn’t have their hands on it!
It’s better than getting a raise; you have increased the money in your pocket, you have bettered your health and you are on your way to a better lifestyle. Food isn’t the only thing you can try this with, pull out your phone bill, electricity bill, or your subscriptions/memberships and see where you can cut down.