4 Things You Can Do to Boost Your Salary

They say that money can't buy happiness, but let's face it: That's not totally true. Having money gives you the ability to indulge in the things you enjoy and outsource unpleasant tasks that eat up your time. And the key to more money? Boosting your salary.

Doing so, however, requires an effort on your part. Here are a few things you can do to raise your pay and enjoy the perks that come with a higher salary.

1. Grow your skills

Your company isn't going to pay you more money for no reason. If you want a salary boost, make yourself a more valuable employee by developing your skills. Sign up for a course, attend seminars, or shadow colleagues with more experience than you. It'll show your company that you're investing in yourself, which will make your employer want to invest in you.

2. Take on more responsibility

If you want to see your salary go up, it helps to do something to earn it. Taking on additional work will send the message that you're not just seeking a handout, but rather, are making an active effort to do more for your employer. If you're not sure where to pitch in, talk to your manager, or other managers, see what areas your company is lacking in, and offer to help fill some of those gaps. You can also suggest projects of your own that you feel would add value to the business.

3. Prove you're being underpaid

If you're not being paid a fair salary, that's reason enough to make the case for more money. But don't just assume that's the case. Rather, do your research to see how your salary compares to the average salary for your job title. If you can put data in front of your boss showing that you're being underpaid, it could be enough to snag you that boost. Just make sure you're doing a fair comparison -- you'll generally command more money in a major city than in a smaller one, so if you're not in a large metro area, you may have to settle for lower pay (ideally, you'll enjoy a lower cost of living to compensate).

4. Come out and ask

Many people shy away from asking for raises because they're afraid of backlash. But you know what they say: If you don't ask, you don't get. A good 56% of workers have never asked for a raise at work, reports CareerBuilder, but among workers who have, 66% wound up increasing their pay to some degree. Therefore, don't let nerves alone stop you from having that conversation. The worst that'll happen is that your manager says no, and you're right back where you started.

Ideally, these tips will help you score a more robust paycheck. But if they don't, and you're not particularly tied to your job, then you may want to dust off your resume and start looking into other opportunities. Today's job market is healthy and strong, and opportunities abound. If your current employer won't give you the salary you're looking for, you may be better off finding a company that will, or at least seeing what's out there before settling.

The $16,728 Social Security bonus most retirees completely overlook If you're like most Americans, you're a few years (or more) behind on your retirement savings. But a handful of little-known "Social Security secrets" could help ensure a boost in your retirement income. For example: one easy trick could pay you as much as $16,728 more... each year! Once you learn how to maximize your Social Security benefits, we think you could retire confidently with the peace of mind we're all after. Simply click here to discover how to learn more about these strategies.

The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.