DEAR JOYCE: Although I've been a hard-working and loyal employee, at 27, I'm barely making it between paychecks. A friend tells me that it's a big mistake to plead personal money issues if I ask for a raise. Why? It's the truth. -- D.E.
Basing your request for a raise on the claim that you'll have to go on food stamps if you don't get it ignores the WIIFM (what's in it for me) value proposition.
If your boss doesn't have anything to lose by turning you down for a raise with a cookie-cutter excuse -- such as "business prospects don't look great this year" -- you'll know where you stand.
While no get-a-raise formula is 100 percent certain to bring more cash in...