I have been working at my current company for three months. Since I am a recent graduate with significant student loans, I've been living at home and commuting an hour each way to and from work.

I would really like to be able to move closer to the company so that I can reduce the commuting time and commuting cost, but my current salary combined with the student loans makes this impossible financially.

I would rather not leave my company (to either find a better paying position or one with a smaller commute). How can I bring this up with my company to try to negotiate better pay?

Edit in response to the "duplicate": That question doesn't have an answer. I'm the only one at my position so I'm not "underpaid" compared to my peers.

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    Hey Nathan, welcome to the Workplace! Could you help clarify a few things about your question? Are you asking if it's okay to look for higher paying jobs? If so, what is making you think it isn't okay? Are you asking how to bring this up with your current employer to ask for their blessing? There are a lot of details, but it's a bit hard to get advice if people don't understand specifically what you're asking for support with.
    – jmac
    Commented Jun 6, 2013 at 0:42
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    Thanks for the clarification -- it really helps. When you say "looking for my own place" do you mean you want to buy a house in the area? I want to focus the question a bit more, but right now it seems like the issue isn't that your company isn't paying enough, but that you want a better lifestyle than your current salary will let you afford. Is there a specific reason you need to find your own place? Are you currently living far away from the office or something of the sort? It is hard to give advice on how to tell your company, "I want to live in a better place, pay me more"
    – jmac
    Commented Jun 6, 2013 at 1:06
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    I've made a rather aggressive edit to focus the question. If you think I left something out, or that I missed the point, please feel free to edit it more to your liking!
    – jmac
    Commented Jun 6, 2013 at 1:23
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    I'm not sure how the question noted is related to mine.
    – Nathan C
    Commented Jun 6, 2013 at 11:59
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    XY problem? Is the question specifically about increasing salary, or are you open to other approaches to solving your problem of living far away and not liking the commute? Commented Jun 6, 2013 at 15:18

2 Answers 2


Salary is paid for your work, and nothing else. Your living factors including place, loans, hobbies, family, desires, etc are completely irrelevant. If you ask increase for those reasons be prepared to be turned down and flagged.

For stuff like moving closer it may be possible to ask some kind of help from the company, that can be in many forms, including worktime adjustment, loan, advance, colleagues helping to move your stuff, etc.

You can however get more money if you convince that it's a better alternative than others (like your leaving, etc). If you are underpaid for whatever reason, chances may be fair to reach a good balance. If your current money is considered fair, and you plan to play on lock-in factor, you might get a raise now and laid out ASAP.


The main problem here is commuting distance and you want to reduce commuting cost and time. The below are the suggestion which will help you

(1) Check with your organisations Compensation and benefits policies for the following things

  • House allowance support: Some organisations provide house allowance support for specific areas. Check for such policy

  • Personal Loans: Some organisations provide peronal loans or other type of loans with 0% or with nominal interest less than what banks give. Check for such policy.

  • Travel allowance: Check if your organisation policy covers any kind of travel or commutation allowance for your level.

(2) Have a discussion with your manager about your problem. And check for below options

  • Work from Home option: Most of the organisations provide work from home option. That depends on the team and management. If you can organise your meetings and your dependencies with other team you can avail this option few days in a week which reduces your commutation cost and effort

  • Eligibility for salary increment and promotions: Check what are the eligibilities for promotions and salary hikes. Don't disappoint if they say that they do salary hikes exercise annually.

  • Other options to solve your problem: Check if there are any other options or suggestions those will help you to resolve your problem.

The other options are you have to check for options like discounts for apartments where apartment rent will fit into your budget. I can not elaborate more because those options will not fit for WP.SE.

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