Depending on how an offer is written, it may state a monthly or yearly salary. For example, "Your monthly salary will be $5,000" vs "Your yearly salary will be $60,000, paid monthly" represents the same amount of money per year.

When either attempting to negotiate a raise or job offer, is it better to negotiate using the monthly or yearly salary?


  • "I would appreciate a raise of $500/month for X, Y, Z reasons"


  • "I would appreciate a raise of $6,000/year for X, Y, Z reasons"

It would seem suggesting a monthly salary increase has a psychological benefit of a lower number (even though the two suggestions represent the same net increase).

  • It might prevent an immediate No, but eventually, they'll do the math and make a decision. – user8365 Sep 12 '12 at 18:19
  • I agree with @bethlakshmi. You're really splitting hairs with this question. – Jim G. Sep 15 '12 at 2:54

Not really. In the end they have a budget - probably a yearly one. When it comes to money, most people will do the math pretty quick. No matter how you state it, if you are asking for a salary that they can't afford, or that is signicantly beyond the rate that they can get by hiring someone else, or that they simply don't think you are worth - you won't get what you want.

Most of the time, the initial offer is made in a standardized format that the company reuses. So if anything, it's best to speak to them in their own terms - if they start with monthly, respond in months in your counter offer.

The kind of psychology you propose is most directly relevant to non-researched shopping scenarios - when the consumer has spent a lot of time weighing pros and cons (like they do when making an offer), I would expect the psychological value of gimmicks to go way down. Instead, I'd optimize for making my counter-offer as easy to understand as possible. The more time the hiring staff has to think about what you just offered, the longer this process will take.


The best thing to do is to say the total anual salary that you want. So instead of asking for a $10 000 raise from $60 000, I would suggest just saying "I would like to be paid $70K"

This is the least complicated and easiest thing to understand to the person making the decision. Regardless of how you present the issue their answer is likely going to be "I'll see what I can do", and then they will think about it rendering your attempts at tricking them useless.

What you want to do though, is to supply arguments for why you think that that is fair / market value. If you do a good job their thought will be "Yeah, X per year is worth those skills." Which still doesn't mean you're going to get it - they might have budget constraints and things happening that you may not know about.


It depends on how they work their business. Some will have a range of salaries for that position. They know that a person in job description X can make between A and B dollars per unit period. The unit period could be an hour, a month, or a year.

Some will base it on what they can charge their customer on that contract. They know when they account for overhead, Fringe, G & A, profit, they have X% of the hourly rate left for salary. That limits the maximum amount they can pay an employee.

It doesn't matter how you phrase it: I would like W%, X per hour, Y per month or Z per year. They will not give you an answer right away unless you were seriously underpaid, or seriously overpaid. Most of the time they will have to run the numbers, which means they will translate it into whatever form they need.

A note about monthly salaries: Though many people give their salary as 5K a month, they are paid every 2 weeks. Only if you get the same pay for January and February should you think in terms of monthly salary.

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