Let's face it, we all would like more money in our pockets. Especially now, with everything getting so much more expensive.

But what if you have an employer that simply can't afford to give you that big raise at this time? We have to keep in mind that they're trying to stay afloat themselves.

Now yes, some of us in New Jersey will be getting raises every year, depending on what you're making now. With the minimum wage on its way to $15 an hour, you're guaranteed to get a raise if you're at the minimum rate now.

But what about those above that threshold? Have they received an adjustment in their pay?

And with the added expenses on the employer who must now pay the newly mandated minimum wage to their employees, they may be faced with a tough decision.

A man opening wallet looking for some money

Does the business owner try to keep their prices as low as possible while accommodating the new pay rates? Or does the business owner give everyone raises and set their costs to consumers much higher than they'd like?

I point this out because it's a real dilemma for many business owners in New Jersey. Not to mention the high rate of inflation right now.

Burning money.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

All these factors might not make it feasible for raises to go out across the board. So what can an employer do to show their appreciation if they can't do it through payroll?

Well, here's something a friend of mine receives now as a thank you for all their hard work from their employer. If they get their job done to a satisfactory level, they get to receive their time back.

Clock at the Toms River library
Clock at the Toms River library (Vin Ebenau, Townsquare Media NJ)

Here's an example of how this works. They're a 40 hour per week employee with certain tasks they must do every week.

If they get done earlier than expected come the end of the week, they get their time back and still get paid for it. For example, if they're scheduled till 5 p.m. on a Friday, but they manage to get everything done for the week by 3 p.m., they get to start their weekend then and still get paid through 5 p.m.

Time change reminder with clock on lawn
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Here's where this matters. Instead of trying to find busy work for them to do, they got rewarded by having that time back at the end of the week to themselves.

This could also be a motivational perk for some. Just knowing they have the ability to get that time back, even if it's small overall, might be enough to encourage one to give it their all and get the job done sooner than later.

Not a bad incentive to pay though time. And a good way to allow people to have a better life-work balance.

"Black Friday" Marks Start Of Holiday Shopping Season
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But what if it isn't possible to leave the job early, such as in a restaurant or retail environment. Well, it may just require a little thinking outside the box.

White clean calendar on solid yellow background with copy space, business, travel or project planning concept
Nuthawut Somsuk

What if the perk here is being able to schedule earned time? Since most service employees have to stick around for potential customers, maybe carefully scheduled earned time could work as an alternative.

Perhaps it only equals a half hour for the following week. But that little bit of time could make all the difference to the employee. They could get a guaranteed late start or early finish without fear of losing pay.

Of course, it's only an idea. But it would be nice if all businesses in New Jersey could find a way to pay their employees through time outside of PTO?


And it would take pressure off of payroll as well. It might be tough to receive a great raise when the business climate doesn't necessarily allow it to happen for some.

But being able to have time back here and there to help you manage your life without fear of losing pay or using PTO is also a nice perk. And let's face it, a work-life balance is something many of us could use more of in our daily lives.

So for a moment, let's forget about a monetary raise and focus on time. Would you be in favor of having some time back for a job well done? Let us know below.

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These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey

A trip to New Jersey doesn't have to be all about the beach. Our state has some incredible trails, waterfalls, and lakes to enjoy.

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to the hidden gems of New Jersey, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is such a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it's a great workout.

Before you go out on the trails and explore some of our listeners' suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.

If you are going downhill and run into an uphill hiker, step to the side and give the uphill hiker space. A hiker going uphill has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless they are marked as an official trail, steer clear of them. By going off-trail you may cause damage to the ecosystems around the trail, the plants, and wildlife that live there.

You also do not want to disturb the wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.

Bicyclists should yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also yield to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you will encounter on the trails in New Jersey.
If you are thinking of bringing your dog on your hike, they should be leashed, and make sure to clean up all pet waste.

Lastly, be mindful of the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it's probably best to save your hike for another day.

I asked our listeners for their suggestions of the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions:

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