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It should go without saying that you don't start a salary negotiation with the words "I need." The way to get better pay is to prove your own value to the company and have the chutzpah to ask.
The best time to ask for a raise is after you have enjoyed a success at work. Have you brought in new clients or business recently? You may be worth more now. If managers have been complimenting you on your productivity, this may be a good time to ask them to pay you in accordance with what you bring to the compay.
If you are being given more responsibility, then you are doing more work. Therefore, it may be a good time to ask for a raise. And they wouldn't be asking you to do more if they hadn't noticed how capable you are.
The best time to ask for a raise is after you have researched what others in your field, with the same education and levels of experience, are making. The combination of "I'm bringing value and profits to this company" and "at other companies, some in my position make $X" may be enough to persuade.
This one may surprise you, but companies often plan budgets for the upcoming fiscal year around November. Waiting until December to ask for a raise may influence your employer's decision. The best to ask is at a time when upper management can truly consider the budget and give you a raise.
Over at Mint they suggest asking for a raise early in the week, and not at the end of the week. People want to finish up and go home come Thursday or Friday, but are fresh on Mondays and probably still on Tuesdays.
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