Blakbeltv3, your numbers are way off and so, in my view, is your reasoning.
1) There's no such thing as a "lower middle class average annual income," because there are no natural boundaries that separate a lower middle class from everyone else; one can define it however one wishes.
2) In any case, your question addressed everyone, without specifying a particular class.
3) Any "average income" represents an average of the dollar figures alone, which don't necessarily reflect what an *average person* earns. For that, you need to know the *median* income, not the average. (I'll be happy to explain the difference between mean and median, if it's not clear to you.)
4) $75,000 is more than *double* the median income of all working people in the USA (and even further off for just the "lower middle class").
5) I'm just guessing here, but maybe part of the problem is that you used a figure for *household* rather than individual income (though it's still too high even for that). But households don't usually volunteer and almost never get raises; individuals do.
6) According to census data, the median income for all working people in the USA in 2010 was $31,631. (About $7,000 more than that for full-time workers only, but you're asking on a website with lots of teenagers, most of whom will likely not be working full-time for a number of years yet.)
7) That means the income difference would be under $1,600 dollars for the year; under $8,000 for five years. Not quite as dramatic as the $18,750 difference you cite.
8) There is some bias built into the question. Who gets 5% raises these days? Only the "1%" who are the very wealthiest, for the most part. Most workers are lucky to get 2 or 3%. Even "high performers" seldom get 5%. http://funadvice.com/r/15i04f1vq9n
9) But the biggest flaw is in your responses to your own question, as Nora points out: You didn't ask which increases your income more (to which the answer is obvious). You asked which is more rewarding. The rewards you cite for the increased income are real, but you have yet to address the rewards of volunteering at all. For example, your raise may indicate that you are doing your job well, whatever that job is, but when you volunteer, you know you are doing a *good* job - and you are recognized for it. Not all of us have the luxury of a job where we feel our labor actually benefits the world and not just someone else's pocketbook.
Actually I don't see why you can't do both. Volunteering isn't a 9-5 mandatory job. There are all sorts of things you can volunteer to do that can fit your timeline. Besides, how do you know that while volunteering along with another volunteer, who may take a liking to you...doesn't offer you a better job with better pay? Some of out of work who have decided to use their free time to help others, got jobs as a result. You never know. But don't volunteer with that expecation in mind as it can be it's own reward as well. But sometimes those perks do happen in life.
The masses speak! So get out and do it! When you see litter pick it up, develop and strictly implement a recycling policy in your house. Contribute to various community funds. The ways you can contribute to society are almost limitless so think about it and get started. Let's enrich this tired and war weary world by individually, and thus collectively, trying to make the world a better place. What kind of world do you want to leave for your kids?
I think it is cool that everybody is saying volunteering but I feel like there are some other factors that could go into the 5% raise that people are missing. Like actual recognition that you are doing a good job. and think about the uses you could put that money to use for. You could go back to college, or start a college fund for your own child. Take the girl of your dreams out on the date of life. Idk something like that.
Lower middle class average annual income is $75,000. with a 5% raise your making an additional $3750 per year. so compare an income of $375,000 every 5 years to an income of $393 750 every 5 years. It is actually a lot more.
I'll take the money. I'm a greedy bastard and love my money :D. (And I see absolutely nothing wrong with that).
There are many things I want to do in life, and sadly they all cost money. Just living cost money.
Contribute your time to collective efforts, too, like whatever groups are doing the work you find most necessary for healing this broken world.
Volenteering. 5% isn't really all that much and the wonderful feeling that you get from volenteering, in my opinion, is much better (:
did know you answering surveys can help the economy, believe me try this one
More rewarding: Community service
Most needed/helpful: 5% raise
gotta get that guap, get the %5 raise
Money isn't everything..