I'm undervalued, morale is low and my work is starting to suffer... What should I do???

I work at a small (6 employee), tight-knit IT consulting company in a major city. I'm approaching my 4-year anniversary with the company. I get paid on the low-end (15th percentile) for what I do in my city, get few benefits and I've never never gotten a raise.

A year ago, I asked my boss (also the owner) for my first raise and was denied. Not based on performance - I was told I do an amazing job and work hard - but because the company just didn't have the money. I was also told as soon as the company got some money, it was going straight to me and the other guys. Since then, I've seen us take on a number of new clients and recently a new full-time employee. None of us have gotten raises.

Since then, I've become increasingly unenthusiastic about my job. I'm not lazy, but I've just stopped caring as much as I used to. My work hasn't slipped too much as a result, but my tracking of the work is and it's becoming increasingly frustrating for my boss.

We're at the point where I need to initiate a conversation about these things.

How do I relate to my boss that I'm feeling undervalued and it's affecting my morale (and subsequently, my work) without sounding like I'm holding my best efforts hostage for a raise? I also need to communicate in a non-threatening way that I can't really keep working there for much longer at the salary I'm being paid. My family is starting to feel it, financially.
Huh if I only got a penny every time I heard a similar story. For situations like this there is no cookie cutter approach and every case is unique and so is the solution. Below are few historical examples that might give you few ideas. 

The Invention of
Everything Else
Nikola Tesla: AC cannot be properly understood or exploited without a substantial understanding of mathematics and mathematical physics (see AC power), which Tesla possessed. Tesla had worked for Edison but was undervalued (for example, when Edison first learned of Tesla's idea of alternating-current power transmission, he dismissed it: "[Tesla's] ideas are splendid, but they are utterly impractical."[3]).

Bad feelings were exacerbated because Tesla had been cheated by Edison of promised compensation for his work.[4][5] Edison later came to regret that he had not listened to Tesla and used alternating current.

Henry Ford: While Ford is today known for his innovative assembly line and American-made cars, he wasn't an instant success. In fact, his early businesses failed and left him broke five time before he founded the successful Ford Motor Company.

F. W. Woolworth: Some may not know this name today, but Woolworth was once one of the biggest names in department stores in the U.S. Before starting his own business, young Woolworth worked at a dry goods store and was not allowed to wait on customers because his boss said he lacked the sense needed to do so.

Soichiro Honda: The billion-dollar business that is Honda began with a series of failures and fortunate turns of luck. Honda was turned down by Toyota Motor Corporation for a job after interviewing for a job as an engineer, leaving him jobless for quite some time. He started making scooters of his own at home, and spurred on by his neighbors, finally started his own business.

Akio Morita: You may not have heard of Morita but you've undoubtedly heard of his company, Sony. Sony's first product was a rice cooker that unfortunately didn't cook rice so much as burn it, selling less than 100 units. This first setback didn't stop Morita and his partners as they pushed forward to create a multi-billion dollar company.

Bill Gates: Gates didn't seem like a shoe-in for success after dropping out of Harvard and starting a failed first business with Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen called Traf-O-Data. While this early idea didn't work, Gates' later work did, creating the global empire that is Microsoft.

Harland David Sanders: Perhaps better known as Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame, Sanders had a hard time selling his chicken at first. In fact, his famous secret chicken recipe was rejected 1,009 times before a restaurant accepted it.

Walt Disney: Today Disney rakes in billions from merchandise, movies and theme parks around the world, but Walt Disney himself had a bit of a rough start. He was fired by a newspaper editor because, "he lacked imagination and had no good ideas." After that, Disney started a number of businesses that didn't last too long and ended with bankruptcy and failure. He kept plugging along, however, and eventually found a recipe for success that worked.


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