Very few things in this world are black and white; the bulk of our existences falls within gray areas. The same is true for expenses, as many seemingly unwavering price tags are not as firm as they may appear. Using negotiation in everyday life spending can help you reduce bills so you have more cash free to do the things you want to do.
I doubt there are many of us that haven’t haggled over the price of a car at some point in our lives. Did you know that there are other factors besides the sticker price that contribute to your payment? By negotiating things like interest rate, due date and days in your grace period, you can save yourself a bundle. Your rent or mortgage payment may be your largest monthly payment, while your car payment is probably the second highest. Why not put a check or two in between the due dates and request that the date of payment be during the second half of the month. By negotiating for the deadline that best fits your life, you’re getting a better deal for yourself. Shop around before you commit to a car loan. The dealership will have financing options, but unless there’s a manufacturer’s incentive (such as zero percent interest or three months before your first payment is due), you’re probably better off going through your own lender such as your bank or credit union. You can use the auto loan calculator provided by Auto Credit Express to determine monthly payments and overall cost of your auto loan.
Another way to negotiate is to address your credit card debt. Having an open conversation with a representative from your credit card company can result in lower interest rates, waived fees and/or a reduction of your balance. Especially if you’ve been a loyal customer who has consistently paid bills on time, you can negotiate with your provider to receive “perks,” which can help lower your expenses. Simply call and ask for the changes you want. Just like any other negotiation, you may not get all of your wishes, but standing firm on the points which are most important to you can net you considerable monthly savings.
Other services, such as your cellular phone bill, television, and internet services can also be negotiated. Give the customer service department a call, ask if there is a way to lower your bill and remind the representative of your loyalty and years of on-time payments. Aside from getting a better rate, these companies can often offer freebies, such as premium movie channels, an early upgrade to your phone or even a rebate-style gift card. This is especially important if you’re hit with a huge bill for overages by your wireless provider. Back in the early days of having a cell phone, we were hit with an almost $1000 bill because our son went over his allotted minutes. A quick call to the company led the representative to retroactively change our plan and reduced our bill from $920 to $120. This would have never happened without that call.
A final trick for negotiation is bartering. Not everything has to be paid for in cash. Consider swapping babysitting services with a friend for alternate date nights. Another option for bartering could be services such as a haircut or massage. Consider trading your skills for your providers’ skills. If you’re an accountant, trade tax help for a monthly “cut-and-styles.” If you’re handy with a needle and thread, trade your mending or alteration for oil changes. If you have a large vegetable garden, consider trading your surplus vegetables for a weekly massage. Bartering is a great way to negotiate a mutually-beneficial deal.
The most important thing to remember with negotiation is that it never hurts to ask. You can’t get a better deal if you don’t ask for it. Ask for a better interest rate. Ask the representative to remove a fee or two. Ask for freebies. Ask for perks. You can visit sites like Wikipedia for more information on negotiation style. Always remember, be friendly and sincere when dealing with the company’s representative, and you’ll be amazed at the things you’re able to negotiate!