With financial markets falling sharply and unemployment rising, times will change for a lot of people. Cash will be in short supply and the need to stretch money will become very important
If you have not budgeted well before, you will need to learn how to do it in a hurry if you or your spouse loses a job or face reduced hours. The costs of everything seems high and there is only so much in savings and checking.
What can you do when money is tight? Well, above all else you need to know how to get more bang for your buck, as the saying goes. You have got to figure out where to cut costs and reduce the amount you are spending in every possible way.
Beyond that, you have to really put in the effort day after day, week after week, in finding ways to save and cutting out unnecessary expenses any which way you can and every which way but loose.
What about bargaining and do people do that any more? Yes, they do, quite a lot of people in fact. Some may call it something else, like negotiating, but it still happens a lot. You just have to be willing to show the business that you (1) are a customer who needs something, but (2) you are willing to walk away and go to the next establishment.
Here are some of my ideas on how and where to bargain for discounts:
- Grocery stores. Can you really bargain here and get discounts and savings? The answer is yes, you really can, and you probably do it already. You can buy things on sale, you can use coupons, you can get savings by being a rewards member, you might be able to get double coupons, and there could be food items discounted because they haven’t sold yet. Beyond that, talk to the store employees and ask them how you can get the most savings and discounts.
- The car dealership. All of us have heard the stories about how people spend hours negotiating and bargaining on a new car, truck, or other type of vehicle. This is very important to do as there is so much money involved, even more so if a lot of the purchase price is being financed. Make sure you really come up with the deal and price you want for your family, and be prepared to walk away if you don’t get it.
- Home purchase. This is probably the single most expensive purchase you will make in your lifetime so you better bring your best bargaining skills to the table. Don’t get into a bidding war, and if you sense there is one coming then maybe it is best to walk away. Find multiple locations and then when you think you have a chance at a price you want, and you figure your down payment is sizable, bargain for the best and lowest price on every dollar amount related to the transaction. Keep at it in order to get the best deal.
- Restaurants. You may not see people asking for a lower price than what is on the menu, but you may see someone use a coupon, or ask about special promotions, or check in about a manager’s special. Try to get the best deal and lowest price you can.
- Garage sales. This is one of the easiest places to bargain for discounts. Most of the stuff on sale at yard sales is there for a reason, and that reason is they want it gone. Regardless of any price listed, come up with a dollar amount you are willing to pay and ask if they will accept it. Often the answer will be yes.
- Insurance. A lot of people pick the same old car insurance or home insurance that they’ve been using for years, and that’s fine. You might be able to save more if you switch, so call up another insurance company, mention what you’re paying now, and ask them if they can give you a better deal.
- Bank accounts. If you’ve always wanted to get an account at a new bank, maybe one closer to you, but you haven’t yet, then maybe they need to make you an offer you can’t refuse. Look at their promotions and advertisements and ask for those deals for you and your family.
Give these suggestions a try in your life. Or if you have other ideas, try to make them work. The world has suddenly became an almost impossible place to survive, but we can do it if we do it together and share tips and suggestions.
If you are not sure about the financial implications of some of your decisions, make sure to seek advice from family or from professionals. Some larger transactions are complicated even for the experts so don’t be ashamed to ask for help in getting a great deal.