On 6/20 I Blogged “NEGOTIATING IS A PSYCOLOGY’. That Blog though, basically dealt with business situations. We don’t realize however, that our days are filled with endless opportunities to save money by negotiating. To do this, we need to learn first, a few things.

To recognize a negotiable situation. Although most are obvious, not all situations are.

Then we need to become comfortable with stepping up to the plate.

Next, we need to learn the different subtle ways we can negotiate.

Learning this skill will affect both the ways we earn and spend our money. I’ve been referred to as “The man that teaches us to squeeze more juice out of our orange”. Today we’ll talk about squeezing in the way we handle our money (I’m not talking about ‘Budgeting’). Note though, that “Squeezing more juice out of our orange”, truly needs to be applied in every aspect of out lives. From ‘Time’ (with our children, our spouse, time at work, time with ourselves), to squeezing more juice for our health (no pun intended with juicing vegetables), to our  experience of Happiness each and everyday, to vacation time and the list can go on.

To begin with, as the saying goes “Practice makes perfect”. You will find like in any other skill you practice, not only do you get better, but it becomes fun. With money it is a double payoff. It not only becomes fun, but you have more money in your pocket. Now that is really fun.

The question(s) then, are How? When? and Where do we start?

I can best answer by giving my own experiences and those of others, as living examples.

What’s interesting, is even our grocery shopping can be negotiated. Simply review what items you use on a consistent basis and check with your friends. Then ask the store manager for a price break if you buy a case (that you will divvy with your friends). You will be surprised at the savings you have all been missing out on.

A couple, whose apartment lease was expiring, had gotten their usual notice of the increase for their next lease. They called the management company. They said they fully understood that the increase was in line with the market price. In addition, that the apartment was great and were extremely happy living there. They were living there for a number of years and were never late with their checks and were perfect tenants. Due to the hard economic times they were experiencing, they asked for  a little help. ANY help that could be offered would be greatly appreciated. It wasn’t a problem getting the increase reduced by $25.00/month. They just saved themselves, over the 24 month lease, $600.00. Not bad to pocket that. In truth, they had no problem paying the increase, but when you learn how to ‘squeeze more juice out of your orange’ you will find yourself pocketing money all over the place. You just have to ask.

I needed a good headset for a Skype audio interview coming up. In the local big chain electronics store, they offered me two different sets. One was $29.99 and the other was $59.99. It was obvious to me which I needed. I didn’t ask if they could do better on the price (for the $59.99 one). I simply said that was the one I was interested in, but it was more than I had hoped to pay, for a headset (not true). I said I was going to shop around in the other stores to see what they had to offer. Needless to say, the salesman and manager were not letting me walk out and never see me again – losing the sale to another store. They said no problem; I could have the $59.99 one for the price of the cheaper one. I just pocketed $30.00 without what appeared to be negotiating. ‘Squeezing more juice out of my orange’.

A family I know had to cancel their airline flight, and use the five tickets another time. The penalty would be $200.00/ticket. When it came time to re-book the flight, they were reminded of the $200.00/ticket penalty. The husband said he understood the rules and if there weren’t penalties, people would cancel and re-book all the time. He expressed that the $1,000.00 for his family, (with the three little girls) was a lot of money for them. He would appreciate any help the person on the phone could offer or if it was possible to speak to a supervisor. The person said no problem. They would ask their supervisor. The bottom line was they just saved $1,000.00 in addition to another $470.00, because the new tickets were less money. Usually the airline credits the difference towards the purchase of future tickets bought. In this case, they credited their credit card. A ‘Home Run’, ‘Squeezing more juice out of their orange’. Just learn to ask!

I can go on and on with examples. The bottom line though, is practice learning the skill of ‘Squeezing more juice out of YOUR orange’. You will amaze yourself with the amount of money you will have left over from your income that you never had before.

This one I was told blew me away. It shows how everything can be negotiated down. Three couples walked into a restaurant & asked to see the menu. They looked it over & commented they would love to eat here. However, between drinks, appetizers, entrees and dessert, it would cost a little more than they wanted to spend and would have to dine elsewhere. Bottom Line: The manager came over and offered them either a free drink or appetizer or dessert. That was an awesome move.

“It’s My Money & I Want It!”
is the name of the game. Learn now how to play it.

Harris Glasser – Author, Lecturer, Business & Personal Consultant
www.HarrisHelps.org “ It’s My Money & I Want It!”
(more next week)