Every Wednesday, I’ll (try) to post up a Simple Living Tip, with an emphasis on tips that can be done while living a more traditional 9-to-5 life.
In an ideal world, you’d negotiate everything from the smallest purchase to salary. My belief is that we all need to learn to like (love?) negotiations because if you don’t learn this very important skill, you will pay more for almost everything and not be able to leave your 9-to-5 life or even retire comfortably. Note: Remember these tips are for those who haven’t made the big escape from traditional work life and are more likely to be in urban settings.
However, we all have time limits and some people just hate negotiating so I’m attempting to provide some “rules” that will make negotiating easier and do-able when you have limited time:
- Negotiate only on purchases over a certain amount. You decide the amount that is worth it for you but I wouldn’t advise over-haggling on $10 items.
- Negotiate your salary. If you don’t negotiate anything else, the one thing you should do is negotiate your salary. This doesn’t only apply to money. You can negotiate benefits such as vacation time or tuition reimbursement, etc. Despite my introverted nature, I am very proud that I’ve negotiated my starting salary at my current company and this has translated to higher earnings over time.
- Make negotiating a fun game. Repeat the mantra “It doesn’t hurt to ask” over and over in your head.
- Pick a negotiations method – by phone, in person, or in writing (email or mail even). If you really hate negotiating, email is probably the easiest. I’ve successfully negotiated everything from medical discounts to car prices and even salary via email. For me, asking in person is the hardest because I think the other person (usually a salesperson) is judging me. If the amount is big enough, however, I will ask! Pick the easiest method for you and skip the rest. Note: For salary, I presented my case via email but at some point, this should involve a person-to-person discussion.
Do you have great negotiating skills? Any negotiating/simple living tricks? Share your success stories and inspire the rest of us!