There are plenty of ways to save on a daily basis–clipping coupons, resisting the urge to buy something, packing your lunch instead of eating out, etc. There are many ways to live a more frugal life, and chances are, you incorporate the ways that are easy. You know, the ones that don’t cause you to change your lifestyle much. Things like giving up cable and getting streaming through your Xbox instead. That’s fairly easy and doesn’t change your lifestyle.
Another easy way to save that doesn’t change your lifestyle is to ask for discounts. Have you tried it?
Asking is surprisingly easy, and even more surprising is how often you actually get the discount. You just have to get up the nerve to ask the first time; once someone says yes, you’ll gain confidence, and it’ll be easier to ask next time.
Credit Card Fees
A few years ago, I made an online payment to my credit card on the day it was due, which was a Saturday. The web stated that any payment made on the weekend wouldn’t post until the next business day. Yep, my on time payment was counted late, and I was charged a $25 late fee.
I called the company and asked them to remove the late charge. They did immediately. Why? Two reasons. First, I asked. Second, I never make late payments, so they rewarded my good payment history by removing the late payment. I’ve had this happen to me 3 times in about 10 years of credit card usage. Each time I called and they removed the charge.
Credit Card Interest
We’re paying down debt, and one thing that slowed our progress was our credit card APR of 13.99%. I called to ask to have the rate reduced. I had to talk to a supervisor, but she lowered our rate to 9.99%, and she gave me enough reward points to cover the cost of our annual fee. I saved a few hundred dollars right there in about 10 minutes, just by asking. (But when I got an offer to move my balance to a 0% APR card a few months later, you better believe I did it.)
Grocery Store Purchases
Asking for discounts isn’t limited to credit cards. If I see something at the grocery store that is at the sell by date, I’ll ask someone in that department to discount it. I’m only successful here about 50% of the time, but still, that’s half the time that I save more than I would if I hadn’t asked!
Garage Sales & Craigslist
I love shopping garage sales in the summertime. If things are already priced dirt cheap, I don’t haggle, but if the price is too expensive, I have no problem asking for a lower price. Most of the time people will say yes because they just want to get rid of their stuff.
Likewise, people on Craigslist expect you to ask for a lower price than they have listed. Just don’t get ridiculous with the amount you ask. That can be insulting for the seller and usually won’t lead to a deal.
These are just a few examples of how I’ve saved by asking for a discount. However, any time I think asking might lead to a discount, I ask.
What was your most successful discount you got just by asking?