Very few people in today’s world do not look at money, and how to keep it, in a different light. Even if you are not among those unfortunate individuals without a job or loss of most of their life savings, chances are you are, or have become, more money conscious. Money saved today can be used for investment to increase future financial security. It can also be used to obtain those luxuries in life that you have been foregoing “just in case”. So what are some areas in which you can negotiate and save on money?
If you don’t have health insurance, you may already know that many doctors will discount their services for a cash payment. This is not something that they advertise. You have to ask. It typically only applies with an individual doctor and not someone in a practice or group of physicians. Don’t be embarrassed. The worst a doctor can do is say “no”. Actually, you don’t talk to the doctor him or herself, but to the person who schedules appointments. If they don’t already know the answer, then they will ask. Why would a good doctor do this one might wonder? Often your cash payment for an office visit is actually more than another patient’s insurance coverage will pay the doctor for that same visit. You may not get the doctor you want, but then again, you have nothing to lose by trying.
Another huge way to save money is by negotiating on dental visits and procedures. Many people who have medical or health coverage do not have dental coverage. This is actually an area that can provide thousands of dollars of savings. You need to check on the internet for dentists or peridontists near you. Look for those with an individual practice, then call and tell them your situation. In a tough economy, dental work/health is very often a service people will be willing to eliminate until they can no longer do so. You would be surprised at all of the excellent dental professionals out there who discount hugely for cash. Many will let you pay half down up front and half the next month, with savings often exceeding the thousand dollar mark. Remember, to a provider, a nice payment on their work is better than no patient, and no payment at all.
Now let’s look at something a little more on the luxurious side. Maybe you used to get a weekly or monthly massage that you feel you can no longer afford. You definitely don’t want to try to “negotiate” with your regular masseuse for a lower price. So start looking at those coupons that come in the mail for new business openings offering an introductory offer for your first massage there. If you go and like it, you can probably negotiate something between that introductory rate and their regular rate if you buy a package deal. Or, avoid negotiation altogether and just look for the coupons and flyers advertising new salons and personal service openings. You can save somewhere between $20-$40 for an hour massage and often similar amounts on other beauty oriented services.
Basically, there are very few goods and services these days that you can’t negotiate on. Just remember, this technique won’t work with a large company or chain where rules and prices are written in stone. Businesses aside, don’t forget Craigs List and garage sales. Negotiation is almost standard on those sites and at garage sales and flea markets. Some people buy a variety of items on Craigs List by finding someone needing to sell at a certain time at a deep discount. Then you can re-list the same article or items at a big mark up and make a nice profit for your efforts.
Now that you are aware of a few of the less talked about ways to negotiate and save money, what will you do with your new found income? You can invest by buying and selling goods on a larger level. Maybe you just want to take that vacation you’ve been putting off. Or, you can update your home, thereby increasing the profit potential of what is probably your biggest financial investment. This may be the time to use your extra cash to start or get back in to the stock market, very carefully. However you decide to invest your savings, whether into making more money or increasing your personal sense of well-being, be aware that many things in the marketplace can be negotiated. You are leaving money sitting on the table if you don’t at least try. There is nothing to lose, and years of potential fun and profit to gain!
Father of three and married to a lovely women. Always looking for ways to save money, and invest it properly for my children's future.