There’s always room to haggle the sticker price. But did you know you can do the same with mortgages and medical bills?
10. Shop for the best mortgage rate
When shopping for a new home or refinancing, gather several rates from financial institutions. By doing so, you can save precious interest dollars and put that money into your new home! “Borrowers should shop their business around to many banks/lenders to see what rates are available,” says Ade Labinjo, mortgage broker and co-founder of Burrowly. “Then use the rates obtained to pit the banks against each other for the purpose of either matching or driving down the rates they were quoted.”
9. Negotiate your medical bills
Shocked, right? Well, it is possible. You may need to know insurance claim lingo, but you can also simply discuss your bill with the collection department. There are two ways. “All medical bills contain approximately 30-40 percent errors,” says Gail Trauco, R.N. and CEO/founder of Medical Bill 911 responses. When you examine your bill, even if you don’t understand how services and procedures are billed, it’s worth a phone call to ask. Second, in some cases hospitals will offer a “pay now discount.” “Pay now” discounts can reduce your bill by anywhere from 10 to 20 percent, says Trauco.
8. Never pay full price for second-hand goods
I’d say it’s safe to say everyone knows you should wheel and deal at flea markets and consignment stores. These are not “original” retailers and people want to get rid of their stuff. So if you find a gem at a flea market, haggle for a lower price. Chances are you’ll get it!
So you’re on vacation, and you register at the front desk. You’ve already booked your room via an online travel site or through the hotel itself. But before you head upstairs, maybe ask about getting an upgrade with a better view or amenities. If the hotel isn’t booked, they just might give it to you.
Oh, and you can say you’re on a honeymoon. That works almost every time.
6. Pesky membership fees
Heads up to any new gym members! That ridiculous “initiation fee” can be waived or reduced. Just ask—nicely. They’d rather have your business. And if they say no, at least you asked!
5. Cable and internet bills
This one can take some time if you are a current subscriber to a cable company. But each year, you might notice a huge hike in your bill. Call them up and discuss any promotional packages they might have. And if they won’t budge on a discount, tell them you got a better deal from their competitors, most times that will alert them to “look harder” into discounts for loyal customers. If all else fails, try cutting the cable cord and sign up for streaming services!
4. Diamonds and jewelery
“You should know that the markup on diamond jewelry is anywhere from 50 to 200 percent and more,” says Chhavi Agarwal, a personal finance expert at Mrs. Daaku Studio. That’s right! Depending on the distributor, there is some leeway in that price. Jewelers would expect every customer to haggle. Most times they don’t, leaving the diamond dealers richer and consumers poorer. So go for it, haggle your heart out!
3. Clothing, shoes, or other “retuned” slightly used products
Imagine you’re shopping and find the cutest knit sweater on the clearance rack. It’s the last one and you have to have it. But oh no, there’s a small ravel in the knitting. It’s fixable, but they’re asking full price! Take it up to the register, show them the imperfection and they’ll probably knock a few bucks off. This goes for appliances, furniture, and housewares.
2. House Services and Remodels
If your basement is getting an upgrade to a swanky man cave, be sure to get several quotes for the remodel. Also, slower times of the year tend to allow for better rates since contractors may not be fully booked. And don’t forget to mention that you’ll pay cash (if you can). Many contractors offer discounts for that versus check or credit.
1. Rent Payments
You’ve been a great tenant. You pay your rent on time, you talk to your landlord—heck you even babysit their dog! It’s that time of year when you renew your lease. And, of course, there’s an increase in rent. But since you’re such an awesome renter and the landlord would hate to have a vacant apartment, ask if he’ll consider not raising the rent (or only slightly). You can’t lose out by asking.
When you’ve gone through this list and try out these tactics, make a list of your savings! You might be surprised.