Personal finance advisor, New York Times Bestselling author and entrepreneur, Ramit Sethi, has a theory.
According to Sethi, saving money is less about going without, and more about having uncomfortable conversations.
Sethi contends that our biggest problem when it comes to money, is that we do not realise how much of what we pay is up for negotiation.
That includes phone bills, credit card fees, rent, fines, gym membership, television subscriptions and car insurance.
Mia Freedman, Monique Bowley and I discuss the negotiation tips that everyone needs to know on this week’s episode of Mamamia Out Loud. Post continues below.
In the Western world, we’re not taught to negotiate. It’s not widely accepted to be part of our economy. But, according to Sethi, all you have to do in order to lower your bills, and wrangle your way out of fines, is follow his expertly formulated script.
With a phone bill as an example, Sethi says to start with the following sentence:
“Times are tough…”
Don’t add any more information. They don’t need to know your personal circumstances. And you’re not lying – times are always tough. This helps to justify the reason for your call.
“I’ve been a loyal customer for three years…”
It’s critical you don’t enter into a dialogue like this until you’ve done your research. Work out how long you’ve been a customer. Have you been a good customer? Have you always paid your bills on time? If the answer is yes – then use that as leverage.
Demonstrate your loyalty to their company with facts they can’t deny.
"I'd hate to go somewhere else... X is offering half that price..."
Again, this is going to require some research. What are their competitors offering? Are there special deals that X offers? Compare them.