Even if the market finally restores my 201k for 401k status, I think the economy has sensitized us all into being more cautious with our finances. AARP magazine, which I am obviously far too young to get (hah!), had a good article on things to do for the next year. Some of the following ideas came from that article.
Medical costs drive us all crazy. If you live near a Walmart or other large chain that has committed to the $4.00 prescription, you can save a bundle if your meds fall under their categories. Keep in mind that many in the medical community will negotiate fees if you can’t pay or don’t have insurance. Many would far prefer a cash payment than the nightmare of insurance submission.
Banks and credit card companies will negotiate fees. I recently canceled a card that I had used for a long time to get airline miles. Flying has become such a pain that when possible I now drive. I called to cancel the card because they had an annual fee. They offered to cancel the fee if I would keep the card. If you haven’t looked at your mortgage rate, you should. If you have been diligent in paying your mortgage, you may save some serious bucks by refinancing.
Electronics are bounced all over the place. If you can find a local retailer and even some locally managed chains they will probably negotiate a price with you. Home Depot dropped a price when I told them I could go to Sears and save $25.00.
Automotive products are being hammered. New car negotiations are obviously very flexible at this point but don’t ignore shopping or negotiating on upkeep. My dealer was $400.00 more for the SAME tires than my local garage. My local camera shop was $10.00 cheaper for the same $200.00 flash than the absolute best price I could find anywhere on the web. So look around before buying.
Contractors, at least in my area, are being very competitive to get the work. My gutter guy who is an all purpose handyman, was aggressively seeking inside work for the cold months and willing to negotiate prices.
There are many ways to save a buck, one of the hardest for many people is to ask. You don’t need to be grumpy about it, but ask if there is anything they can do on the price. You may be surprised how often someone will work with you to get the business.
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