Never accept a first offer. (Unless it’s the big slice of cake.) Salaries, big purchases, monthly bills, and even debt payments are all open to negotiation.
Feel you. But mastering the art of the deal can really pay off. Start with a vibe check to make sure the timing’s right. Asking for a raise a month after you get hired – or any other time it doesn’t feel right to play hardball – probably won’t get you what you want.
If you're looking to lower your bills – cable, cell phone, Peloton subscription – see whether there are any deals or promo offers going on. And what competitors are charging.
Related: How to Save on Entertainment Costs
Little bit. Before negotiating a raise, prep a list of accomplishments. Especially ones that helped your company make money or hit a milestone. The more you can quantify, the better.
Tell service providers and lenders what you’ve done for them, too. Think: referred friends, always paid on time, etc. For example, reminding your bank that you’ve been a good customer for a long time could help you get things like discounts, waived fees or a lower interest rate.
Related: theSkimm on Credit Cards
Ask why not. The person you talked to didn’t have the authority to make a decision? Find out who calls the shots. Now’s not a good time? Reschedule for later.
If you still can't get a fair deal, it could be time for plan BATNA. That's an acronym for Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement – aka what you'll do if things don't go as planned. Like accepting a better offer from a competitor if you’ve got one.
Taking a seat at the negotiation table can be intimidating, but your wallet will appreciate it. So do the prep work, build your case, and keep your eyes on the prize.
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