Recently I saw a brief TV segment designed to help viewers save money.
The secret? Negotiate for discounts when you buy retail. Ask the service person, “Is there a coupon I could use to save money?”
Often the answer will be a “yes.” Of course, there’s a catch. You have to get to the store on a weekday morning, ask carefully, and try at another store if this one says no.
Frankly, that sounds like unrewarding work.
I’m reminded of two people I’ve encountered in my previous lives.
“Mel” was a branch manager charged with increasing sales of his high-end software. One day he returned from lunch, awkwardly balancing two large shopping bags from a local drug store. It seems he encountered a sale on paper towels so he stocked up on his lunch hour.
“Sara” was a professor at a university where research was required for promotion and rewarded with salary increases. One snowy day I caught a ride to the grocery store with Sara, thinking I would save time.
Instead, on the way back, Sara announced, “We have to stop by the hardware store. There’s a sale on light bulbs.”
I wish I were joking.
Both Mel and Sara could have invested their shopping time in something more productive. By working toward goals that would be rewarded, they’d make far more money than they’d save in a year of coupon clipping. And if you’re stuck in a job that doesn’t reward results, you can begin to find ways to earn money on the side or become more marketable.
How much can you save by haggling over a few bucks in a department store? What does that do to your sense of pride, accomplishment and abundance?
Okay, you can’t work all the time. Maybe a trip to the store counts as a break.
Can’t you think of something more fun? More stimulating? More physically active? Something that would get your creative juices flowing?
I bet you could.