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Hey guys, this week's post is from Siege Media's very own Amanda Tallent. She wrote up this post on behalf of Self Lender, one of the country's top resources to help build your credit and savings. To date, they have helped thousands of people across the U.S. boost their credit and savings. If you haven't checked them out yet, I highly recommend it.
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Here are Amanda's tips on negotiating:
For some, negotiating is a skill that takes a lot of practice. Salary negotiations can be particularly nerve-wracking, but critical to your job satisfaction. Financial well-being isn’t the only thing to consider when assessing your situation. Many benefits like working from home, flexible hours, and vacation time can be negotiated to improve your work-life balance.
This infographic from Self Lender highlights 11 benefits and expenses you can negotiate to add more value to your life. It also gives tips on how to approach each conversation so you’re prepared to ask for what you deserve.
Learning to negotiate involves a lot of practice and a little bit of confidence. Come to the table prepared with your justifications and be open to give something in return. Knowing your best alternative to the negotiated agreement, or BATNA, is another way to prepare yourself by running through all the possible outcomes.
Negotiating is all about communicating. Keep in mind that the other side of the table wants something too. Everyone’s goal in a negotiation is to reach a solution that benefits all parties. Remember that you don’t have to be aggressive, because you’ll most likely want to continue a relationship with this person or company.
Whether you’re saving money or saving parts of your sanity, negotiating is a strong skill to have both in your personal and professional life.
1. Medical Bills
Even with great health insurance, medical treatment and expenses can skyrocket. Dealing with insurance providers and hospitals can be a lot of back and forth but it’s worth it to lessen your bill. Although it’s more difficult to negotiate the price of treatment afterward, there are some steps you can take to try to cut costs.
Always ask for any discounts or rebates on prescriptions or generic brands. At the hospital, ask for an itemized receipt so you can analyze all that you’re being charged for. You can also offer to pay for costs in cash to avoid credit card fees.
2. Monthly Rent
Since living costs are usually the largest expense on your budget, try to negotiate your costs down to save big. For renters, monthly rent can be easy to negotiate especially if you know the market value and averages for the neighborhood.
If you have a rental history with the company or a great credit score, talk to your landlord about lowering your monthly rent. Reliable renters can be hard to find! Other things to consider are the lease terms, utility costs, and new appliances or upgrades they can provide at no cost to you.
3. College Tuition
Saving for college is a huge feat. When it comes time to pay your first tuition bill, don’t move forward until you’ve talked with a financial aid or admissions counselor first. Colleges may have merit scholarships available to students with financial need to help lower the cost. Other scholarships may include alumni funds or major-specific scholarships.
4. Credit Card Rates
It pays off to be in the know—look closely at your bill each month to monitor for any unexpected increases. If you have a history of on-time payments and good spending habits, call your credit card company and ask to speak to a client account manager to negotiate a lower rate. Many companies offer competitive rates since you could always switch to another company. Ask if there any other offers that may keep your business.
5. Wardrobe Allowance
If your employer requires a strict office attire, you may be able to negotiate a wardrobe allowance to offset the costs. This mostly applies to offices that have business professional dress-codes but if your job requires special attire or equipment, ask your employer to help with the expenses.
6. Guaranteed Severance Package
Leaving your job, whether by choice or not, has many implications. Prepare for the unexpected by asking for a guaranteed severance package to ensure you receive what you deserve when you leave. It could mean the difference between getting paid for unused time off or leaving empty-handed. Severance packages also affect unemployment benefits so speak to a legal advisor if you are unsure of how to negotiate the best deal.
7. Work Flexibility
Flexible hours and work from home flexibility may be a simple solution to improving your overall well-being. In fact, 33% of employers are willing to offer this benefit to employees if asked. Suggest guidelines and communication methods to your employer to make them feel more confident about the decision.
8. Better Title
Oftentimes, our job responsibilities exceed the job description. If your title no longer fits your role, research similar responsibilities and negotiate a better title. Whether it’s more accurate or for a more senior level position, you may earn more respect from co-workers and clients alike. Looking ahead, this may strengthen your resume and future career path.
9. Transportation Reimbursement
If your commute to work is racking up your monthly expenses, talk with your employer about reimbursement for gas mileage or parking costs. Some employers offer to pay for public transportation passes in order to alleviate employee costs. Traveling for work purposes should also be part of your discussion. Driving to and from client meetings can add up every month.
10. Car Insurance Rates
Depending on the make and model of your car, your age, and even gender, you may be able to negotiate a lower rate on car insurance. If you’re in an accident, speak with your insurance provider about covering all the costs from rental cars to diminished value claims. This is another instance where it pays off to have good payment history (and a clean driving record!).
11. Daycare Reimbursement
Child care is a huge expense for parents and some employers may be willing to help out with the cost. Discuss a group rate or long-term contract with your employer to see if you can save on daycare costs.
These are just a few things that you may not know you can negotiate, but there are many others! From your cable bill to a health and wellness budget, talk with companies and employers to see if you could be getting something more. Do your research, prepare your talking points, and negotiate to improve your personal and financial well-being. Remember, all you have to do is ask!
What are your thoughts? Is there anything else you would add to the list?
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