Jeff Yeager ( www.ultimatecheapskate.com) wrote The Ultimate
Cheapskate’s Road Map to True Riches (Broadway, 2008).
; Have your lawn mower tuned
up in the winter and your
chimney swept in the summer.
Hire businesses when their
services aren’t in demand—
in exchange for a discount
; Make a mid week appointment
with your auto mechanic.
; Hire a tree-care service to
trim your trees in winter.
; Get married between the
months of November and April.
; Schedule exterior home-repair
jobs in the fall and winter, and
interior jobs during the spring
and summer seasons.
; Ask your accountant for a
break on fees by offering to file
for an extension on your taxes.
; Bargain down weekend
rates at business hotels
and midweek rates at resort
hotels and retreats.
5HAIR SALONS A Chicago Miser Adviser who prefers to go nameless confessed
to her hairstylist that money was a little tight after
she retired. She now gets her do done for half price.
How? She agreed to schedule her appointments
when the shop wasn’t busy. (See “Timing Is Everything,” at right.) Another tip: Stylists who move to
other salons are often willing to give discounted
fees to loyal customers who follow them.
6INSURANCE Every April 1 (a.k.a. “I Ain’t No Fool Day”) I call my insurance company and ask for lower premiums on my package policy, which includes
home, auto, and other coverage. And almost without fail, I get it. I may agree to some
adjustments, like a higher deductible for property damage, or collision-only coverage
for an aging car. And sometimes the agent discovers a new
discount I just became eligible for (no traffic tickets, new car
alarm, etc). The key is to keep your agent alert by regularly asking about discounts. And check with other insurers to compare.
If you do find less-expensive coverage, let your agent know.
7RENT I’m a landlord, and I can tell you from experience that
landlords hate vacancies almost as
much as they hate tenants who don’t pay their rent. If you
can move into a property right away or prepay your rent for
a couple of months, use that to bargain for a cheaper rent.
8SUBSCRIPTIONS “It’s simple,” says John L. Hoh Jr. from Milwaukee. “Publishers don’t normally make money on subscriptions.
They make money on ads, which are based on subscription
numbers. They need you more than you need them.” Hoh says
he regularly negotiates two thirds or more off normal renewal
offers on newspapers and magazines by calling their circulation departments
and telling them he’s going to cancel unless they can give him a discount.
PHOTO CREDITS ON PAGE 68
9REPAIRS AND REPLACEMEN TS If you want to haggle for automotive repairs, a new roof, plumbing work, or the like, always
choose independent businesses over national chains. They have more
flexibility to negotiate. First, get several estimates. Then let the haggling
begin. Brandan DuChateau, who lives in Scandinavia, Wisconsin, started
a bidding war between three auto shops in her area when she needed
new tires. She ended up driving away with a savings of $100.
10CATALOGS Andrea Bahr of St. Louis works for a catalog company. Her advice: Always ask if there’s
a promotional discount on the product you’re ordering. Often
there’s some advertised discount out there that you might
not know about, she says, and operators aren’t allowed to
give it to you unless you ask. Also ask for a discount on shipping
charges. If an item is back ordered and you’re not in a hurry
to get it, say you’d be willing to wait—if you get a price cut. ;
Another cash-saving tactic
is bartering (swapping goods
and services—no money exchanged). You can barter for almost anything. Not only are
people trading in their own
neighborhoods and communities; you’d be amazed by all the
swapping going on at websites
like Craigslist ( www.craigslist
.org) and barter clubs such as
BarterBart.com and uSwapit
.com. Check it out. Here are some
tips to help you swap safely.
; Check merchandise carefully
and confirm expected services
in writing before agreeing to
doing an exchange.
; Be especially careful when
; Consult IRS Publication 525—
and a qualified tax professional—
to better understand the tax
consequences of your specific
bartering activities. —J. Y.
Trade your stuff for
someone else’s stuff,
and you both win