Ten Things I have said that have Saved Me Money

First let me preface this bit of literary fun with my wife’s comment, “OH MY GOD, NOT ANOTHER Top 10 List!”, as you know that is normally my reaction, but sometimes I read yet another Top 10 list on the web and end up feeling I should ridicule this “cheap pop” writing technique used by far too many writers (including me).

So throughout my life there have been a few instances where I actually have said the right thing, and something good has happened in my life (FYI: the most important was when I asked Mrs. C8j out for the first time). So without further adieu (or writing savoir faire) here is my list of the top 10 phrases I have used to save money in my life:

Top 10

Top 10

  1. What is my price ?
    You’d think that is so crass and silly, there is no way you would get a lower price, but yes, this worked for me, I actually learned it from one of my first bosses.
  2. I can’t afford that price, sorry.
    This is followed by me leaving, and many times this has worked. Buying cars this works quite well, but you must be willing to leave and walk away.
  3. That can’t seriously be the price, is it?
    I blurted that one out at the Future shop and managed to get a much cheaper laptop. The down side was that it was an HP laptop, which I have learned are not of the highest of quality (unless you wish to cook bacon on it).|
  4. What if I pay cash?
    This one rarely works, but it is always worth asking.   In my younger days that one worked but these days it is much less likely to work, given the concept of cash is dead.
  5. I know, Mr. Jones, he said I’d get a good price here
    Mr. Jones is a generic name I use, but in more than one instance I (or more specifically Mrs. C8j) has got the “friend of Mr. Jones” price, and it can be quite substantial.
  6.  I would like to close my account with {Bell|Rogers|Fido|Telus| etc.,}This seems to be the only way I get discounts with any telephone, internet or cable supplier. If you don’t get to customer retention, you won’t get the best deal.
  7.  I am not paying for banking, if you won’t give me free banking, I will go to {PC | ING }
    That got me free banking many times, but it has been much harder to get free banking from TD these days. I did instead get a full point knocked off my TD secured line of credit rate.
  8.  {Say nothing simply wear a suit}
    This worked for me many times while traveling, I have been upgraded to business class or access to the business lounge for various airlines. Have no idea why this works, maybe I just look good in a suit?
  9. I am sorry officer I am an idiot, and just didn’t realize how fast I was driving
    As I pointed out in my post about talking nicely to police folk, sometimes not acting like a complete jerk when the police folk stop you, can sometimes be to your advantage.  In fact talking like a complete douche bag to anyone in authority or folks in the service industry will only put you in a much worse place than you were before you opened your mouth.
  10. Do I really look that stupid?
    Yup, I actually did say that when buying a phone, and also a couple of times buying other pieces of technology that I do know something about. It’s a form of intimidation  that you should use sparingly (because you do sound like a douche bag (see (9)).

Did this help you? Do you have other phrases you have used to save money?

{ 13 comments }

{ 13 comments… add one }

  • valleycat1 February 26, 2014, 2:19 PM

    Re: wearing the suit when traveling – I discovered the same thing once I started traveling on business sometimes. Now even when I am traveling by plane for pleasure I try to dress less casually than I had in the past. I definitely get better treatment. As a female, now of a certain age, I’ve been surprised how much of a difference it makes.

    Reply
  • Sustainable PF November 3, 2012, 7:28 PM

    Re: cops. Don’t tell them you work for the provincial government. They will expect you to know better.

    Reply
  • LifeInsuranceCanada.com October 17, 2012, 7:58 AM

    One last comment :). About the suit – any decent saleperson knows the cardinal rule – don’t prejudge your customers. Maybe in the 1950’s you could tell from a suit and a briefcase that someone had foldin’ cash. But today, people in shabby jeans and a t-shirt are as likely to be flush with cash as someone all done up. And people all done up are as likely to be drowning and debt with no free cash as someone who’s in shabby jeans. And yet some salespeople still prejudge.

    So I guess the strategy should be, dress in a suit if you’re going to the bank to ask for a loan, dress in jeans if you’re car shopping?

    Reply
    • bigcajunman October 17, 2012, 8:07 AM

      Agreed, a friend’s wife actually would go out to buy anything looking like a homeless person, just so no one would bother her too much (sometimes it worked too well, she wouldn’t even get served).

      Reply
  • LifeInsuranceCanada.com October 17, 2012, 7:54 AM

    More to the point, if you’re negotiating larger purchases, don’t hesitate to ask for a discount, or make an offer. I find it a bit uncomfortable doing so (perhaps odd for someone who’d be percieved as working in sales) but my spouse has no problem doing so – and frequently saves money off of retail.

    The thing that retail sales people ‘want’ is a sale – today. And they’re sometimes willing to discount in order to make that close ‘today’. Be fair, saying something like ‘it’s a bit outside my budget, but I’d offer $XXX today’ can be attractive to the retailer if they have any room.

    We saved I think $1000-$1500 or so off a bedroom suite this year off of retail. They gave us a discount for the floor model and it was still more than I was prepared to pay at that time. Told him we’d come back at Christmas for their big sale. Then I came back in the store and offered him my drop dead price that I was prepared to pay that day. I didn’t expect him to take it, but it was my actual ‘I’ll pay this price right now’ offer. And he took it!

    Reply
  • LifeInsuranceCanada.com October 17, 2012, 7:50 AM

    >>>>The down side was that it was an HP laptop, which I have learned are not of the highest of quality (unless you wish to cook bacon on it).|

    This seems like a feature I’d be willing to pay extra for in a laptop.

    Reply
  • Joe October 16, 2012, 2:05 PM

    Before getting chummy with a cop, always remember they’re on the look out to pin something on somebody or to fill their quota. Be polite, absolutely. But give no information. It is much easier to fight an illegitimate ticket when you haven’t opened your mouth.

    Reply
    • bigcajunman October 16, 2012, 3:11 PM

      Depends, I have found treating a cop with respect typically helps things a lot more than going full attitude on them.

      Reply
    • Abigail October 16, 2012, 3:57 PM

      Being polite to police worked for me. I have only ever gotten one speeding ticket. By that point, frankly, I was due. I’m a bit of a leadfoot. So I was polite, didn’t argue and just looked a little rueful but resigned when he said he’d have to ticket me.

      When he came back, he said he’d knocked a few miles off. Later, I figured he’d save us about $50 — and it was at the end of the month, when they’re under pressure to bring in money.

      Reply
      • Joe October 18, 2012, 9:18 PM

        I didn’t tell you to flip the cop off. Be polite, like I said.

        But remember that he’s looking to ticket you. If you think Cops in Ontario don’t have a de facto quota, you are being exceptionally naive.

        Cops want easy targets who won’t show up to court and fight. If you’re a polite person who sounds like he wrote the Bar, it’s just not worth it to them. If a cop asks “Do you know how fast you were going?” The answer is “Yes”, not a mea culpa.

        And again, the addendum to this is to show up to court and fight it. It’s a lot easier to fight a ticket when you haven’t self-incriminated. Other than Ontario’s cell phone law (which is grossly unconstitutional), it doesn’t get worse just because you fight the law. It should be about public safety but I think it’s just become yet another government tax grab.

        Also, if the cop is at the side of a road and isn’t wearing his or her reflective traffic vest, make sure to get his or her badge number, report the safety concern to the Ministry of Labour and call the staff sergeant to voice your complaint. If you feel the Officer has not conducted him or herself properly, there’s also the Office of the Independence Police Review Director to contact (even though it’s like SIU insofar as it fails miserably to protect citizens, e.g. the G20).

        If you think you drive too fast, I would encourage you to cut it out. Speed kills.

        Reply
  • Gillian @ Money After Graduation October 16, 2012, 10:05 AM

    Great tips. I hate how you have to threaten to leave to get good prices. So annoying !

    Reply
  • Greg October 16, 2012, 8:49 AM

    Is the point off your line of credit dependent on you paying for banking? What’s stopping you from moving your other accounts to a PC or ING?

    Or borrow some extra on your line of credit to maintain the minimum balance to get the fees waived, wouldn’t that be cheaper at today’s low interest rates?

    Or best of all, pay off that line off credit and save the interest payments, and get rid of TD’s expensive banking services. LOCs are a wealth killer especially if the interest is paid in after tax dollars.

    Reply

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