It’s that time of the year again.
Everyone has resolutions and besides the obvious health ones, we all want to be better about our finances. Well, I can’t help you there. I suck at excel and I’m the spender in the marriage.
But…if you’re going to have to spend, you might as well be smart about it, right???
Here are some of my favorite (lesser known) money saving tips.
1. Offer to Leave a Review
Once I used one of those screen repair places and I was really happy with the result and turnaround. As I was holding the phone and getting ready to pay, I asked if they offered a discount for leaving a positive review (was already planning on it).
The guy behind the desk said, “sure, why not?” and I saved $10 on the spot. The review took me about 3 minutes to write so I’d say that was worth it.
In order to do this, you have to already have an account on review places. I suggest having a Google, Yelp, and Facebook account at a minimum. More review accounts= More leverage.
Along the same vein, sometimes businesses (especially those related to the home services) will offer a discount incentive to put a yard sign- just ask!
Note: I’m not advocating to leave a fake 5-star review. I’m saying if you were already planning on leaving a favorable review, use that knowledge to your advantage.
2. Pay with a Non-Credit Card Option
Everyone is so points-obsessed and so businesses have to account for getting dinged for the transactional costs of credit cards. As such, many have adjusted their pricing accordingly.
But sometimes if you pay another method, they might be willing to pass the cash savings to you. Once we went to pay an allergist bill of $306.43 and I called to see if there was a discount for paying with a debit card (thinking maybe $20-$30 off).
Turns out they give a pretty significant discount for non-credit card payments. The total cost ended up being $245.14 for a total savings of $61.29. Picture proof below:
3. Pay in Full
If you can financially afford to pay for something in full, businesses always love that. They’re concerned about their cash flow and minimizing risk so offering to pay in full is appealing to them.
So that means you should ask if there’s any sort of a discount to put up front. I know that for our ophthalmologist office that we save 20% off the total bill if we pay at the end of the visit.
This is especially true of small, service-oriented businesses because you’re often working directly with the owner.
4. Check For An Email Sign-Up Offer
This is especially true of restaurants, but oftentimes there are discounts or offers for giving them your email.
We were recently in Austin and went to Culinary Dropout. As I was looking up their website to check out the menu, a newsletter option appeared to sign up to save $10 off. I spent about 10 seconds signing up and saved an easy $10 off our bill.
Several other restaurants have offers of free appetizers or free entrees in exchange for your email.
And don’t worry, you can use unroll.me at the end of all of this to do bulk unsubscribing.
You know what they say…it never hurts to ask. The worst they can say is no (unless you for real struggle with rejection).
We were recently staying at the Hilton Austin which we booked through Hotwire Hot Rates (highly recommend). So we saved some coin in not knowing which hotel it was until the transaction was final, but sometimes there are some setbacks to that.
For instance, the breakfast buffet isn’t included.
I called the Hilton before our trip to see if there was a way they could “make an exception” and give us free breakfast. I was DENIED!
While at the hotel, I went to ask the front desk gal about our parking situation and then I slipped in a “Is there anything I can sign up for to have a one-time free breakfast for our family?” (Because ain’t no way I’m paying $24.99/per person for a breakfast buffett)
She smiled and asked how many were in our party. I told her. Then she said, “I can write you guys a one-time voucher.”
And just like that, I got an expensive breakfast gratis!
The two biggest things I could implore are 1.) ask because you never know and 2.) do your research beforehand. Even a simple Google search “Business Name” + Deals might pull up a Groupon offer or a new customer special.