Burnout (in Gifs)

People have been noticing that I’ve been a little quiet lately. I’m not churning out posts at my normal rate (which is still less than a lot of other bloggers).

It’s because I’m feeling like this right now…

As some of you know, I’ve recently taken a new job with a startup which is in the final stages of prep before being launched. Part of my job involves a lot of writing and editing. I also have some contracted side gigs that require I hit certain deadlines. Which at times makes me look something like this…

Ultimately, I dislike posting content on this site simply for the sake of posting. I want to spend time creating thought-provoking and educational articles.

Trying to produce quality content for my job, my freelance work and Broke Millennial has left me feeling a little bit burned out. Plus, it seems like everyone in my life has decided to have a monumental event happen in May…graduations, weddings, bachelorette parties…oh and my birthday.

So, I humbly ask that you forgive my  inconsistency with uploading posts. I’m not going anywhere. I’m just not going to be as vocal for a couple of weeks while I adjust to my new schedule and start to trim some of my side projects. Because let’s face it, some nights I need to come home and just do this…

Thanks for your understanding and patience. Feel free to let me know what you do to handle the burnout feeling!

 

[All gifs taken from GIPHY]

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Frugal Find Friday: Dealing with Lifestyle Inflation

Earlier this week I pulled a stereotypical millennial move — I started a new job. Apparently, the average 25-year-old (which I’ll be in a month) has worked 6.3 jobs between the ages of 18-25.

Well, let’s count ‘em up:

  1. Resident Assistant in college
  2. Koop Lab assistant (that was the broadcast editing lab on my campus)
  3. The Late Show with David Letterman, page
  4. (During the same time period as Late Show) Starbucks barista
  5. Babysitter extraordinaire (still working this gig)
  6. Account coordinator at a PR agency
  7. Freelance writer
  8. Mystery new job!

Oh, look at that. Eight jobs! I just always have to be slightly better than average.

In my new position (don’t worry, I’m writing a full-length post on it soon), I have gotten a bit of a pay bump. Anyone who works in the communications field knows that it isn’t a well-paying industry.

Several months ago, I wrote an article for DailyFinance about Lifestyle inflation (don’t bother reading the comments). Because I wasn’t experiencing it myself, I remember thinking how easy it is to handle lifestyle inflation. Just keep living the way you’re used to living and bank all that sweet, sweet extra cash.

HA!

Suddenly, I’m empathizing with people who fall into the trap. I’m eying gym memberships and thinking, “I could swing that.” Suddenly, I’m a little more likely to eat lunch out instead of sticking by my long-standing tradition of brown-bagging it. Hell, I even briefly considered getting cable again! (What can I say, I was at my parents house and it was nice being able to catch up on ‘The Real Housewives‘).

Don’t be confused. I’m not suddenly rolling in it. It’s just a bit more than I’m used to make. This coupled with the slightly Trappist monk lifestyle I’ve been living, and the freelance money, means I’ve set myself up so that I’m comfortable with spending a little. I’m not plotting a drastic lifestyle inflation or anything, but it’s nice to feel free to go to the movies AND out to dinner without wringing my hands. Or enjoy some of the finer (as in not on my list of cheap stuff to do) things New York City has to offer.

How am I handling it, you ask?

Naturally, I have set up a 401(k) at work. I plan to automate a portion of my paycheck into savings into to curb too much temptation to splurge. Usually I just transfer it myself. I’ll also continue to save all the freelance income I earn in order to reach my emergency fund goal. Finally, I want to do some more investing — but I’m not sure exactly what yet.

It’s natural to experience some level of lifestyle inflation

I’m certainly not eager to ever go back to my days of sustaining primarily on “expired” Starbucks leftovers I got to take home after I closed up. There is no shame in increasing your comfort level, just a bit. But in order to stay frugal and financially fit, I’m taking the steps right now to ensure that this pay increase means more investing power, higher contributions to savings and a fun splurge just here-and-there.

Show me the money

It ain’t just monopoly money anymore! Okay, that’s a lie. Still mostly monopoly money.

How have you handled lifestyle inflation?

Favorite Reads This Week:

Gifs taken from GIPHY: Makin’ it rain & Gasp

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Does the Average Millennial Need Life Insurance?

Regular readers know I’m not married nor have kids, so life insurance isn’t something pressing in my life. However, it is an important topic I felt needed to be addressed. I asked a favorite blogger of mine, Matt from Mom and Dad Money, to help me out. I always appreciate the informative (and accurate) content on Matt’s site. He is a fee-only financial planner, husband and father which I believe makes him qualified to tell us all about bit about life insurance. I’ll hand it over to Matt….

Ahh, life insurance. Everyone’s favorite topic.life insurance love-hate

Truth be told, I have a love/hate relationship with life insurance.

When it’s done right, it is one of my favorite tools out there. It’s a relatively low-cost way to give your family a huge amount of financial security, something I value a lot.

The problem is that it’s often done wrong. Life insurance companies like to package their products with all kinds of complicated and convoluted add-ons, all of which serve mostly to line the pockets of the insurance company while leaving the consumer confused as to why they’re paying so much money for something that isn’t doing nearly all of the wonderful things the salesman said it would do.

So today I want to cut through the confusion and make things as simple as possible for you. By the end of this post, you’ll know whether you need life insurance, how to go about getting it, and what to look out for.

Let’s get started!

Do you even need life insurance?

How do you know if you need life insurance? It’s pretty simple actually. There’s only one rule you have to follow:

You need life insurance if there’s anyone who depends on you financially and you don’t have enough money in your bank accounts to satisfy that need.

That’s it really. But to give you something more concrete, here are the three main types of people who need life insurance:

Working parent – You’ve got children and potentially a spouse who depend on your income for their basic needs. If you were to die, your family would need to replace that lost income for at least some period of time. Unless you’ve already got the savings to handle it (and the reality is that almost no one does when they’re starting out), life insurance is the easiest and least expensive way to do it.

Stay-at-home parent – This one is a little less obvious, but if you’re a stay-at-home parent then you’re providing your family with a HUGE financial benefit. Think about all the costs that would have to be added to your family’s budget if you were gone. Childcare alone could be as much as a couple thousand dollars per month. Once again, life insurance would be there to handle those costs.

Married couple with joint debt – In particular, if you’re a couple with a mortgage that would be difficult for one person alone to afford, it might make sense to get enough life insurance just to cover the balance of the mortgage so it could be paid off if one spouse were to die. But any big debts where both spouses are liable could fall under this category.

There may be some unique circumstances that aren’t covered here, but by and large this is it. If you don’t fall into one of these categories, you probably don’t have any need for life insurance and don’t need to waste your money on it.

But if you do, the rest of this post will help you figure out how to get it and what to watch out for.

How to do life insurance right

Life insurance salesmen like to make it sound complicated. The more complicated it seems, the more likely they are to convince you to buy something you don’t need.

But if you know how to sort through all the BS, it can actually be pretty simple to handle. Here’s how to do it.

What type should you get?

There are lots of different kinds of life insurance out there, but 98% of the time the only kind you need to consider is what’s called “term” insurance. It will protect you for a set number of years (usually 10-30), after which the policy will end.

Some people will look down on term insurance because of the fact that it has an end point, but the end point is actually beneficial to you for two main reasons:

  1. Remember that life insurance is only needed when you have people who depend on you financially. If you’re starting a family, that will likely only be the case for the next 20-30 years, after which the kids will be out of the house (maybe). There’s usually no need for insurance any longer than that.
  2. Because it has an end date, term insurance is MUCH cheaper than other types of life insurance, making it MUCH easier to actually get the protection you need at a price you can afford.

And remember this: the insurance wasn’t a waste if you don’t die during the term. Even if you never end up needing it (which would be a good thing, right?), that life insurance provided protection during the entire term. No one wears a bullet proof vest hoping to get shot. Pay for the protection and hope you never need it.

How much life insurance do you need?

So how much life insurance should you buy? That’s actually not an easy question.

When my wife and I were buying it for ourselves, I searched the internet far and wide and found it hard to find anything more than a generic rule of thumb like “10x your income”. That frustrated me, so I created my own method for determining how much life insurance you need. It’s not quick, but it takes your individual needs and wants into account to give you a more personal number.

Two quick things to keep in mind here:

  1. The younger you are, the more likely you are to be surprised by how big a number you end up with. The simple truth is that you have a lot of years of income to protect, and that will likely add up to a pretty big number.
  2. One of the most common mistakes I see people make is assuming that the life insurance policy they have through their job is enough. Not only is it not likely to be enough coverage, but you could lose your job or your employer could decide to end the benefit at any time. In most cases it will make the most sense to buy your own policy separate from whatever your employer offers.

How do you actually find a policy?

Once you know how much you need, my first stop would be a site like instantquotelifeinsurance.com to get some quotes. I like them because they don’t collect any contact information and from my experience their quotes are accurate. You can do a little bit of research on the companies offering the lowest prices just to make sure they’ve been around a while and are reputable. Then you can call them up directly to get the process started.

An alternative would be to go through an independent life insurance agent. It can be helpful to have someone leading you through the process, especially if you have any medical conditions that might make things a little more complicated. But still make sure to double-check their quotes against a quote site like the one above to make sure they’re not leading you astray. And don’t be afraid to ask them questions if your own research turns up an option that they didn’t show you. And if they seem dodgy, just ditch them for someone else. No need for loyalty here.

If you follow these steps, you can give your family the protection it needs at the best price possible, and hopefully with minimal problems along the way.

A word of warning

If you’re a young professional, it won’t be long before a friend of yours reaches out and asks to talk to you about life insurance. And if you accept, I 100% guarantee that they’ll try to sell you on the wonders of a product called “whole life insurance”.

The pitch is going to sound good. Really good. Almost like a can’t-miss, no-brainer opportunity. I know because I’ve sat through these pitches as a consumer and felt the draw myself. It’s hard to resist.

But I’ve got four words of warning for you:

STAY. THE. HELL. AWAY.

I’m not going to get into a ton of detail here. If you want to know more you can read all of my thoughts on the subject here. Scrolling down and reading some of the comments from the whole life proponents is especially entertaining. They’re incredibly persistent (mostly because their livelihoods depend on it).

Just know this: whole life insurance can, in unique circumstances, be a useful product for an extremely small subset of people, typically those who are incredibly wealthy. But there’s almost no one in the early stages of their working life for whom this is a good product.

In fact, for 98% of the population it’s a complete money pit. It’s an expensive product with complicated terms and conditions that leaves people under-insured and delivers piss-poor investment returns. But other than those tiny little details, it’s pretty great!

FYI, the same things apply for any life insurance product with words like “variable”, “universal”, “cash value” or “indexed” in the name. If it isn’t “term”, be wary.

So when your salesman friend comes knocking, feel free to be a friend and listen to the pitch. But when they’re done, make sure you walk away empty-handed.

That’s all folks!

Life insurance doesn’t have to be sleazy. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It can actually be pretty simple AND provide you and your family with an enormous benefit.

Hopefully this helps removes some of the confusion for you, but if not, please feel free to add a comment with any questions. I’d love to try and help!

What are your thoughts on life insurance? Any single, childless millennials ponying up for it?

Be sure to check out my post over on Mom and Dad Money about dishing out tough love when it comes to finances!

[Love/Hate image taken from Mai Le on Flickr and money from Giphy]

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3 Funny Money Lessons from TV’s Greatest Minds

Ron Swanson Money memeReality TV shows offer a handful of average Americans the chance to race around the world, outwit, outplay and outlast their rivals, or lose weight, all to win serious money. Luckily, the rest of us saps tuning in can hope to better our financial futures from the comfort of our couches — without eating bugs or faking love for a millionaire. Because some of the best sitcom characters can offer us some excellent (and hilarious) money advice.

Admittedly, sometimes, their advice is off base. But, even then, you can learn from their mistakes.

Here are three of my favorite fiscally savvy (or at least fiscally enthusiastic) characters, and what they have to teach us.

1. Don’t Make Your Nest Egg Out of Gold Alone

Ron Swanson: “You won’t find any bank statements either. I’ve heavily invested in gold which I’ve buried in several different locations around Pawnee. Or have I?”

Read rest on DailyFinance

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Frugal Find Friday: 7-Minute Workout (app)

Spring is coming. Well, according to the calendar it’s coming. Mother Nature is apparently getting there on her own terms. Regardless, the shorts are about to come out and the bathing suits will be going on display which means plenty of us are starting to frantically put our running shoes back on.

IMG_3653

Jumping Jacks lure you into a false sense of “Oh, I’m more in-shape than I thought” security

A dear friend of mine writes a blog called Finding My Strong. While she’s in shape and works out more than most, she has a few existing conditions that keeps her on medication. My friend chronicles her journey to getting off medication because she hates being on it and it’s expensive!

Recently, she published a post about The 7-Minute Workout. Like most people who look for a quick fix when it comes to getting back in shape, I clicked!

The 7-Minute Workout is a FREE iOS app that rotates you through 12 sets of exercises in — you guessed it — 7 minutes. You get 30 seconds per exercise and 10 seconds of rest in between. For those who’ve had the misfortune of participating in a cross fit class then you might be familiar with the constant change of pace between activities.

You can elect to do one of four variations: 7-Minute Workout, Alternative 7-Minute Workout, 7-Minute Pilates Workout or Make Your Own 7 Minute Workout. If you want to try it out but don’t have an iPhone you can test out an incredibly simplified version on their website.

There is a detailed list of the exercises you’re about to do and if you aren’t sure how to do push-ups and rotations you simply click on the exercise and it takes you to an explanation with an embedded video demonstrating how to complete the task. As each task switches a Siri-like woman chirps out which exercise to start next.

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I downloaded the app earlier this week and I’m already in love. It is a good way to get the blood pumping in the morning or tack on an extra little bit of high-intensity to your existing workouts. I find it to be a good compliment to wrapping up after a run with another favorite free workout app: Couch to 5k. My friend points out in her post that a 7 minute workout a day simply isn’t enough if you really want to make changes to your body, but you could do all the workouts the app offers at once for a nice 30 minute (okay, 28 minute) routine.

So stop sitting at your computer and go exercise!

What other workouts or workout apps are you into?

 Big thanks to The Heavy Purse and The Broke and Beautiful Life for featuring Broke Millennial in their Women Power Wednesday Posts!

I was also featured in Forbes this week! Check out my tips for Best Travel Hacks and Steals

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Boomer Talk: A Q&A with the Wealth Pilgrim

Seeing as how this site is called Broke Millennial, there is generally millennial-exclusive content. But today we’re changing it up and allowing a Baby Boomer to put his two cents in. The following is a Q&A with Neal Frankle, CFP who is also the editor of WealthPilgrim.com and MCMHA.org.  He has unique professional and personal experience in the realm of personal finance. 

wealth pilgrim headshot

Neal Frankle

What is your earliest memory related to money?

Fear.  My father was a real estate speculator who doubled down every time one of his “bets” didn’t work out. That usually made bad situations far worse.  As a result, I grew up with constant financial fear and uncertainty.  I remember our utilities constantly being shut off because my parents couldn’t pay the bill and losing our house to foreclosure.

How did you learn about finance?

I realized that if I wanted anything I’d have to work for it (not a bad lesson) because my parents didn’t have the money. I started working at 12 and basically never stopped.

The first important lesson I really “got” was when I was 14.  I was earning about $1.65 an hour (I’m an old guy) so at the end of an afternoon, I’d have maybe $5 in my pocket.  The problem was I went to Mc Donalds and usually spent about $3.50. So after all that work all I’d have left was a buck and change.  I was a slower learner.  It took me a year to realize I was better off by taking a sack lunch rather than buying my food. From that day on I was really careful about how I spent money.  That lesson stuck and has really paid off.

In terms of learning about finance for my profession, I studied accounting in school which gave me the basics on how a business runs.  I learned how investments work through on the job training and investing myself.  Books are great but don’t hold a candle to actually getting your feet wet doing it.

How did you start teaching your children about money when they were young?

My kids knew about my childhood so they were sensitive to the importance of finance.  They also were always grateful and never took things for granted.  That was the start of their “financial education.”  They also saw how hard I worked and they understood the connection between work and financial security when they were young.

I would always talk to them about financial decisions.  We would discuss the pros and cons and I would always ask their opinion.  I think that empowered them.  Of course the topics we discuss when they were 5 and 6 were very different from the things we talked about at age 15 and 16.  But by including them very early, it helped them become familiar with finance.

When my two eldest turned 22, I turned over their savings so they could invest or spend as they saw fit. Of course I invited them to use me to manage the money they didn’t want to spend, but the big decisions were theirs.  This empowered them to become independent and to really think strategically.  It was good all the way around.

What piece of financial advice would you give to any millennial?

The most important thing you can do is really think ahead.  Are you on the right path?  If you keep going the way you are going now, will you get the life you want?  If not, what do you have to do differently….starting now?

When I was young, I never thought this way.  I thought I had all the time in the world.  Fortunately, I landed on a career path that worked but it could have ended up differently.  Don’t waste your time because that is your greatest and most valuable asset.

What’s the best financial move you ever made?

Hands down, the best financial move I made was my career as a financial planner.  It has provided my family with financial security and freedom.  It also gives me the opportunity to help others, which I love.  I realized at a very early stage that I wasn’t cut out to work for someone else and being an entrepreneur offers amazing opportunity.

This is not to say that you can’t do really well by working for others.  I have many friends who have done far better than I have and they have always been employees.  I realized where my strengths were and I put myself in the best position I could to leverage those qualities.

Thanks, Neal! So, dear reader, what are your answers to some of the questions I posed to Neal?

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Frugal Find Friday: How I Get a Free FICO Score

About two months I experienced a rather rude financial awakening. My massive debt aversion over the last 24 years (well, I doubt I cared much as a child so let’s say 13 years) resulted in a lack of credit history. My one credit card I’d been using since 2007 simply wasn’t providing enough history. This fun fact was unearthed when I used the much-raved-about Credit Karma to try and get my free FICO score. Credit Karma accepted all my information to promptly explain I had a “thin file” which meant they could not produce a score. They were kind enough to suggest ways I might improve upon my failings which basically were just to use debt tools (ie: loans and credit cards) to increase my credit history.

Always eager to improveDiscover it myself, I immediately began figuring out how I might go about having a “thick file.”

Taking out a loan for the sake of taking out a loan seemed dumb so I decided to try opening another credit card. I’d long been the delighted recipient of credit card offers in the mail which always ended up in the trash. Now, I started to actually read the offers and narrowed my search down to a Capital One card or the Discover it card.

While Capital One does offer better slightly better cash back (1.5% on everything while Discover is 1% with rotating categories for 5%) the Discover it card promises of a free FICO score, no annual fee and non-outsourced customer service won my heart. Plus, I think their commercials are funny (but Capital One did have Alec Baldwin…I’m a marketer’s dream…)

The free FICO score was important because the Credit Karma and Credit Sesame products of the world don’t work for me. Funnily enough, both Discover and Credit Karma pull their data from TransUnion (one of the three major credit bureaus) to produce their scores. I just don’t flag for Credit Karma… It should also be noted that by having a FICO score from only one of the three credit bureaus you aren’t seeing the full-picture of your credit score because you may have a different number at each bureau. To truly know your score you’d have to get reports from all three bureaus, but this single report way will still give you a good approximation.

If you’re interested in opening a Discover it card, either because of the FICO score or hilarious commercials, here is my assessment after about two months of using one:

Favorite Features:

Free FICO score (obviously)

I don’t need to expand more, but I like having the access to my score each month so I can monitor for major fluctuations. However, this shouldn’t replace proactively checking credit history reports, which don’t provide a score but are free once a year, with TransUnion, Experian and Equifax to monitor for any red flags.

Customer service calls aren’t outsourced and are pleasant

I’ve only had to call once — to set up the card — but I do appreciate that the calls are in the US. Yay for helping improve employment and apparently with friendly people because my call was very pleasant. This might have to get revised if I ever need to phone in a complaint.

Widely accepted by merchants/retailers

My first credit card is a MasterCard and I’ve never had it get rejected, but I’d seen friends get their American Express cards turned away so I wanted to ensure my second card would be widely accepted. Thus far, I’ve only encountered one restaurant that didn’t take Discover out of the various locations I’ve used the card.

Cash Back

You get 1% on all purchases with a rotating 5% cash back in various categories. Plus, you get a $50 kickback the first time you make a purchase within 3 months of opening the card.

Referral bonus

In a shameless plug, I ask that you scratch my back a bit if you plan to get the Discover it card and use my referral link (here) so I get a “finder’s fee” if you will.

Least Favorite Features:

Have to enroll to get the 5% cash back

While it’s really simple to opt in, and they send you email reminders, it irks me that this isn’t automatic (and yeah it’s to save the company money on those who don’t take the 17 seconds to sign up).

Cash back categories don’t always apply to me

The first quarter of 2014 I was able to really utilize cash back because it was on movies and restaurants. I usually go out to eat once a week (hello brunch) and I’ll treat myself to an overpriced movie ticket on occasion. Unfortunately, the cash back category for the second quarter is on home improvement stores, furniture stores and Bed Bath & Beyond. Ehh. My mom would love this category but I don’t have any big plans to be utilizing those stores in the near future, unless my landlord lets me paint the apartment…

 What ways have you gotten a FICO score for free? 

Special thanks this week to….

Average Joe from Stack Benjamins for having me back in the basement. Greg (from Control Your Cash) and I rip into a silly article about how to savor saving on this week’s Stacking Benjamins podcast.

J. Money from Budgets Are Sexy for mentioning my post “An Impassioned Plea for Understanding Compound Interest” as inspiration for his own story on the 8th wonder of the world. Thanks to Economag for reprinting it recently which prompted J. Money to see that hidden gem from last June.

Cat from Budget Blonde for mentioning me in a stellar lineup of lady bloggers in her edition of Women Power Wednesday.

Shannon from Financially Blonde for saying our chat over a couple of brews inspired her to write this great post about getting over investing fears! And a belated thanks to her for including me in her Women Power Wednesday and for coming up with the whole idea in the first place!

[Discover it image from Flickr]

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Credit Limits: How They Keep You from Chasing a Dangerous Pot of Gold

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

rainbow

Come on, admit you hunted for gold too…

Many an Irish-American child has caught a glimpse of a rainbow, hopped on a bicycle and tried to get-rich-quick by finding a pot of gold at the end. Alas, my adventures in gold chasing ended after a few miles of intense cycling when I realized my goal would forever remain elusive. Unbeknown to me, though, another fictional pot of gold existed under the guise of credit limits.

While it’s far easier to convince a bank to offer you a credit card than to come across a leprechaun’s fortune, the money is just as fictional.

The rest can be read over on DailyFinance.

[Image taken from Rocky Raybell on Flickr]

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Frugal Find Friday: Negotiate

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Sticky name tags class up any affair

As bottom man on the totem pole at work, I had the distinct pleasure of being in charge of creating name tags for an event. The first step in this process was to wander down the street to Staples and procure name tags — the clip on kind because we’re classy like that and no one wants to poke holes in their clothing.

I strolled into Staples, boss’s credit card in hand, and gasped in horror when I saw the specific name tags I needed cost upwards of $85 for 100 name tags. This seemed outrageous! Even for clip-on name tags with card stock paper you can feed into the printer with ease.

Keeping my disbelief in check, I kindly asked the Staples sales clerk if they perhaps had a box of 50 name tags instead of 100 (I only needed to make 30). She ushered me over to a computer and proceeded to look up the item in the Staples online store.

FATAL MISTAKE

The sales lady’s original intent was simply to see if the larger Staples store a few avenues over offered the 50 box count. Instead, she ended up revealing that Staples online sells the exact same box of 100 name tags for $30 less than in the store.

In a friendly manner, I inquired why this box of name tags was offered for $30 less online? The response: Ummm, things are just cheaper online.

Okay….

A friend who was with me sighed as though she knew what was about to happen. “Erin, this isn’t even your money. It’s the company’s money and they can spend $85 on name tags. The leftovers will get used.” [I glared at her for potentially diminishing my negotiating power]

The rationale that it wasn’t my money wasn’t enough. At this point I’d become entrenched in a situation about principles. I simply couldn’t pay $85 for an item with the $55 option taunting me.

I put my game face on and started negotiations, like the black markets totally legitimate markets of Shanghai had taught me to do. One of my key tactics is the “walk away.” Granted, there will be other times you simply don’t have the luxury to walk away from the table, but I try to ensure my foe doesn’t know that for as long as possible.

After hearing the the online price was cheaper, I set the box down and told the friendly lady I would love to buy this box of name tags, but simply couldn’t justify spending $30 more in the store.

In the easiest negotiation ever, her manager turned around and said, “it’s okay — we’ll just give you the online price here in the store.”

BOOM

I returned to work, name tags in hand, and proudly told my boss that I’d saved $30. Sure, $30 isn’t even a blip on the radar to my company, but I still couldn’t handle over-spending when a cheaper option was so blatantly obvious.

There are plenty of other times in life to negotiate: cable bills, cell phone plans, even with your debt! Learning how to negotiate is important, but knowing isn’t the same as doing. Know how to negotiate and be sure you actually utilize the skill set!

Those who need some tips should listen to this NPR Planet Money podcast featuring what happened when an FBI hostage negotiator bought a car.

 When have you negotiated for something you wanted or needed? 

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