30 March 2018

The Crabby Crafter's Life Hacks, Part One

I think it's important to teach your kids how to manage money, how to clean/organise, and how to negotiate. My parents taught me to be good with money (although it turns out I'm even better at it than they are), but they never taught me the latter two skills.

My dad always said that if everything has a place and you put it away when you're done, then you don't have to clean. He had a point, but it's not enough:  even if my husband and kids were as tidy as I am, crumbs, spills, dust, laundry, and accidents happen.  You need to have a cleaning routine! I clean a little bit every day. There are daily tasks (dishes, wiping counters, etc.), things I do on an as-needed basis (laundry, ironing, vacuuming, and cleaning toilets), and things I rotate through that are done regularly, but not every day (changing sheets, mopping floors, wiping cabinet faces, etc.).

The fine art of negotiation! This is not always about money, because you can also negotiate for perks (everything from job perks to nabbing samples at a make-up counter) or negotiate in a diplomatic way, but negotiation is definitely a money-saving skill. I got an email from my broadband company saying they are raising the price of my broadband and telephone package by £1.01 per month, but that this meant I could get out of my annual contract. My options were to either just suck it up and pay more, switch to another provider, or negotiate. I phoned and negotiated back down to my original plan for another year (this is extra good because at the end of my 12-month contract, my bill would have gone up by £10, so I've extended the deal by another 6 months).
Part of negotiating is that you need to be realistic. BT charge other broadband providers a ton of money for using their lines, so I knew I couldn't negotiate down to, say, £10/month, but I thought it was reasonable to ask if I could get it down to or below my original monthly cost (which is a very competitive one). The same thing applies if you are negotiating prices. It's incredibly unusual to negotiate a price down to under half the initial offer, and if you lowball too hard, they will think you are taking the mick and not want to deal with you. You also have to be friendly. Being chatty and charming makes you more pleasant to deal with and if someone likes you more, they will be more willing to cut prices and throw in perks.
It's also nice to reward the person on the other end of your negotiations if you can, by giving them a good review or telling their manager they're a good employee, by telling others about what a great service they provide (or sell), or even just thanking them. They are doing you a favour, and it's nice to my broadband provider, I asked the girl at the call centre if I could either tell her manager how great she was or if there was a survey I could fill out and give her a good review. She said she would email me a survey and was so pleased. Top marks for her! :D

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