How We Negotiated Thousands in Savings and Extra Earnings
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Developing killer negotiation skills is one of best ways to earn and save more money. Slashing bills, reducing the cost of big purchases and increasing our pay means we’ve got more cash to funnel to our financial goals.

Want to see how it’s done? These four people shot for better deals—and scored.

Mary Burke“I reduced my medical bill by 65 percent.”

Mary Burke, 27, a special collections manager in Abilene, Texas

After delivering her son via cesarean section in June 2016, Mary Burke braced for a huge bill. Small ones trickled in at first—for anesthesia and the doctor’s fee—which she paid in full. Then came the big one: $7,092.19 for her and the baby’s hospital stays.

“I went to the hospital’s billing office because there was no way we could comfortably pay the minimum monthly amount,” says Burke. The clerk offered a $1,000 deduction if she could write a check on the spot, but even that was too much. So the clerk suggested Burke contact the financial aid office—something Burke didn’t even know existed.

She went home and spent the evening researching and submitting an application, explaining that she was on unpaid maternity leave and that her husband’s freelance income wasn’t guaranteed.

The next day, she went back to the hospital. “[The clerk] said I was eligible for aid, pulled out a calculator and said my bill would be reduced by 65 percent—a grand total of $2,482,” Burke says. Fifteen minutes later, she was heading home again.

Bobby-headshot“I doubled my rate with a client.”

Bobby Hoyt, 28, founder of Millennial Money Man in Houston, Texas

After paying off more than $40,000 in student loans in less than two years, Bobby Hoyt quit his teaching job in April 2015 to became a full-time money blogger—offering client services like sponsored posts and product reviews, social promotions and affiliate advertising.

Early on, a startup contacted him, looking to place a sponsored article for $500. “I thought I could get more, so I countered at $1,000,” Hoyt says. “But they couldn’t make that number work.” Assuming that was it, Hoyt shared his failed negotiation attempt with a friend, who offered some advice: “Ask for more, but offer more in return.”

So Hoyt went back to the startup and offered to double the number of times he’d share the post on social media. Not only did the company agree to pay $1,000, but he continues to work with them today.

“Now I use the ‘ask more, offer more’ strategy with all of my negotiations and have found it to be a really useful tool,” Hoyt says. “Both parties walk away getting more value, so it’s a win-win.”

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March 2, 2017

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