Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Getting Paid-in-Full Discounts Part of a Frugal Life

"Do you offer a discount for paying in full, with cash or check?"  This is a standard question in the life of a frugal person, or in my opinion it should be.  From dental cleanings to car repairs to gym memberships, I am know to ask for a discount.  One exception, I skip it at a big-box or chain store.  It is a waste of time because the clerk checking me out has no authority to grant such a discount.  But in small, locally owned businesses the chances are quite high that one of the people helping you with your transaction is an owner.  They do have this power!

My most recent frugal find came with our gym membership.  It was time to renew, and if we signed up for another two-year contract they would give us a rate of $65/month.  If we went with month-to-month it would be $75/month.  Looking to save some more money I asked if paying in cash and or in full would help.  The managers eyes literally lit up.  "Yes, we'll knock off 5% if you pay one year now and the remainder in a year.  And a check would be great.....saves us a lot on credit card fees."  And so we signed up for 2 years paying the first year in full, via check, costing us $741.  Paying in front shaved $40 off the bill....not quite a month free.  But I'll take it.

Living frugally means we examine how we spend our money.  We are known to say "no, not now" to many things.  It also means we are known to save our money, and save we do.  It allows us to have ample funds to pay for a year of a gym membership, and secure a slightly better rate.  We will be using this same approach in the fall when we pay our children's school tuition.  Discounts are offered for paying for the entire semester at the beginning.

Try it, saving money can be fun.  And you'll know you've made a small business owners day when you avoid credit cards.  One caution, if you pay in full and the store goes out of business or you decide you don't like the service you may be out of money.  I have been a member at this gym since 2001, and am not going anywhere.  Knowing we paid in full is also a stronger motivation to actually go to the gym.

How about you?  Any pay in cash or advance stories you'd like to share?  Leave a comment, I'd love new ideas.

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