Skip to main content

5 Expenses You Didn’t Know You Could Negotiate

By Helen Reaume

Published September 2, 2016 • 3 Min Read

1. Gym Memberships

The person working out on the elliptical beside you might be paying a lot less for the privilege of sweating than you are. While gyms advertise fixed prices, you can often get them to give you a discount if you know how to ask for it.

Tip: Research competing gyms that advertise lower rates. If you are still in a trial period, your gym will be motivated to get your business and will likely offer you a discount. If you go at the end of the month when they’re trying to meet their monthly membership quota, you’ll get the best deals. If you are already a member, the gym can try and keep your business with alternative membership plans, upgrades or incentives which can lower your monthly cost.

2. Display Models

If your fridge is on the fritz or your dog tore a hole through your couch cushion – don’t worry. With a little negotiation, you can get a deal on furniture and appliance floor models. Stores need to get rid of these models quickly before the new ones arrive so they’re motivated to discount them.

Tip: New appliance models are released in the fall and spring, and new furniture models in February and August. These are the best times of the year to get deals. Ask the salesperson if there is room to move on the price and suggest the price you would like to pay.

3. An Expensive Cell Phone Bill

If your bill was unexpectedly high this month, you might not have understood the complexity of things like unforeseen roaming or overage charges. If it’s the first time you’ve gone over your plan’s limit, your cell phone company might be understanding and willing to give you a break.

Tip: Have your provider clarify why the bill was so expensive this time. In addition to educating yourself for the future, if you didn’t understand the details of your plan, many providers will offer to reduce the additional charges by 50 percent, or get rid of them altogether the first time.

4. Special Event Costs

If you’re hosting a special event or a wedding, many rental companies and event service providers list their prices online or send you a quote. But you can often knock hundreds of dollars off their estimate.

Tip: Be clear that their price is too high for your budget. If your event isn’t during prime wedding season (late spring – summer) or on a Saturday, they might give you a discount or suggest an alternative package that costs less.

5. Services and Repairs

If you get in a car accident or your kitchen sink springs a leak, the estimate you get from the mechanic or plumber might cause you to sweat a little. But you don’t have to accept the first estimate they send you.

Tip Get some lower estimates and then return to your preferred service professional. Many will offer you a discount or meet the price of their competitor.

Helen Reaume writes about retirement planning and investing. Her work has appeared on sites like Forbes, Yahoo! Finance, Time, and FoxBusiness.

This article is intended as general information only and is not to be relied upon as constituting legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates.

Share This Article


Savings Shopping