It should go without saying that you should treat everyone you interact with during the day with respect and consideration even if there weren’t any benefit to doing so. It’s simply the nice (and right) thing to do. The fact is, however, that being considerate to others can often result in you saving money. Here are some examples of how:
Sometimes being nice can bring you unexpected benefits. As most people have learned, you have a better chance of getting something you want if you’re nice rather than angry. Think of the last time you bought something at a store. Did you go in and give the salesperson an attitude? If so, did they then offer any special deals or promotions? Probably not. Now, think of the last time you were pleasant with a salesperson. Did they offer you a special deal? Did they lower the price when you tried to negotiate? While being nice isn’t always a method that will work, you’re more likely to have a salesperson willing to help you get the best deal if you’re nice.
Have you ever missed a sale at a supermarket, convenience store, or department store by a day or a couple of hours? It’s awful, especially if you were looking forward to buying a certain item. Just like being nice to a salesperson might help you negotiate a lower price, sometimes your nice attitude might mean you still get to partake in that sale. It never hurts to ask. The worst that can happen is the salesperson doesn’t offer the sale price of your item.
Again, being friendly to a salesperson goes a long way. Sales is a thankless job and often salespeople have to deal with a lot of angry customers who yell about things that are usually out of their control. Treat them with a positive attitude and you might learn about upcoming private promotions or what other stores are offering a better price.
Lower Utility Prices
Like sales, people in customer service often bear the brunt of the public’s anger over decisions their company or manager makes. No one likes paying outrageously high cable, internet, or electric bills. If you call the customer service line to ask about a fee or promotion, remember not to take your anger out on the customer service rep. If you’re pleasant, there’s always a chance they’ll help you find a way to save money without cutting your services.
Again, most businesses or services come with fees. And while no one likes paying fees, sometimes a well-meaning, generous customer service representative or salesperson will be willing to cut you a break. But there’s a small chance you’ll get those fees cut if you’re ranting and yelling at them. People are less likely to give someone a break if they’re being unnecessarily mean.
Donating to charities is a wonderful thing. Most people donate to charities in order to fund a cause they believe in. Saving money isn’t necessarily one of their motivating factors. However, depending how much you donate, you can deduct charitable donations from your taxes.
Occasionally, offering to do some work around your apartment building, condo, or house rental might lead to a decreased rent. Of course, this won’t happen for everyone, and you shouldn’t attempt it expecting a lower rent. But if you’re one of those people who does maintenance work or landscaping work out of kindness, you could just see your kindness rewarded when your landlord is writing up your renewal notice.
Sometimes a friendly smile or simple compliment will make a person’s day. How many times have you been having an awful day only to have it made better by something seemingly insignificant? A little kindness goes a long way. Asking how a cashier’s day is will result in a free coffee or a genuine compliment may result in a discount.
If you frequent a store, restaurant, or business often enough and always maintain a nice attitude toward the employees, you might find that after awhile, they’ll reciprocate your nice attitude in any way they can. As stated above, many people work jobs where they deal with unpleasant people all day. Dealing with consistently pleasant customers is always a relief. So, what happens if one time you forget your wallet when you’re trying to pay the tab? Or you don’t have enough money on your card to pay for something? Karma might come back to reward you and that employee might tell you not to worry about the bill. You never know how thing will work out!
You’re not always going to be able to get free food at restaurants. Most restaurants can’t justify giving away free food. However, some restaurants, diners, and cafes are more than happy to give away gift certificates or free menu items for loyal customers. If you’re a fan of a certain restaurant, try writing a Yelp review or a Google review praising the spot. Sometimes positive reviewers receive gift certificates from the manager or owner as a thank you. If you have a blog that specializes in restaurant reviews, you might have restaurants begging you to come try out their menus free of charge!
(Photo courtesy of theleticiabertin)