We all have to face annoying financial situations from time to time, and I am no exception. Whether it’s buying a car or lodging a complaint against a company who took my money and ran, one characteristic these pesky situations have is common is that they are as about as enjoyable as a root canal. However, over the years, I found four moneywise coping mechanisms for some of life’s biggest financial conundrums.
No. 1: Buying a car
I don’t know about you, but I hate car salespeople. Perhaps my distinct distaste for this breed of slick salesperson is because I know the drill upside down and backwards — I used to sell cars, after all. However, to avoid the haggling and the hassles that all too often go along with hours at a dealership, I find the car I am interested in online, arrange a test drive and (if I like it) buy it online through a fleet representative, in cash.
No. 2: Telemarketers
I have an above average level of compassion for telemarketers. Primarily because I used to be one. And even though my number is on the national “do not call” registry, every once in a while some crafty phone rep will make it through my battle lines. It’s thanks to telemarketers that I screen my calls, using a call screening option provided to me by my AT&T mobile service. When I see a number I don’t know pop up on my phone, I hit the screen button. The caller has to announce who they are and what company they are with, my phone sends me the alert and I decide if I want to take the call or let it go to voicemail. Now, I never buy anything I don’t need, and I don’t waste my time on the phone.
No. 3: Ads, Ads and More Ads
I admit, I love clever commercials. The only trouble is, these ingenious ads are designed to make me do one thing, and one thing alone: buy a bunch of junk I don’t need. Before I give into the impulsive buying desires after watching an infomercial or flipping through home shopping channels, I force myself to sleep on it, and do some independent research before I commit to whipping out my credit card. Of course, having a DVR service that enables me to fast forward through those oh-so-enticing crafty commercials helps too.
No. 4: Complaining Up
Recently, my daughters went to prom. Some other parents and I shared the cost of a limo to take them to and from the event, to the tune of $60 per head (and since I have twins, my share was $120). The only problem was that the limo showed up two hours late, and didn’t pick them up to come home on time, either. While a few of the parents thought they’d get outstanding results by complaining to the president of the company, the truth is that he didn’t care — and I didn’t expect him to. I, on the other hand, never deal with CEO’s or Presidents of companies, because I know they have too much on their plate to really be concerned with one complaint. Instead of going high up the food chain, I prefer to deal with middle management. Why? Because they are interested in customer service and haven’t reached the apex of their careers like their higher-ups have. Going to middle management instead of the big boss, got us half our money back.
More from this Contributor:
5 Ways the Recession Made Me a Better Mom
When I buy and when I DIY
The 6 Questions Every Homebuyer Needs to Ask