How I Made $150 in 10 Minutes (And You Can Too!)

I know. You’re skeptical.

This isn’t a pyramid scheme, and I didn’t sell a kidney. Making money in mere minutes is much simpler than that, but there is an art to it. It’s called negotiating. And I’m not even talking about big life things, like negotiating a raise or a house or a car (all of which I’ve done.)

For the vast majority of people, negotiating terrifies them, especially for more every-day things. It gets a bad rep (so let’s call it “haggling” from now on, yeah?) They worry about appearing overly aggressive or too pushy. And many people simply don’t know how to do it effectively.

“Haggling” isn’t being rude — if you’re being rude, you’re doing it wrong. Instead, haggling is demonstrating facts, being well-prepared, and having the confidence to ask for what you want.

Many people think prices are set in stone and for certain things, you’d be correct. Here’s a list of just some of the everyday things you can haggle for:

  • A flight, your seat, a checked bag fee, or airport lounge access

  • Your insurance bill

  • Your phone bill

  • Your cable bill

  • A concert/event ticket

  • Bank overdraft fees

  • Retail purchases that aren’t perfect (i.e. a furniture scratch)

  • A hotel room

  • A rental car or ad-ons

Here’s how I “made” $150 off a few short phone calls and an email:

1) Asking my insurance company if I was getting the best discounts

This took 2 calls, which often happens. The first person told me I was receiving every discount (uh huh...sure.) Two days later, I called again and spoke with a different guy. He was able to give me a discount for being a AAA member, something the dude before hadn’t bothered to ask me.

Savings: $75 (even more when you consider my future payments)

READ MORE: 3 Money Podcasts You Need in Your Life

2) Haggling the price of a concert ticket on Craigslist

The concert was two days away, and I didn’t want to pay full price for the ticket ($50 including fees.) I offered $35 via a brief email and made sure to mention the nearness of the concert date. Done.

Savings: $15

3) Asking an airline to waive a bag fee

You’re way more likely to succeed at this if you’re a frequent flyer of a specific airline. My friend and I were flying Delta to Costa Rica (learn about our life-changing trip here!), but our preferred airline is Alaska (I love you forever, Alaska Airlines, I’m sorry for cheating on you.) Using our Alaska mileage number to book and being Alaska card holders, we asked if there was anything they do to wave the bag fee, even though we were flying Delta. They said they couldn’t, but generously offered us 2,000 Alaska miles EACH just for the hassle. Talk about awesome customer service!

Value: $60 per each person

So you're thinking "well that's cool but how do I do this?" Here’s the exact script!

And I know we're all strapped for time, so here's Trim to the rescue! Trim negotiates these crazy bills FOR you, along with budgeting and money management tools. Sign up here!

Let me know in the comments how much you saved after using my strategies!


I get asked all the time: what are your favorite tools as a personal finance/career blogger?

These are platforms and tools I use on a daily basis — I could not run my business (or life!) without them, and hope you find them as useful as I do!

Buffer: Makes social media scheduling an absolute breeze, and with built-in analytics tools, it will be your new best friend. Click here to try it for free.

Airbnb: If you've never experienced Airbnb, I cannot recommend it enough. You feel like a local in the city, save money on expensive hotel rooms (by being able to cook your own food!), and always know your stuff is safe (bye, sketchy hostels!) Click here for $40 off your first stay!

Ebates: Gives you cash back on almost all your favorite stores, so whether you're buying business stuff (like a new desk chair from Office Depot) or makeup (hai Sephora) or those cute shoes (what up Macy's), you literally earn money on stuff you'd already buy. Click here for a $10 bonus!

Trim: You remember that time where I talked about how you should be negotiating all of your bills? (You should.) I know it's scary — that's where Trim comes in. Not only are they a perfect spending tracker and budgeting system (think Mint but on steroids!), they also will negotiate cable and phone bills FOR YOU. Click here for the free app!

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