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Featured Talking about money

Discussion in 'Education and Employment' started by Bellacat, Sep 6, 2019.

  1. Bellacat

    Bellacat Active Member

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    I feel so clueless when it comes to talking about money. Giving/receiving money, negotiating prices (I have my own business), splitting bills, etc etc. As soon as money is involved I'm completely and utterly lost. It is so full of hidden rules and reading between lines and I don't know the first thing about navigating it all.

    As an example, when discussing a price for a job and someone offers an amount, I get stuck when I'm supposed to respond. I know they're going to read so much into my response so I get flustered and my mind stalls. When I stare blankly at them, they seem to think I'm not happy with the amount, but I honestly don't know if I'm happy with a given amount because when I'm talking to people and they say numbers it's almost meaningless. I have difficulty with money in general (like determining the value of something, whether a price is reasonable etc). Even if I do know an amount is good, I still don't know what kind of reaction to give. If I react too positively will they think they are overpaying? What does the right reaction look like in this exact situation? What do I do if I'm actually not happy with the amount?

    Then there are the games they play, like haggling over prices. Does this person actually think the thing is too expensive or are they just saying that to try and get a good deal? I know that people often lie about how much they can afford so I'm always paranoid about people taking advantage of me being so naive.

    I'm not sure if I have a specific question here. I just feel kind of helpless. Maybe I'm wondering if anyone has ideas on how to get better at this stuff? I hate to just go on trial and error when it comes to something that has such a direct impact on my professional life, but it's not like there's a rule book for this (or is there...?).
     
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  2. BraidedPony

    BraidedPony Just Enjoying Survival V.I.P Member

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    Decide ahead of time what you will pay for the product or services and stick to it. Tell the salesperson that you have a firm amount you will pay and believe it is fair for all involved.
    When you sell your product or service, say you know the high value of what you are selling and a fair price is $xxxx and that you don't believe in haggeling the price.
    OR
    Hire someone to do your negotiations for you.
     
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  3. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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  4. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    Yeah, I can't do it either. I tend to ask a friend and do what they say to do. I have friends who seem to know everything I don't know. Which means together we are literally know-it-alls! :D
     
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  5. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    The only thing I can recommend is as much as possible do all your money figuring in advance, while you have time and can think clearly. Set your price and then when the time comes stick to it. I sometimes will allow a small set discount say 5-10%, for hagglers, but usually only if they buy a substantial amount.
     
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  6. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    I'm also self-employed and have the exact same kind of problem with money. I need help with this, too. Talking about prices, asking for money.billing people, negotiating prices, gauging reactions or knowing how to react, all the social nuances and etiquette is all so difficult and awkward. Luckliy I mainly deal with these issues by email, which is a lot easier, But I still feel awkard... Is it enough... too much? Also, things like tipping: when to tip, how much, etc (I don't live in the US where apparently there is a standard tipping rate).
     
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  7. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    Most places will list suggestions for a tipping amount and most people just do exactly that! Such as:

    15% - xxxx
    18% - xxxx
    20% - xxxx

    But I tip so that the number totals to a round number, meaning no change, while also making sure it's at least 15%
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2019
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  8. Bellacat

    Bellacat Active Member

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    Thankfully I do most of mine through email too, which saves me having to worry about what my face is doing, and also buys time to run it by other people for advice. On the other hand, it prevents me from getting any practice in dealing with the in-person situations when they do happen.

    Good point about tipping too, I just see it as another reason to avoid eating out.

    I wonder why money in particular is so heavily loaded with awkwardness. Not just work related but with gifts too..

    If someone gives me a $25 gift card for Amazon, I'm delighted. I can quickly come up with a reaction, and it's totally genuine. Easy.

    If someone gives me the same amount in cash, I get really flustered. I know I need to show gratitude, but I get stuck on exactly how to show it or what to say. I don't know what that gift means. Do they intend for me to spend it only on something "fun"? Is it ok to use it on groceries? I hardly ever use physical cash anymore, and I can't help that thought popping into my head when I see it, so I'm terrified they might have seen a hint of annoyance or something on my face. Is this a large amount of money? That varies drastically from one person to the next depending on their situation (which I often don't really know since people are so secretive about money stuff).

    At my bridal shower I had to open a bunch of cards in a row containing different amounts of cash (among other gifts), with a group of people sitting in a circle all staring at me and judging my reactions. It was so intensely stressful trying to make sure I gave appropriate reactions, especially if I got a $20 card right after a $200 one.. If I try to equalize my reactions so all cash gifts get the same thing do I offend the people who gave big gifts, or patronize the people who gave smaller ones?

    All this overthinking can easily give the wrong message, and then I worry about people thinking the wrong things, which makes me even more flustered and it's just overwhelming!

    But try explaining to people that you don't like gifts and they just call you a grinch :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
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  9. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    There's a lot of unspoken social etiquette around money. Lots of nuance and hidden meaning which is hard for us to read. It's also all about 'ememes' or delivering an emotion or social message through a gesture, not just to you but to others. So the actual amount of money gifted might not be important - the person may genuinely want to give the gift, but they are also fulfilling a social obligation by doing so - it gives a social message: X gave Y a gift.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
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  10. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    I find gifts extremely awkward too. Especially at Christmas if I'm expected to open and react to a gift straight away. I'd rather not exchange gifts at all, though sending and receiving gift cards long distance is somewhat easier because I don't have someone watching my reaction - and then judging me on it. As for these 'showers'... I'd never want to do one of those, it sounds like an absolute nightmare!

    I also hate asking for money - I'm always afraid that the amount of money I'm asking for is too much and ask for less than the market price and then don't make a decent wage, though I have made progress recently - I asked for an amount which is the industry standard and he accepted, so I now have at least one job with denet pay.
     
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  11. Bellacat

    Bellacat Active Member

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    Yes! I am prone to this too and it's really tough. Good that you managed to make some progress! I have a couple of people I trust that I can ask about it, but I really wish I could just have more confidence with this stuff on my own.
     
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  12. AloneNotLonely

    AloneNotLonely Well-Known Member

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    Money?! This thread is about money?!
    My assumption is that you are a freelancer. The only way to understand what the right price is is to look at other comparable services and see what prices they offer. You also need to judge what level of skill/quality you offer. You are obviously not going to not charge the same as a newbie as someone that has 20 years of experience. There is no exchange for insert whatever freelancer profession so you have to compare prices yourself.

    Hagglers gonna haggle. I've known a few freelancers and they just called them moochers. They often had an attitude about it too when refused.
    "But this other guy does it for $10 an hour!".
    "Cool. Go let that guy do it then".

    It has nothing to do with your prices. You are going to have to deal with "That type" a lot if you are a freelancer, giving deals should only be done with potentially large clients or just plain many hours of work. The problem is also that if you give someone a deal once, they are going to expect that. "But you did it for $18 an hour last time!". Thread carefully.

    As for gifts... That whole circle thing with everyone giving money is frikking weird in the first place. Sounds something only women do. If I give my friend 50 bucks for his birthday, it's just me when I arrive and I have no clue what everyone else gave him. Nor do I care.

    If someone that you barely know who is in debt with a lot of financial trouble gives you a $20 gift that is obviously a lot more meaningful than someone that you've known all your life with 3 million in real estate giving you a $200 gift. It's not a contest who gives the biggest gifts, and I think that people who give large gifts know damn well that you can't go all crazy about their gift in front of everybody else. There should be an implicit understanding that you value some gifts more than others, while explicitly giving the same stoic gratitude regardless of the gift.
     
  13. Bolletje

    Bolletje Potato chip wizard V.I.P Member

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    I’m not good with money. I’ve never negotiated my pay for a job, I’ve always just accepted the pay they offered.
    I’m also not good with handling money. I spend it way too hard. My boyfriend recently quit his job and now I’m paying for both of us, which regularly means scraping by in the last week until my paycheck arrives. I recently found out I might lose my job and now I’m pretty stressed out about it.
     
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  14. Bellacat

    Bellacat Active Member

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    Yes but I was mostly thinking of the social awkardness/nuanced stuff around it, not so much about money itself.

    This is excellent advice. Thank you!!

    I couldn't agree more! If I could have previewed that event before agreeing to it I definitely would have refused. I had no idea what I was in for, just that I was getting married and a bridal shower is "what you do".

    Also good advice, although I still have to work out how exactly to do that reaction in a way that doesn't sound fake and robotic, especially if I have to do it several times in a row.
     
  15. tducey

    tducey Well-Known Member

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    I have been known to waste money in the past but I also budget my money. I find that helps.
     
  16. tlc

    tlc The Mackinac Bridge and U.P. is my happy place.

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    I'm good with dealing with fixed money. I don't have it in me to haggle. I've only bought things at the price they are asking, and only pursue the item if the asking price is worth it to me. I absolutely dread selling things, and only do it if I have to, so almost never. I prefer to sell things where the buying price and deal is fixed, like a scrapyard. Even if I get less, I know what I am getting, and no worry of the buyer coming back at me for anything. Which happened to my dad once.