1. Your Salary
Many people are too scared to ask for a raise due to some fear that the employer will get mad and fire them. That's not the case. If you know you're an asset to the company, asking for a raise or some form of reward will get you respected. But before asking, get clear what you want. Do you want more paid vacations? Bigger office? Incremental raise? Access to the company car? Changes in responsibility? After getting clear of what it is you want, ask your boss. And tell him or her why you deserve these rewards and what you are willing to do in return. As an example, if you want an increase of raise, commit yourself that you will take on extra responsibilities. Frame the offer that it will benefit the company if they grant your requests.
2. Mortgages and Loans
If you are purchasing a car or property you are most likely using a loan to acquire it. How do you get the best loan? Start off by doing some research, figure out what the current rates are and get educated. Second thing to do is shop around and negotiate with multiple sources. This will give you an idea what you can get. Remember that loan officers get paid on commission, which means no loan, no commission. Use that to your advantage. Let them know you are getting "better offers," and they can do "better than that." If you got good credit, you are at a major advantage because banks will fight for your business, let them.
3. Credit Card Rate/Fees
Just asking usually gets you lower rates or get fees waived. If they don't grant that wish, tell them (bluffing) you're going to close the card if they don't waive a fee or lower a rate. Ask for an increase of limits and if you are a good customer (perfect payment history), tell the bank that you deserve it and demand it (appear angry). Ask for a supervisor. Challenge their responses.
4. Consumer Products
Just because the price tag says it doesn't mean that's the fixed price. Ask for discounts. Ask for deals. Flinch at the price of their product, responding like "What?!? You want how much?" Ask to match the competitor's price. Nibble a little bit by asking if they will throw in an extra accessory if you buy it. Say to them that you received an email (this worked with Borders) offering 25% off but you forgot to print it out and ask how you can still receive that discount. Walk away if you can't get a good deal from that particular seller.
5. Hotel Rates
Hotels don't like empty rooms so it is in their best interest to give you a discount rate. If there's is a group of you, ask for group discounts and if they don't budge threaten to go somewhere else. Say you like their hotel but your budget only allows a certain price and say their reaction. Nibble a bit and asks for gift certificates at their shops and restaurants. Ask to get an upgrade and you'll agree on the price.
6. Professional Services
Doctors charge a lot. Maybe too much. A good way is to let them know after receiving the bill that you cannot afford it. Negotiate payment plans and/or reduction of fees. Know that if it goes to collection agency that they will receive nothing so doctors and even lawyers are willing to settle for something than nothing at all. Before accepting their services, ask for an approximate fee of what they will charge. Get them to itemize the charges and negotiate each one. Mechanics are really good at trying to take more money out of you so it's best to figure out how much they are charging upfront and hold them to it.
7. Income Tax
The government wants their money but they are actually more flexible than one might think. They'll help out with payment plans and if they won't budge, give them financial statements to prove that you truly cannot afford it. Get a better tax accountant, he or she will help negotiate for you and find some legal loopholes. Give them a call and work something out by asking for options.