Make your money talk. You choose where you shop and what you buy. There are so many choices in the stores that it can be difficult to choose what you will spend money on. I’m learning how to stand up for myself because I’ve learned that I am an important customer with lots of choices. That’s right – I by myself am important. I buy for a family of 4 – let’s dismiss the fact that thousands read my blog daily – and just think of me as an average mom. All of those choices means that if I don’t like a product, store, or company – I will stop spending my money on these products, at these stores, or with this company. This makes me an important customer, the power of my money and where I spend it.

Here are a few things that I am getting better at, it all boils down to standing up for myself:
1. I question everything. Prices, policies, product claims, receipts. Asking questions is a good way to learn and to catch errors.
2. I ask for a discount. Talk to the manager if you want to buy a product, but see something that may warrant a discount for it. It doesn’t matter if you are at a local thrift shop or a major nationwide chain. It never hurts to ask for a discount.
3. I tell companies if their products don’t perform as promised. Especially if the product claims on the package just don’t ring true for me after using the product. Sometimes products are just obviously flawed in some way. I go to the companies website and call their 1-800 number or send them an email. Most of the time I receive a response, and often I receive a product replacement.
4. I return things I don’t like. I bought a new set of sheets. I washed the sheets and after they came out of the dryer I did not like the feel or wrinkled look of the fabric. I returned the sheets. In the past I would have not returned them because they were not “new in the package” and I would just write it off as my mistake for buying that particular brand. Now I will return any product I am truly not happy with even if I’ve washed it.
5. I voice my opinion. Well, I take a lot of short consumer surveys that are sent to me directly from companies that I like and want to give them feedback about their products. I also talk to Store Managers when I have a chance about why I love their store, or areas that could use improvement. They appreciate honest feedback from their customers.
How are you standing up for yourself? What words of wisdom do you have to share with those learning how to stand up for themselves? A related post that I wrote is “Be An Empowered Consumer” which focuses more on using coupons and asking for free samples.