The Power Of Asking

As we grow out of our teenage years, we often become more confident and sure of ourselves.

Personally, I have found that I’ve become more confident and less afraid to speak my mind and ask for what I want.

Nowadays, if I want something, I’ll request it. If I’m unhappy with something, I’ll say so.

But asking questions isn’t just a skill to have under your belt when you’re shopping or dining; it has also served me quite well in my career and my social life.

I’ve discovered since I’ve become less afraid to push for what I want that people are often more helpful than we think they will be. More doors will open than you could ever imagine. And you’ll get more perks than the person who is too timid to speak their mind.

At Work

People often find it refreshing when others ask for what they want instead of just motoring through their day without any regard to their preferences or needs. If you want to try something new or get assigned to a different project at your job, speak up and tell whoever is in charge. More than likely, the boss will appreciate your honesty since they won’t have to guess how you’re enjoying your work or what you want from your job.

A couple years ago, I took a course to become certified to teach exercise classes. I didn’t have a job lined up or even any connections at any gyms, but the topic intrigued me so I went for it. After I completed the course, I simply asked the director at my gym if he needed any more instructors and he hired me on the spot! All it took was simply asking a question and I landed myself a part-time job in a field I was truly passionate about.

As a Consumer

I’ve gotten discounts, rebates, fees removed, and freebies added just by asking for these simple things. Sure, it’s hard to get out of your comfort zone and ask for things that aren’t openly advertised, but after a while it gets easier and will give you a bit of a confidence boost.

Remember, it’s YOU the consumer who keeps companies in business, and you deserve whatever will make you completely satisfied as a consumer.

For example, it’s well known that you can call your credit card and ask them to remove miscellaneous fees or lower your APR, but try asking for what you want in other areas as well.

You can even negotiate at retail stores. Smaller items at big discount stores often aren’t as negotiable as larger items at smaller store can be (it’d be pretty difficult to talk the price of an ink pen down at a huge retailer). But if you’re shopping at a local store and find a price to be unreasonable on an item you love, don’t be afraid to see if the owner or clerk can offer you a better price.

The worst they can say is “no”.

This also works for monthly bills like cable or internet. Tell your cable company that you are considering moving to another company and most likely, they’ll be quick to lower your rate or throw in some freebies.

In Your Social Circle

As a teenager, I was the token shy girl. As I grew up, I had to “learn” the dos and don’ts of socializing that come naturally to most people. If mingling with others doesn’t come naturally to you, either, you may have to work to blossom into a social butterfly.

Why does it matter whether you’re social or not? Obviously social skills are important in all areas of our life, but especially because in most careers you’ll need some sort of social skills to impress potential employers and to network with colleagues.

So, what’s the first step in becoming that social butterfly? That’s right: asking questions.

Asking questions will often lead you right into a conversation about something you’re interested in or want to know more about. Even more importantly, other people are always flattered when someone asks them their opinion on something or takes an interest in them—by asking questions.

Ask Away

Asking for what you want or need can be a very powerful tool that yes, can save you money, but also bring you so much more. It’s a simple skill that’s easy to master. So, don’t be afraid to start asking for what you want— it may just get you further than you could have ever dreamed.

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About Amber Gilstrap

Amber is a twenty-something CPA from Kansas City, Missouri who loves writing, working out, and---of course---finding fresh ideas for saving money. Follow her on twitter @amberinks.


  1. Carrie, love your attitude about asking. I’m currently working on a book tenatively titled “You’re asking for it … aren’t you?” and would love to talk with you.

  2. Great tip. I think that it’s easy to forgot how much can be gained just by asking. It’s so easy, and the rewards can be so great. And just as you said, the worst that companies can do is say no.

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