Michelle Duggar on Life Lessons and Bartering

Money!Negotiating is an important skill. I teach my kids that it's perfectly acceptable to negotiate a price on something if you've done your homework. If you feel like the price might be a little bit exorbitant or a little higher than what you are willing to pay, ask for a lower price. Especially if you're paying cash.

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For example, say you find an item you want on Craigslist. You check around to see what similar items are going for and find the price is a little high. If you've already researched it, I don't think it's rude to ask them to lower the price. You're not offending them by asking because they know what they can take for that item and what they've got to get out of it. Most people will be honest and just say, "You know, this is what I can take. I can't take any less than this." And you have to make the decision, "Am I really willing to put forth that much or will I wait for another better deal later down the road?"

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We've lost a lot of those skills in our society because we are a debt society. If we are only paying $20 or $30 or $50 a month we don't realize that we pay a huge amount by the end. We're not seeing the bigger picture when we do that. We are stressing ourselves financially to the point that we can't really make ends meet every month.

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Before we know it, we are loaded under all these bills because we didn't think clearly enough at the beginning. The whole concept of bartering and negotiating is not even in our children's minds anymore. It's become such a plastic, credit card mindset of not realizing how much you're really paying.

We've taken our children through the whole process. Are they willing to buy this big-ticket item and make the payments? Our children don't usually want to pay it out. We've already gone through that one and they understand the big picture.

We try to teach our kids that when you work hard for something and put some thought and effort into acquiring it, you appreciate it that much more.

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