Among all the sophisticated approaches and techniques you can take to extend the reach of your income these days, there is one ancient, tried-and-tested method that tends to be overlooked: haggling.

So caught up are we in the machinations of our automated, corporate-owned, click-to-buy economy, we forget that the basics of shopping come down to a merchant trying to exchange their goods or services with a customer. Even when there’s apparently only one human involved, such as with online shopping, there is often room to inject a bit of warmth – and a bit of bartering – into the process.

One of the best ways to keep your expenses down, for example, is to ensure that your regular monthly subscriptions are arranged at the best possible price. It doesn’t seem like much when you look at a monthly bill, but a year of internet or phone service soon adds up – and so do the savings, if you’re able to get a reduction starting out.

Do your research first, using price comparison sites where possible, and know what your regular provider’s competitors are offering; then, make sure to speak to a human when you call up to renew, and let them know you feel ripped off. This way, you are likely to get a matched price offer, maybe with some extras (such as cable channels or data) thrown in for good will. If it doesn’t seem like it’s working, trying Tweeting about it to see if that grabs their attention before you defect to a competitor.

This is just one way to get better value online, but whether you’re shopping electronically or in the high street there are a raft of techniques available that are just as effective now as they were to our ancestors. For the lowdown on getting a bargain at the grocery store, boutique or online, check out this new video and infographic – and get saving.

haggle infographic modern world
Infographic: On Stride Financial