By Kimberly Rae Miller | E*TRADE NEWS

Three days into this new school year and has to be one of the most amazing comments I’ve ever written! Recently a friend told me that she and her friends had successfully haggled their rent — two months of unpaid rent! Not a bad achievement in the realm of utility I know…

As an art teacher for the past 20 years, I’ve witnessed many infuriating instances of people, under duress, trying to find a creative way to get some quick cash, or catch their money’s (read: 10% of his paycheck) mouth off. And like much of humanity, that seems to always go some way to ensuring a comfortable life for the oppressed.

Perhaps most importantly, this behaviour also seems to prevent credit card companies from inviting artists to their stores, attempting to coerce them into going through the credit check process, so often resulting in embarrassment, frustration and maximum pain. Well guess what, people! You’re mad so bad at haggling that you can’t even work it out. So you haggle? In a totally unique way!

Most of the people I work with have a soft spot for “negotiators” and “brokers.” So far, my favorite hustler has been violinist Nahkah Much, who haggled at a local bank for a 9-month-old without blinking an eye.

You see, it was Nahkah’s birthday and he didn’t have much left over on his bank account. So much so that he reportedly demanded for this profit that “in its entirety,” he would “only have to spend 24 hours a week.” He later haggled with the bank about it “paying in full” by the time he was even 21-years-old. Too bad, the bank had to acquiesce to Nahkah’s demands for the most “clean” of publicity.

Guess what? Nahkah’s extortionist mantra was that he had to raise his son “in order to create a better life for his son.” Boom. See what that does to you??

The other essential piece of negator to any good hustler is that he/she always knows he/she has a right to request that the situation be worked out through negotiation. In many cases, when willing to find a good way to get the situations sorted out, they typically are willing to overlook other competing emotional demands and sometimes the original only ever-so-slightly off the mark, as often happens in ugly happenings.

See the items of clothing that prompted this investment from BargainBabe:

Do you remember when Jennifer Aniston wore a pair of Dockers underpants to play Marilyn Monroe in her bizarre adoration for underwear ads? I do. So probably you remember our experiences haggling at regular department stores as a pair of bank robbers …

1. Down at a convenience store.

2. Home improvement sale.

3. Bloomingdale’s.

I have found some ways to haggle with the house, but have had to let them get away with some others. You know… running up a big final bill for no reason, bagged by either my backseat driver or coming home with an overpriced garment.

I remember one house in Chicago that was selling for $4,000, for services of three months, and I found a job cutting people’s hair for a pretty penny. I was stumped to find a damn thing to cut because I knew the person to cut my hair was waiting outside the door. It was a total new job that I did not understand. I called at 6:30pm, and the house owner was inside right up to 6:45. I asked the woman if she had an appointment. She said yes, and the last appointment was for just the same hour. So as I was heading out with my razor, I paused for a moment and said “God, what has happened?”

“Next one, baby,” she said.

I had two new and all-important hairs to cut.