It’s Frugal Friday and so far we’ve talked about things like saving money in groups, at the grocery store or even at the pump but when is the last time you’ve looked into saving money on your regular monthly bills? Did you know that you have negotiating power when it comes to your phone, cable, satellite, internet and energy bills?
Start by sitting down with all of your regular monthly bills and review each statement to familiarize yourself with the itemized list of charges. If you are unsure of a charge, call your provider and ask them to explain it to you. Sometimes you will find that it is a tax or surcharge that you can’t avoid but often times you may find that you are paying for a service plan or extra that you don’t want or need.
After you have everything cleaned up, ask them what they can do to help you save money on your bill so that you don’t have to switch providers in order to do so. More often than not, the thought of losing you as a customer will put them on a quick search for your best deal. If you have been a long time customer, there are often “Preferred Customer” deals that are unadvertised and not offered unless asked for by the customer. My family and I receive deals like these on both our cell phone and satellite bills.
Another option may be moving to a package plan or combining services in order to reduce your bill even further. Just be sure to read the fine print. Many times a provider will offer you a fantastic deal for the first 12 months only to find that the price will double at the end of the contract.
Another thing to explore is negotiating the extras on your bill. My husband is an avid football fan and the season just wouldn’t be complete without the football package from our satellite provider. The problem is, it is way too expensive for our tastes but, because we have purchased the package in the past, they auto renew us every year. So, every year my husband calls to tell them that we want to cancel the package because it is just too expensive and every year they say “We understand but, because you are such a loyal customer, we’d be willing to cut that price in half for you if that would help”. Well, as a matter of fact, it would help. So, every year my husband gets the football package at half off the advertised price.
When all is said and done, if your provider is not offering you satisfaction, research other companies to see what they have to offer. Many people think they are stuck with their current providers with no other options but don’t be afraid to think out of the box.
You could always give up your regular home phone line and use only cell phones (just make sure you get a good plan!) or investigate voice over IP options that can provide you with a phone line via the internet for a fraction of the price of a regular land line. You can also investigate companies like Viridian, who offer energy alternatives for your home.
There are a plethora of options out there for the taking, you just have to ask for them. So, what are you waiting for? Start researching the possibility of saving money on your monthly bills today and then come back to tell me how it all worked out for you!
Do you have a tip for saving money on your monthly bills? We want to hear it. Post in the comments below or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org