reduce bills http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/10375/all en-US 10 Ways to Save $100 This Week http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-100-this-week <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-save-100-this-week" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000002172522Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>This post is part of <a href="http://www.americasavesweek.org/">America Saves Week</a>.</em></p> <p>Money is like a cake. When you get that delicious dessert, it can be tempting to eat it all at once. But if you do, you&rsquo;ll end up with a stomachache, that sugarcoated feeling on your teeth, and perhaps most importantly &mdash; no cake for later.</p> <p>Similarly, if you spend all of your money, you&rsquo;ll probably end up regretting your splurges &mdash; and wishing you had some funds sitting in the bank.</p> <p>Often, savings strategies are obvious &mdash; you set a big piece of cake aside, and it&rsquo;s there waiting for you. But sometimes, it&rsquo;s the little things that make that cake disappear. I&rsquo;m reminded of the time my childhood friend Mike held a cake on his lap while we were driving home. He took fingerful after fingerful of frosting &mdash; and when we got home, Mike discovered that he had completely defrosted the cake without realizing it.</p> <p>The following list features both kinds of savings strategies &mdash; big ones that work all at once, and little ones that add up over time. All of them can be put into action during <a href="http://www.AmericaSavesWeek.org">America Saves Week,</a> and every single one ensures that you can have your cake and eat it too.</p> <h3>1. Track Your Spending, and Make a Budget</h3> <p>Understanding where your money is going is the best way to start saving, which is why your first step is to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-your-first-budget-in-5-easy-steps">make a budget</a>. It might be that, once you make your budget and realize how much you&rsquo;re spending in certain categories, you can immediately save $100 by making little trims here and there.</p> <h3>2. Pack Your Lunch</h3> <p>One of the keys to saving is developing long-term habits &mdash; such as bringing your own lunch to work instead of eating out. If you&rsquo;re worried you don&rsquo;t have time, cook something on Sunday and put it in individual Tupperware containers. Start this week, and over the course of a month, you can easily save $100.</p> <h3>3. Check If You&rsquo;re Being Over-Serviced</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s easy to &ldquo;set it and forget it,&rdquo; paying the same bills every month. This week, take a look at your regular services &mdash; are you using all of your cell phone minutes? Do you have more coverage than you need on your car insurance? Are you utilizing any extra cable channels you pay for? If your answer is no to any of these, call your provider, and change your plan.</p> <h3>4. Negotiate Your Bills</h3> <p>Checking for over-servicing isn&rsquo;t the only way to lower your regular bills. If you&rsquo;re not paying a promotional rate for services like cable and Internet, you&rsquo;re paying too much. Call your service provider, and ask if there is any way you can lower your bill. If they don&rsquo;t automatically say yes, suggest that you&rsquo;re going to find another provider. Be patient, nice, and firm, and you can get a better rate.</p> <h3>5. Vow to Reuse, Repair, and Repurpose Instead of Buying New</h3> <p>Every time you think about buying something new, ask yourself &mdash; do you really need it, or can you make do with something you already have or that you can borrow from a friend?</p> <h3>6. Get to Know Your Credit Card</h3> <p>Visit your credit card company&rsquo;s website and read the fine print. Many credit cards offer free benefits that are not well publicized. These benefits may include extended warranties, free tickets, price drop protection, extra discounts, concierge services, and cash giveaways. Of course, you should not use a credit card at all if you carry a balance every month. If you can&rsquo;t control your spending, consider switching over to a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-6-reasons-why-using-cash-only-rocks">cash-only system</a>.</p> <h3>7. Change Your Living Situation</h3> <p>Yes, this is a big change &mdash; but it also has big financial rewards. If you have extra space in your house, try renting out a room, either permanently or to travelers using a service like Airbnb. Or, if you live alone, it might be time to get a roommate.</p> <h3>8. Clean Out Your Pantry</h3> <p>Empty your cupboards, see what you have, and plan meals around the ingredients you want to use up. You&rsquo;ll slash your next grocery bill, and you&rsquo;ll help ensure that food doesn&rsquo;t go stale.</p> <h3>9. Create a &ldquo;Cheap Fun Club&rdquo; With Friends</h3> <p>If you&rsquo;re trying to save money, it can be disheartening when friends invite you to things that you don&rsquo;t want to spend money on. Instead, be proactive, and invite your friends to share in frugal activities with you, such as potlucks, watching movies at home, and board game nights.</p> <h3>10. Sell Your Stuff</h3> <p>Taking the time to declutter your house and sell your extra stuff has multiple benefits. Not only can you make money getting rid of your old items, but you might also discover other useful things you had forgotten about.</p> <p><i>How are you planning to save money for </i><a href="http://www.AmericaSavesWeek.org"><i>America Saves Week</i></a><i>?&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </i>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-100-this-week">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lower-your-credit-card-interest-rate-and-reduce-your-phone-bill-immediately-and-easily">Lower Your Credit Card Interest Rate and Reduce Your Phone Bill, Immediately and Easily</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-hotel-room-booking-tools-every-frugal-traveler-should-know">5 Hotel Room Booking Tools Every Frugal Traveler Should Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-earn-money-on-etsy-no-craft-required">How to Earn Money on Etsy — No Craft Required</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-frugal-and-easy-ways-to-update-an-old-home">19 Frugal (And Easy) Ways to Update an Old Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-84-reasons-to-be-done-with-summer-and-get-excited-for-fall">Flashback Friday: 84 Reasons to Be Done With Summer and Get Excited for Fall</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living $100 america saves reduce bills Mon, 25 Feb 2013 11:30:00 +0000 Meg Favreau 966551 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Mistakes to Avoid When Shopping for Car Insurance http://www.wisebread.com/6-mistakes-to-avoid-when-shopping-for-car-insurance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-mistakes-to-avoid-when-shopping-for-car-insurance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/driving_backwards.jpg" alt="Man looking over his shoulder while driving" title="Man looking over his shoulder while driving" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="129" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Shopping around for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/auto-insurance">car insurance</a> can help you find the best possible deal and even help you negotiate for a better rate. You need to do more than just focus on the rates the insurance company has quoted, however. Asking some critical questions and taking a good look at your coverage options will help you find an insurance policy that truly meets your needs &mdash; and also helps you avoid some costly mistakes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-cheap-auto-insurance-for-young-drivers">How to Get Cheap Auto Insurance for Young Drivers</a>)</p> <p>Here are six mistakes to avoid when shopping for car insurance.</p> <h3>1. Not Knowing How Much Coverage You Need</h3> <p>If you are changing auto insurance providers, want to add a new vehicle, or are moving out of state and need to purchase insurance, take a good look at the coverage options and your state's minimum requirements. Buying excess coverage is a common mistake &mdash; especially if you are a new customer and have been pressured into signing for a policy by an insurance agent.</p> <h3>2. Relying <em>Only</em> on Online Shopping Comparison Sites</h3> <p>While most of the major insurance providers are listed on online insurance quote sites, some are not, and these companies might be able to offer a better rate. Make sure you&rsquo;re aware of all of the insurance agents or companies in your area, so you&rsquo;re not relying solely on the online shopping comparison sites for the best quote. You just need to set up a phone call with an insurance agent and provide some basic information about your driving history, your vehicle, and insurance needs; and the agent can extend a quote over the phone within minutes. If you submit your information on an online shopping comparison site, you may need to wait a few days for an agent to get back to you, and the &ldquo;instant quotes&rdquo; may not be anywhere near what you will end up paying.</p> <h3>3. Forgetting to Factor in a Big Umbrella Policy</h3> <p>If you purchased an umbrella policy in the past, make sure you&rsquo;re able to purchase the same level of extra coverage with your new insurance provider. An umbrella policy provides extra coverage when your liability coverage ends. If you have a considerable amount of assets and want to avoid a costly lawsuit, make sure you have the option to purchase an umbrella policy. Most insurers will charge extra for this policy, so you&rsquo;ll need to factor this in when requesting a quote.</p> <h3>4. Not Asking About Discounts</h3> <p>While some discounts are applied automatically, others require a fairly extensive review process to determine eligibility and will require some action on your part. If you&rsquo;ve taken a remedial driving course, started working from home, or switched employers, make sure your insurance company knows about it. Not all discounts that you are eligible for may be advertised on the company website, and the insurance agent might not even bring them up during your first meeting. Ask about a &ldquo;good driver&rdquo; discount, employee discounts, and other incentives that might bring down your insurance rates.</p> <h3>5. Not Reviewing Your Driving Record</h3> <p>If you are planning to switch insurance providers, you&rsquo;ll need to fill out a formal application and include details about your driving history. Make sure you&rsquo;re providing accurate information about your driving record, or you could be guilty of insurance fraud. If you can&rsquo;t recall all of your traffic violations and tickets from the past five years, just get in touch with your state&rsquo;s department of motor vehicles and request an official copy of your driving record. The DMV will have a long list of all violations and reports on file and can pull the information you need fairly quickly.</p> <h3>6. Ignoring Payment Policies</h3> <p>While most insurance companies offer convenient payment options and even online bill pay, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-cant-you-ever-make-on-time-payments">late payment fees</a> and other charges vary from company to company. Don&rsquo;t forget to ask what the payment policy is, when payments are typically due, and about discounts for paying the entire balance upfront. These small details aren&rsquo;t always listed on the company&rsquo;s website and may only be revealed when you see the final contract.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sabah-karimi">Sabah Karimi</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-mistakes-to-avoid-when-shopping-for-car-insurance">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash">Repair the Car or Spend the Cash?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-mechanical-breakdown-insurance-worth-it">Is Mechanical Breakdown Insurance Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-drop-collision-coverage-on-your-car">When to drop collision coverage on your car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-to-save-on-car-insurance">4 Tips to Save on Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-top-10-cheapest-cars-to-insure">The Top 10 Cheapest Cars to Insure</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Insurance car insurance Mistakes reduce bills Tue, 29 Nov 2011 10:36:40 +0000 Sabah Karimi 798281 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Tips to Shrink Your Bills Every Year http://www.wisebread.com/6-tips-to-shrink-your-bills-every-year <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-tips-to-shrink-your-bills-every-year" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bigstock_The_Incredible_Shrinking_Dolla_7769327.jpg" alt="Man with a tiny dollar" title="Man with a tiny dollar" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="176" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everyone wants to make more money &mdash; it&rsquo;s exciting to think of what you can do with some extra cash. But it&rsquo;s a lot easier to reduce your bills than it is to make more money. I recently <a href="http://www.thewriterscoin.com/cutting-expenses-still-matters/">cut $120 from my monthly expenses</a> by doing an annual bill audit, and it only took a few hours of work.</p> <p>A bill audit means you commit to taking a look at your bills once a year and finding ways to maximize where your money is going.</p> <p>I just finished my own audit, and here are six tips that will help make things go smoothly.</p> <h3>1. Schedule It</h3> <p>This one is crucial &mdash; you won&rsquo;t get it done unless you schedule it. A one-off bill audit is great, but the real savings come from doing this every year. Set an annual reminder in your calendar program of choice, and then get to work.</p> <p>If you have a day or time of the year that you sit down and do &ldquo;paperwork,&rdquo; then add this to the list. Tax time is a good way to remember since you&rsquo;re looking at all the money you&rsquo;ve made. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-tax-preparers-should-tell-you">5 Things Tax Preparers Should Tell You</a>)</p> <h3>2. Itemize</h3> <p>Take a close look at your bills. Don&rsquo;t just write down the amount you&rsquo;re paying every month &mdash; that&rsquo;s useless. You need to know what&rsquo;s inside that bill.</p> <ul> <li>How much is your cable-box rental costing you? What about HBO?</li> <li>How much is texting costing you? What about overages?</li> <li>Are you paying for insurance coverage you don&rsquo;t need anymore?</li> </ul> <p>I found out I could cut roadside assistance because I have AAA now.&nbsp;The point is to look at the details so you can determine if you need every specific line item. Odds are you&rsquo;ll find something in there you can chuck.</p> <h3>3. Figure Out Your History</h3> <p>How much have you used the stuff you just itemized? Take a look at the past three months (you can find all this online, more likely than not) or so to see what your usage looks like.</p> <p>How many Netflix movies did you really watch?&nbsp;How many minutes did you use up on your cell phone? Texts? What about data?</p> <p>Put all this stuff into a spreadsheet and then look and see if there is a cheaper plan you can sign up for that better suits your actual needs, not what you think you need.</p> <p>Be careful, though &mdash; you don&rsquo;t want to sign up for a lesser plan only to get dinged with overage charges down the line. Pick one that covers you in case your usage bumps up a little.</p> <h3>4. Get Quotes</h3> <p>Thanks to the Internet, this is easy. Insurance companies will let you create and save quotes in minutes. For cell phones, cable, and Internet plans, just browse the different sites, and you should be able to get an idea of what it will cost you to change your plan.</p> <p>You might be eligible for extra savings if you actually call, so keep that in mind too.</p> <h3>5. Read the Fine Print</h3> <p>If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. Make sure you read all the fine print. I switched to a crazy-cheap T-Mobile plan, but it's crazy cheap because they won&rsquo;t give me any discounts on new phones. I&rsquo;m OK with that, but some people won&rsquo;t be.</p> <p>Know exactly what you&rsquo;re getting into before you make the jump.</p> <h3>6. Call</h3> <p>I hate talking on the phone, but sometimes this is only way to get certain deals. It&rsquo;s also a great way to get all your questions answered. I switched my <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kick-that-cell-phone-contract-save-with-a-prepaid-plan">cell phone plan</a> on the phone and at the end of the switch, the customer service representative offered to take an extra $10 off my monthly bill to try some new service they were offering.</p> <p>After finding out the exact details (read the fine print!), I signed up and set a reminder to kill the plan in two years so I don&rsquo;t get charged. Calling is how I found out about the insurance coverage I no longer needed. I hate calling, but I like saving more.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carlos-portocarrero">Carlos Portocarrero</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tips-to-shrink-your-bills-every-year">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-16"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lower-your-credit-card-interest-rate-and-reduce-your-phone-bill-immediately-and-easily">Lower Your Credit Card Interest Rate and Reduce Your Phone Bill, Immediately and Easily</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-day-debt-reduction-plan-search-and-destroy">5-Day Debt Reduction Plan: Search and Destroy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-monthly-bills-you-can-slash">10 Monthly Bills You Can Slash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beyond-debt-free-getting-by-in-the-new-economy">Beyond Debt-Free: Getting By in the New Economy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/seven-monthly-expenses-we-dont-realize-we-dont-need">7 Monthly Expenses We Don&#039;t Realize We Don&#039;t Need</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting customer service cutting expenses reduce bills Thu, 20 Oct 2011 10:36:15 +0000 Carlos Portocarrero 755945 at http://www.wisebread.com Lower Your Credit Card Interest Rate and Reduce Your Phone Bill, Immediately and Easily http://www.wisebread.com/lower-your-credit-card-interest-rate-and-reduce-your-phone-bill-immediately-and-easily <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/lower-your-credit-card-interest-rate-and-reduce-your-phone-bill-immediately-and-easily" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/reduce bills.JPG" alt="cell phone" title="cell phone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">Are your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-seven-reasons-why-i-use-my-credit-card-for-everything">credit card</a> interest rates getting to you? Are those monthly <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-ways-to-stay-in-touch-on-the-road">cell phone</a> bills a pain in the wallet? How about <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/seven-monthly-expenses-we-dont-realize-we-dont-need">cable TV</a>? Internet? Even the power bill? Would you like to reduce these charges without the hassle of changing suppliers? Read on, my frugal friend.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">As <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-personal-finance-tips-you-dont-always-hear-about">Tisha recently pointed out</a>, most suppliers will not be forthcoming with you about less expensive suppliers in the marketplace or new options within the same company that could save you money and be a better fit for your needs. But this does not mean that you aren&rsquo;t entitled to save this money. You just have to <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-in-style-for-free">ask for it</a>.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Once my contract was up with my cell phone provider, I did a little shopping around for new plans. I didn&rsquo;t actually <i>intend </i>to change carriers; I was just doing some research. As a matter of course, I was able to find another carrier that on the surface appeared to provide a better deal.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p></o:p>Armed with information, I toddled off to the telephone and called my cell phone supplier. In a friendly and conversational tone, I suggested that there were other providers that could match or beat my current plan. In the next breath I said that I would prefer to keep my business with this company, since I believe in loyalty and since they have given me no reason to leave. I finished off with the big question: <b>&ldquo;What Can You Do For Me?&rdquo;</b> And then I let them talk.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p></o:p>On that day, I received $150 towards a new phone, 100 free minutes per month, and a substantial reduction in my monthly charges. All simply by asking.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">After this experience, I thought &ldquo;this is too easy!&rdquo; and looked for other ways to save money.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p></o:p>I called my credit card company with a similar pitch and ended with &ldquo;What Can You Do For Me?&rdquo; I hung up the phone with my annual fee eliminated and my interest rate reduced by 6%. Again, simply by asking.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p></o:p>I repeated the same procedure with my cable tv company, and walked away with a cable and internet package that far surpassed what I was previously getting, saving me over $40/month between the two.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Reducing your bills and getting <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-discount-every-time">discounts</a> is really as simple as asking for it. When I had to get new tires for my car the other day, I was quoted a price and immediately asked if they could give me a discount for paying with cash. They reduced their rates by $10 and threw in free installation, rotation, and balancing.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>If you want to save money on your bills, here are a few pointers to get you started:</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <h3><b>Do Your Research.</b></h3> <p>By understanding the going rates across the market, you are in a better position to evaluate both what you are currently paying, and what is being offered to you when you call. Knowledge equals negotiating power.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <h3><b>Be Prepared to Walk</b>.</h3> <p class="MsoNormal">If you are calling with a &ldquo;holier than thou&rdquo; tone of voice, suggesting that another carrier will give you a better deal, then you need to be prepared to walk if you really believe the other supplier is better. Calling with a bluff is bad form. Besides which, if you aren&rsquo;t offered a deal and you say you are canceling your plan, a whole new wave of &ldquo;please stay, we need your business&rdquo; discounts sometimes become available as a result.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <h3><b>Ask for the Manager.</b></h3> <p>Sometimes the customer service representative you are speaking to doesn&rsquo;t have the power to provide the discount you would like. Thank them for their help, tell them that you have no problems whatsoever with how they have dealt with you, but that you would like to speak to a manager to see if you can strike a better deal. They are usually cordially helpful in this manner, and the further up you travel on the company food chain, the deeper the discount possibilities are.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <h3><b>Be Nice! </b></h3> <p class="MsoNormal">Even if you call to complain, be nice. You stand a much better chance of achieving what you want by treating the customer service representative like a human being. I once called to lodge a complaint about an online order mistake, and because I was nice about it, the representative (who had obviously endured a brow-beating day of nasty complaints) was so overtly surprised that our conversation was pleasant that she sent me $40 in coupons in addition to fixing the problem right away. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <h3><b>Anything is Discountable.</b></h3> <p class="MsoNormal">Truly &ndash; you can negotiate just about anything. Just because a website advertises specific rate packages does not mean that you cannot bend the rules. I recently signed up for internet access with a new supplier; in so doing I researched the packages available online, and then called to ask if they had any promotions available. Between the two people I talked to, I saved over $400 in posted connection fees, received 50% off the posted monthly rates, and got a $10 monthly reduction in my telephone bill too. None of these discounts were posted online, and I don't believe they would have become available to me if I had not asked.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <h3><b>Target Suppliers you have been with for a While. </b></h3> <p class="MsoNormal">The longer you have been with a supplier, the better a case you have for getting a discount to stay with them. Don&rsquo;t be afraid to point out how long you have given the company business before asking what they can do for you.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">I do believe that the &ldquo;squeaky wheel gets the grease&rdquo; as the adage goes. But I also don&rsquo;t believe that the squeaky wheel has to be a whining, moaning, bitching one. You can pipe up, ask for a discount, and get exactly what you want quite effectively using these tips above and by keeping a smile on your face. Try it &ndash; and reduce your credit card interest rate and phone bills in the meantime.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lower-your-credit-card-interest-rate-and-reduce-your-phone-bill-immediately-and-easily">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/oprah-asks-a-great-question-what-can-you-live-without">Oprah Asks A Great Question; What Can You Live Without?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/regifting-a-simple-how-to-guide">Regifting: A Simple How-To Guide</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">Debit Or Credit? Which One Should You Choose At The Checkout?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-the-nasty-secret-of-the-craigslist-free-section">Beware, The Nasty Secret Of The Craigslist Free Section</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wisdom-from-my-favorite-frugal-tv-character-julius-rock">Wisdom from My Favorite Frugal TV Character - Julius Rock</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Life Hacks Budgeting Consumer Affairs Credit Cards Lifestyle Shopping cable tv changing suppliers credit card interest rates discounts lower bills pay less phone bills reduce bills save money Mon, 02 Feb 2009 21:11:43 +0000 Nora Dunn 2805 at http://www.wisebread.com