I subscribe to a radio service in my car and at first I paid the full price thinking there wasn’t any other option. Then I realized I wasn’t really listening to it that much so I canceled it … well guess what happened. They called me. They e-mailed me. They called me about e-mailing me. They e-mailed me abut calling me. They had a super secret special offer just for me … at about a quarter of what I was originally paying. Yes, I took it. Yes, I felt like an idiot for not realizing that hardly anyone pays the full price.
Lesson applied to other bills and expenses.
Now about every six months or so (this year I’m doing it in January and July), I do a Bill Audit. It takes only a few minutes of my time for a few days and it’s so worth it. Yes, you might get super annoyed people who hate you just because you know how to use a phone, buuuuuuuuuuut there’s also the chance you will talk to customer service people who are actually friendly and want to share their sunshine with you.
Here are the bills I “audit” and how I saved money …
Credit cards or unsecured loans
check your interest rates! I can’t say it enough … so I’ll say it again and I’ll even put it in all caps so you will really pay attention. CHECK YOUR INTEREST RATES!
Then call your credit card companies and ask for a lower rate. Ta-da! It’s really that simple. Sometimes they say “yes”. Sometimes they say “no”. If they say “no” then just kindly explain to them that you will be shopping around for credit cards and loans with lower rates and thank them for their time. I actually got a call back from a card once after I did this and THEN they lowered our rate.
You can also search for “personal loans” and find banks who loan money unsecured so you can pay off credit cards. ONLY do this if you have the willpower to just let a credit card sit with a zero balance and not use it. It won’t save you any money to get a loan to pay off the card if you just charge the card back up. Plus closing the card zigs your credit …. so don’t do that unless you have to.
We recently got an unsecured loan with Marcus (the company not some random dude named Marcus) that cut our interest rate in half. It was super duper easy and will save us a ton of interest.
Call your cell phone provider and ask if you’re getting the best rates. Also find out when your phones pay off, how much you’re paying for insurance and if they’re running any specials.
Resist the urge to get a new phone just because you are eligible for an upgrade or the latest and greatest fliptado phone has come out. Guess what … in six months there will be a new latest and greatest and you probably won’t need that one either.
Once you pay off the phone you have consider dropping the insurance on it. We pay $10 per month per phone for insurance and once we pay off the phones we’re canceling the insurance. The deductible is $150 per phone and by the time we pay the phones off we’ll be eligible for upgrades so if our phone tragically gets eaten by a gator in New Orleans then we’ll just get a new one.
If you still have “cable” (or satellite TV of some variety), call them up and ask about their new customer specials. Then throw a hissy fit ( just a small one) if the new customers are getting a better deal than you are.
Ask what package you have and cancel anything you don’t really watch.
I just did this one … by accident. We just subscribed to Hulu so we wanted to beef up our internet speed without having to feed the little box protein shakes three times a day. That’s a joke … don’t really put protein shakes in your little box (NONE of your little boxes).
I called our internet provider and lo and behold …. I got muuuuuuuuuuuuch faster internet for $20 less per month … with a 10 minute phone call.
Check your policies so you can compare coverage then shop around.
Ask for home and auto discounts.
Not many fun things to say about insurance. It’s well … insurance.
Pencil in Pen in some time this month to sit down with your bills, pick up the phone and start calling to save money.
Saving money leads to paying more on debt
Paying more on debt leads to having no debt
Having no debt leads to a simplified life
A simplified life leads to less stress
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