Your financial wellbeing is directly connected to your physical wellbeing – research shows that financial disequilibrium is linked to increased stress, anxiety, and depression. So, take a step in the right direction: Scrutinize your bills to see where you could be saving, and decrease your stress in the process.
Any extra dollars you can put toward paying down debt, or saving for the future will be dollars well spent for peace of mind.
Reduce your current bills
Ask yourself two questions:
- Are you using all of your phone data? If not, consider renegotiating your plan.
- Are you really using your cable – or just watching Netflix? Look at how you actually spend your cable bill, then renegotiate with your satellite or cable provider.
Got your answers? Now you’re ready to take action. Here’s how to negotiate like a pro:
- Know what you want. A bargain is only a bargain if you actually want something, like free or low-cost HBO. If you don’t watch HBO, it is of no value.
- Know what you are getting. Sometimes a lower-priced deal may not really be a deal if you get a reduction in services. Look at the details.
- Do comparison-shopping. Save promotional mailers from other providers, or visit the competition’s website. Then, armed with information, call your provider and ask them to match the deal, or beat the deal.
- Get your pitch together. Be sure to mention any reasons why they should lower your rate: you’re a long-time customer, you have a history of on-time payments, or how much you would save switching to a competitor.
- Timing is everything. “You have the best chance of negotiating with your current carrier near the end of your contract when they’re most desperate to keep you,” says Beth Koblinger, author or Get a Financial Life.
- Make the call – and be polite when you do. If you get angry, the likelihood of a deal going through decreases.
- Keep trying. If the first call does not work, keep gathering information and try again. Likewise, if the first representative you speak with says there is nothing he or she can do, ask to speak to a manager or someone in the customer cancellation department. They have the power to offer you better deals.
- Pay your bills on time! You are in a much better position to negotiate if you keep your end of the deal by making payments on time.
Transfer the money you save into a savings account each month. Watch your dollars grow.
How much are you able to save?