Its early in the month which means all of my bills just posted this past week. Between reading several articles about strategies to save money on car insurance, cellular service, cable television, and gym memberships, I am embarking on a project to attack all of these bills. There are a few approaches to take on this which vary from easy to a bit more complicated depending on the amount of time and effort you want to spend. I will discuss these and report back my results when I can.
There are many negotiation options to help you save money
- Threaten to quit. Tried and true method for cutting cable tv costs when you have options. It seems that every six months our bill goes up, and since I haven’t won the cord cutting battle with the Mrs. – we still have cable. This method will also work on getting annual fees waived for credit cards. We can call this the disloyalty option.
- Just ask. You can definitely try playing the “long time customer, I love you” angle and see where that goes. While your rate may still climb, perhaps by not as much if they throw in an incentive to stay. We can this the loyalty option.
- Just quit. For a relatively pedestrian bill such as cable television without much variation in service, cancel your service and go to the other guy. Unfortunately, with cable, it is usually “the other guy” without many options. We can call this the disloyalty / “I don’t necessary dislike your company, but I want to save money option.”
- Engage a third party. I have discovered a few bill cutting services, Bill Cutterz and Bill Fixers, that are designed to negotiate bills on your behalf. I haven’t used them yet and they do charge 50% of your first year savings, if they are successful in helping you save money. I am going to see how I fair first. But, wouldn’t it be fun to have a friendly bill cutting competition – The Consumer’s Edge vs. third party bill negotiators? I am game.
Regardless of the options you choose, it’s worth spending a bit of time every six months, or when a bill increases, to see what you can do to save money. I love this personal finance space and look forward to more tools rolling out that can effortlessly help consumers save. The web has already done a great job of making expenses more transparent and negotiable – you just need to know where to look for the right information to empower you.