Living frugally was not an easy thing for me to do at first, but now I think it is the best decision that I have ever made. I am always trying to think of new ways to save money. So this time I decided to see if I could get my monthly bills lowered such as cable, cell phone, alarm system, and energy bill. If you have a part-time job, use this great paycheck calculator to see how your hourly compensation compares to a regular weekly or monthly salary.
So, I started with my cell phone company to see if there was any way that I could get my rate lowered or get some extra bonus minutes. This took several hours and repeat phone calls, but in the end, it worked out in my favor. I told the customer service representative that I could no longer afford to pay over $65.00 a month for my service (mind you that my contract is set to expire next month) and in order to continue with the service, I needed a discount because the prepaid plans are so much cheaper with the same features. After haggling back and forth and threatening to cancel my service she finally gave me a 20% discount with extra minutes.
Total savings per year $156
Next, I called the cable company because at the beginning of the year they increased their prices and eliminated some of my channels for the same price (what is up with that). Luckily, there is another provider in the area as their competition.
So, I informed my cable provider that I was switching because it would be a cost-saving measure for me if they could not lower my price. After only 30 minutes on the phone, the representative agreed to discount my cable rate $12 per month.
Total savings per year $144
Next on my hit list was the alarm company that seriously had worked my nerves. The company that I was originally with, got bought out and this company had awful customer service. So if they wanted to keep my business it was really going to have to be a cost-saving measure for me. After instructing them that my contract was up in 2 months and I would be happy to pay them in advance, but I did not want their service they started offering me a $5 discount per month.
However, since I didn’t care whether I kept them or not I said no that is not good enough because I know nothing about your company. To my surprise, the manager gets on the phone and offer $10 discount per month to stay with the company. This offer was too good to pass up so I accepted.
Total savings per year $120
Lastly, is my power bill. I have a programmable thermostat home but rarely used it so I started setting it to a higher temperature when I left home. I live in Alabama so it gets really hot down here. So it stays 80 in the house when I am there and 85 when I leave. I tried this for a couple of months and was astonished the amount I saved. The first month I saved $25 and the second month I save $30 (I calculated these against the average from last year’s bill and previous months).
Total average savings per year $330!!!!!
Total Savings by making a few adjustments $750 per year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What I learned from this experiment:
- The customer service reps are more willing to work with you if there are other competitors in the area. For example, state that the other company is offering a lower rate and it would be more beneficial to go with the other company.
- If you are at the end of your contract they are more willing to work with you because they want to keep your business for another year or so. So this is the best time to renegotiate your rate or pricing.
- If someone says no ask to speak to a supervisor simply call back to let them know you mean business.
- At some points they were not willing to work with me so I asked them to cancel the service, and only then did they want to renegotiate.
- Be polite and simply state your case and explain your loyalty to the company. You will never get anywhere by being rude.