There are tons of articles (of course, good articles) online all about how you could reduce a particular bill of yours just by doing some easy and simple things. While some asks you to insulate your doors, some advise to turn off your lights when you are not using them. These are good and positive suggestions and I really like them. But that fact is, unless you're extremely careless, putting your lights off isn't going to save you $50 a month.
And if you are just paying the minimums on your debt and need to free up chunks of money to get out of your debt fast, these methods aren't going to help you. Here is a unique 3-step process, which has the potential to knock off more than $125 each month if you carry out perfectly.
Make a list of your monthly bills
Knowing what to do is like winning half the battle. Having a proper list of your monthly utility and other obligations and moreover, a cumulative amount can make a real difference. It helps visualize the amount you need to pay out and of course gives you the privilege to plan beforehand.
Escape your existing system (if there is any) and put this one in place. If you are not good at keeping up with documents, there are many good online budgeting tools that could come to your rescue. Always remember, the more detail you keep of your transactions, your bills and receipts, the better you'll be financially upright.
Do some research
Now when you have the list and copies of your bills, find out what you're paying for and if it's worthy your hard-earned money. Is it unlimited texting? Unlimited cable channels? Or, membership with the most prestigious and expensive gyms and clubs? You need to know what you're getting in return against the money you're spending. If you wish, you can even ask your friends or relatives about what they spend each month for such services. Of course it's okay to talk about money. Honestly!
Call and ask
Read more: How can you cut down your cellphone bills?
I love to shop online! Though I love good bargains, I'm not a good negotiator and hate bargaining over the phone. But no matter how nervous you are about it, you should give it a try, And you always stand a better chance if you speak to a representative and ask for some offers.
Often businesses have something to offer for its new customers. You can take the chance. Sometimes, you can even show examples of competitors who are offering same quality services at lower and competitive rates and request to lower your rates.
Though you're not going to win all the time since flat service rates are hard to negotiate, you would certainly get some good deals with certain services. I had amazing success with my phone, cable, alarm and internet bills. Sometimes, the bills can be reduced by up to 33%. Even if you can't reduce the price, through creative negotiation you can definitely improve the features.
Be ready to cancel what isn't working for you. Knowing and realizing this is hard, but not impossible. Sometimes, even a disconnected service can bring back good bargains for you.