We live in a world where almost everything is negotiable. You’ve simply got to find the time (and the will) to pick up the phone and strike a harder bargain. Or do some footwork to minimize your costs and put more money into your savings account.
Make your home safer to save on home insurance. Call your insurance broker and ask about what discounts are available. Adding security features can save you up to 20%, so if you’re currently paying $900 a year, you’d save $180.
Call for an energy audit to save on hydro and heating. You can end up paying up to 20% more for heating your home if your insulation sucks or your ductwork leaks. If you’re averaging $100 a month for heating, that’d save you over $240.
Call your cable company. Cable use is in rapid decline so consumers have more leverage. Call and ask your cable or satellite company what they’re prepared to do to keep you as a customer. If they waive the fees for a couple of your premium channels, you could save over $200 a year. If you switch to a service like Netflix or dump your cable service completely and go with watching your favorite shows on your computer, you can save even more.
Call your telephone company. Negotiate for a better long-distance package or to have things like voice-mail thrown in for free. If your telephone company is uncooperative, look for ways around the spending. Cancel your long-distance package and use Skype for your calls (it’s free!) or use a calling card to save up to 30% on your long-distance charges. If you’re currently paying $40 a month for long-distance, that’ll save you $144 a year. Switch to a VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) service to save on your annual phone bill too.