Cutting down your mobile phone, rent, credit card and other bills is the gift that keeps on giving, all year 'round. Try these negotiation tactics, savings tips, reminder plans and other tips to cut down your paycheque killers.
Photo by Casey Serin.
Double-Check Your Credit Card Statement
When you've automated your finances and feel like you're watching your purchases at the store, it can be easy to overlook the surprisingly frequent purchases you didn't make on your credit card bill. As Consumer Reports points out, it happens all too frequently—even twice in two months. Having to provide a card twice because it "didn't go through" is a red flag, but sometimes stores, restaurants and online vendors are just overzealous with their charges. (Original post)
Reduce Your Rent With A Letter
Rent increases can seem like a fact of life, but if you're in an area hit hard by the real estate downturn, it doesn't have to stick. The Wall Street Journal detailed the efforts by some Manhattan roommates to run the math and reduce their rent with a letter, and it worked to the tune of $US300. Your mileage will certainly vary, but if you're consistent with payments and fairly reliable, you don't have to pay more when everyone else is paying less. Photo by Editor B.
Skip The Dry Cleaning On Certain Clothes
"Dry clean only" is not a hard and fast rule, according to a veteran dry cleaner. For clothing made primarily of polyester and nylon, washing yourself, on a gentle cycle, is entirely do-able, according to EcoSalon's interview with an expert. Cotton, which you'd think could be handled at home, should actually go to the cleaners if the tag says so, to avoid shrinking. Bamboo, too, is a safe DIY cleaning candidate, but ... wait, who owns bamboo-based clothes? Photo by Wm Jas. (Original post)
Never Pay Late Fees With Smart Reminders
Paying late fees on bills that merely slipped your mind or missed your desk stinks. There are ways to triple-check you know a bill is due, and they're all free. For bills that offer online payments and email statements, we suggest our set-and-forget system for sorting reminder emails. And there's "batching your bills"—calling your billers, asking to reset your billing periods to a common point (the first or 30th, perhaps), and then paying them as they come in. It gives you a clear view of your obligations for the month and fewer mid-month doubts about what you owe. Photo by *_Abhi_*. (Original post (batching))
Learn the Art of "Just Asking"
It seems strange to think that, after you've signed up for a service or started shopping at a store, you can ask them to pay less for something and get that offer. But as Jason found out, there are ways of getting people on the phone, or talking over a counter, and reduce your bills by just asking. In his case, he picked up a serious discount on cable and internet, discovered semi-secret Office Depot sales, found out about customer rewards programs he'd never known about, and even got a larger garbage can at a lower cost. Photo by stopnlook.
1. Run Through a Day-Off Checklist Of Savings Moves
What if you actually acted on all those things you always say you'd do "If I had the time"? Better still, what if someone made you a checklist of potential savings to check out, interest rates to boost, credit cards to swap out, and utilities to ring up and ask for a better deal? Ron Lieber made exactly that checklist, and told the story of his productive day off. (Original post)
What's the best move you've made to save monthly money in the last year? Where did you find not-so-obvious savings inside your services? Spread the wealth in the comments.