How To Save Money Monthly On Your Bills
Our lives are so busy these days with spouses, kids, pets, work, housework, homework, kid’s games, and practices. It’s enough to just keep up with our own responsibilities let alone make sure everyone else is doing their job correctly! Unfortunately the latter is also true, we have to stay on top of companies that we pay monthly to make sure our money isn’t being wasted.
Over the years I have definitely learned a expensive lessons in this area. We have learned the hard way to NEVER turn your back on the phone/cable/internet/electric companies.
Maybe your home internet cable bundle looks a lot like ours: so many pages with a ton of tiny charges throughout. Just trying to read it can be exhausting, and then trying to determine what all those extra charges are… who has time for that?! But, if we want to use our money wisely we have to be familiar with our bills and know what they say.
I have often seen the same charge different pages of the SAME bill. I will call and speak to the customer service agent and they will tell me it’s one charge but, it’s listed twice on the bill… and I suppose I am also paying for the paper these are printed on?… In my opinion they do these things to confuse us and keep us from wanting to examine our bills closely. Again, that’s just my opinion, but, I don’t think I am far off.
Years ago, before we learned any better, we used to pay the bills and not examine them closely – especially the cable and internet bundle. Then one day the bill was just ridiculous and I called customer service to see what we could do about it and why it was so high because I couldn’t make heads or tails of the 20 pages… I had to find a place where we could cut this bill down.
After speaking with a billing specialist and examining the bill and also the history of our account, we found that I was being charged a large amount each month for a service I never ordered and was never made available to me! We went back several months to the beginning of when they began charging me for this service and they removed it and issued a credit for the months I had paid for it. Once that was removed they actually owed ME money! So, for 3 months we didn’t have a phone bill at all. Lesson learned!
Needless to say we stay on top of it now. Let’s look at how to save money monthly starting NOW:
Use Your Calendar
Companies are forever offering new deals and specials. It’s important when you sign up for a new contract or deal that you know when it expires, so that you can call in before then and find out what new deal or contract you can get.
A couple of years ago our electricity bills were SKY HIGH and we attributed it to the Texas heat, we called in to see about getting some help with it and we found out our “deal” expired and we were paying a MUCH higher rate – all because we didn’t realize it had expired. Once we learned this we were able to immediately have a lower electric bill.
Seek Out Specials
We now make sure we call our utility companies every few months to see if we qualify for a special deal or if there are any changes we can make to our bill to make it better.
For the last 2 years we have gotten Netflix free through a special our cell phone company offered. Don’t be afraid to ask – Hubby called back once after we purchased something because he saw the next week it came with a special offer we didn’t get, he asked for it and they said ok, and we got it.
Speak To A Specialist
Talk to someone in customer service who can offer suggestions on how to lower your bill, ask for someone else if you feel you aren’t getting clear and direct answers. Most companies have billing specialists whose job it is to find you a better deal. They would much rather give you a better deal than have you switch to another company.
Search Out Competitor Offers
Know the deals other companies are offering and use that to your advantage when talking with a specialist. So, negotiate a better deal, it’s YOUR money! Make sure to add the date your new deal expires to your calendar.
Know Your Bills
Always make sure you know exactly how much your bill should be each month. Then you’ll be clued in right away when it comes in too high and you’ll save yourself a lot of headaches in the future.
Be sure you understand the terms of the contract or offer, and if the rate will increase, by how much, and when it expires. It’s your money – don’t waste it. You wouldn’t pay $20 for a Starbucks coffee, you KNOW you can get it cheaper elsewhere, why would you pay more than you have to for any of your bills?
Read your bills – every time they come in. This will save you tons. It gives you time to catch the mistakes before they take hold. It also gives you time to contemplate if you actually needed to purchase more gems for Candy Crush that many times last month… ijs… lol
Stay In Touch
Call often to re-negotiate your contracts or bill. I call the internet/cable company every 3 months. They are forever changing offers and adding new ones, so keep up, sometimes they don’t tell you.
Know The Fees
Be sure you know what the late fee are and exactly when that fee is applied to your account. If you run late, know the cut off date and the consequences. Often the turn on fee is much higher than it needs to be so, have all of the info. Knowledge is power and will help you make better decisions.
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