First, a word about our utility costs: We live on-site for my husband’s business, paying a flat rate for rent and utilities out of our personal account. The amount was determined with our tax accountant, and at $1,000 represents 2/3 of our monthly income. Thus, any savings won’t show up directly in my goals and progress page.
Although we aren’t directly paying the utilities, it is to our advantage to cut the costs. We took a personal pay cut last year so the business could hire an employee (done!) and pay off its debt (in progress.) Once the debt is repaid, we will get a raise, so any money saved on utilities speeds that up!
This week, I called our phone/internet/satellite TV provider to negotiate our service. I did this last July and shaved 25% off of our bill without any drop in services, and got 3 free months of HBO/Showtime. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to save any money with my call today, since I’d renegotiated within 6 months and still had the lowest rates for our phone, internet, and TV service, including promotional pricing that are in place until this coming July. I’ll be dialing for dollars with our provider again when our promotional pricing ends!
When I called, I used the ideas found in this article. If you’re calling to negotiate your bill, read it first! I told the representative that I couldn’t afford our current bill and asked if he could help me. I was transferred to the retention department, and in 30 minutes saved almost $40 a month.
Once the contract is up, I’ll be canceling the satellite TV, cutting our bill almost in half from its original rate. Since the cancellation fee is almost as much as we’re paying for the service, we’ll keep it until then.
Next week, I’ll be calling to negotiate our cell phone bill, which hasn’t been negotiated within the past year, and I hope to have as much luck as I had with the phone/internet/TV service provider.
I want you to call your service provider and report back how it goes! Are you able to cut your bills by cutting unused services (we canceled a voice mail box we don’t use to save $5/month) or asking for promotional discounts (DSL for $20.00 a month, instead of the $40.00 we’d been paying)? Let me know!