Saturday, August 10, 2013

A few minutes of my time saved me $522!

Sometimes I feel like we can barely hold our noses above water when it comes to our bills.  Am I alone here?  We have been on the road to trying to get out of debt for a long time.  I feel like we finally have our grocery budget in check (more on that in a later post) and have cut out a lot of unnecessary spending, but I feel like I can always do more!

While living in the middle of nowhere has its perks--the kids can play outside in their pajamas and no one can really see them or maybe that was me in the garden... Anyways, we seem to pay a crazy amount for our internet and somehow our part of the country hasn't reached the 21st century in terms of cell phone technology, so we still have a landline.  Sometimes I just stare at the spreadsheet and hope some answers will magically appear...  So, in my trance I decided it was a good idea to work on our landline phone and internet bills.  (I wonder if this same trance will work if I stare in the mirror. Will I find the answer to melting away fat and still eating cake? Maybe it's worth a shot...)  Here's how I managed to save us some money:

 1st call: Telephone Company
  I called customer service and told them I needed to reduce my bill as much as possible.  We get good enough cell service that I can use my cell phone most of the time, but we really do need to hang on to this line for emergencies.  The guy on the other end was so helpful!  He put us on a new plan, which saved us $15 a month.  Then, he said he could bundle our phone services with our already existing satelite TV service and save us another $6 a month.  Total savings: $21/month  Total length of call: 16 minutes

2nd call: Satelite Internet Company
  I HATE satelite internet.  While I suppose I should be grateful we can get any internet service at all, satelite service isn't my favorite.  Maybe hate is too strong of a word, but I really really dislike it.  We pay $70 a month and we also have a cap on our usage.  A huge expense in our already tight budget.  I finally convinced the hubby to cancel it.  When I called I was discouraged to hear that it was a $297 penalty for getting out of our contract early--ugh!  But I didn't give up, the guy on the other end said he would offer us $15 off for 10 months for being longtime customers and put us on a lower package for another $10/month savings.  Total savings: $25/month  Total length of call: 22 minutes

Here's my advice to you:
  1.  Look over your budget and see what might have some flexibility.
  2.  Call those companies, even if you don't want to get rid of the service the cost could be lowered.
  3.  Beg, plead, gravel, swallow your pride and ask for a discount.
  4.  If that doesn't work, threaten to completely cancel your service.

38 minutes saved us $46/month and $522 for the year.  I'll take that hourly rate any day! 

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