We'd all like to have a little more money in our bank accounts. One of the best ways to start adding to your balance is by cutting down on household expenses like Internet and TV. You don't need to be at the mercy of your service providers. With a little know-how and consistent follow up, you can make sure you're not overpaying. Here are four sure-fire ways to keep monthly costs low.
One of the best ways to make sure you're not paying too much for household services is to check out the competition. Whether it's insurance, cable or Internet, comparing your options can pay off.
If you currently have cable TV, look into switching to satellite. Surprisingly, compared to cable, satellite is usually a less expensive option. With only two major satellite providers, competition can be fierce, which benefits consumers' wallets. Look into extra discounts for bundling multiple services, like phone and Internet, along with your TV package.
Another great way to save is through comparing insurance providers. Look around for a better auto insurance rate. Whether you switch providers or not, ask about any discounts you're eligible for, such as holding multiple policies or lowering rates for those with good driving records.
If you just can't bear to leave your current cable or insurance provider, you can still find ways to save. Talk to your current provider about any new deals or discounts you may qualify for. If you started out with an introductory rate and that price is about to change, ask what you can do to get another deal.
Online resources make it easy to negotiate with your current provider. Go to your provider's website and start up a conversation using the online chat feature. Let them know you love your service, but just can't continue to pay for it at the same rate. Ask them if there are any options available to help you keep your service at a price you can afford.
You might be happily surprised to discover the online customer service representatives are ready and willing to offer you a new deal that will help you stick to your budget. They get to keep a happy customer and you get to keep a few extra dollars in your wallet every month.
3. Cut Back
Take a long, hard look at the services you use and identify those that have become superfluous. If you have a home phone line, consider if you really need both caller ID and call-waiting. If you have multiple DVRs, decide if the one in the guest room is used often enough to justify the monthly fee.
In addition to looking at services you can cut, don't forget to implement cost-saving habits in your daily life at home. It's easy to shave dollars off your electricity and water bills every month through simple, household actions. These are behaviors like turning off the lights when you leave a room, turning off the water while you brush your teeth, sealing drafts and leaks as soon as you discover them or using fans instead of air conditioning when the heat isn't unbearable.
4. Be Diligent
Stay on top of changes and new deals your service providers offer. If you see a deal that would save you money, contact your provider and ask if you qualify. Instead of calling them, consider taking to Twitter when it's time to chat with your provider. The public forum makes it hard for companies to ignore your request. Plus, providers look better when they do the right thing and take care of you.
Check with your power and water utilities for any deals they offer customers for adopting green practices. Some companies provide rebates or monthly discounts for customers who take steps to be environmentally responsible.
The best way to make sure you're not paying more than you should for the things you need is to speak up when you think you can get a better deal. It may take a little extra effort and time, but it's definitely worth it to see extra dollars in your bank account every month.