Five easy phone calls that will save you THOUSANDS!
5 EASY PHONE CALLS that will save you THOUSANDS!
Savvy Shopping Guru Jodi Furman Tells You How to Cut Down Your Bills With A Few Simple Calls
Today’s economy calls for a lot of tough calls. 5 CALLS that aren’t made are the ones that can really save us some extra cash — thousands to be more exact! Shopping Specialist Jodi Furman has perfected the strategy to lower costs of necessities and expenses we just can’t get away from, and explains the step-by-step process of how to go about shaving off tons of money from monthly bills and realize thousands by years end.
Call 1: Cable/Internet/Home Phone
If you think you’re running low on cash, think about all the companies you subscribe to – they’re just as worried (if not more) about losing their customers. In this recession, a playful threat may help bring down your costs.
- fabuLESS tip #1:Simply Ask To Lower Your Bill. Call your cable/phone/internet and say, “I wanted to see if there was anything you could do to help me lower this bill, because as happy as I am with the service, I might have to consider canceling. Chances are they’ll offer you a better rate on the spot.
- fabuLESS tip #2:Bargain For A Bit More.The rate may not necessarily be their ‘best’ offer. Take the next step and say, “Thank you SO much, I really appreciate you helping me out, but is there a way that you can do a bit better?” Even if they aren’t able to reduce your bill further, they might be able to extend the length of the discount or offer additional services for the same price (i.e. free HBO, an additional DVR, and/or faster internet speed).
- fabuLESS tip #3:Speak To A Manager.If they don’t budge at all, you may have to threaten cancelling your service and ask to be transferred to a manager or another department. Once the provider genuinely believes you’re cancelling, they usually begin to offer more discounts and/or better service for the same price. Trying to speak to an authority may help your case – remember you are the customer and they should do their best to please YOU!
Call 2: Cell Phone
- fabuLESS tip #1:Discounts You Didn’t Know You Qualified For.Contact your cell phone provider and ask if there are any discounts that you qualify for. You might qualify for a discount through either your employer or your spouse’s employer.
- fabuLESS tip #2:Is Your Current Plan The Best For You? Ask the provider to review your cell phone usage to determine whether your plan is the most appropriate one that they offer or if the plan rates have dropped since you signed your contract.
- fabuLESS tip #3:Upgrade Your Phone For No Cost. Ask if you’re eligible for a phone upgrade. If you’re not eligible yet, ask if it’s possible to receive an upgrade sooner. If you’re close to the end of your contract or out of contract, you are in a much stronger position to negotiate. If you’ve been a loyal customer for a long time, be sure to mention that as well.
Call 3: Insurance
- fabuLESS tip #1:Get Cut-Downs On Insurance Rates & Suppliers.Call both your home and auto insurance providers and ask for your declaration sheet (often referred to as a “dec” sheet). The dec sheet lists the exact coverage that you have for your vehicle/home. Common discounts for home insurance include a monitored burglar alarm, smoke detectors, storm shutters, or upgrades to your plumbing/electrical/heating. Be sure to mention any other upgrades that you’ve added since initially insuring your home.
Most auto insurance providers offer discounts for good students (if you or your child is a full-time student under 25), for anti-theft devices if you own a home (even if it’s not insured with the same company), if you set up automatic payments, and/or if you pay your premium all at once rather than over time. You might also lower your premium if you voluntarily take a defensive driving course.
- fabuLESS tip #2:Merge Your Home/Auto Insurance Provider. If you don’t already have your home and auto insured with the same provider, ask one provider what it would cost for both to be insured. Generally you will see a discount of at least 5% and much as 20% for having both your home and auto with the same provider. Of course, compare the cost of having separate policies versus the discounted, bundled rate.
- fabuLESS tip #3:Mention Your Marital Status & Credit Score. Be sure to mention to both your home and auto providers if you’ve gotten married or widowed and ensure them that you’re neither under-insured nor over-insured and consider raising your deductible. Also, if your credit score has improved since applying for insurance, you might qualify for a better rate. Your credit score is often used as one factor for determining your premiums as well.
Call 4: Credit Cards
- fabuLESS tip #1: Lower Your APR.Call each of your credit card companies and simply ask for them to lower your APR (Annual Percentage Rate). Be sure to mention if you’ve been a long time and/or a good customer.
- fabuLESS tip #2:Transfer Balances. Contact the cards that you have a zero balance on and ask if they have any promotional rates available for balance transfers. If the rates are lower than you are currently paying on another card, either transfer the balance and/or use that offer as leverage when negotiating with your other cards.
- fabuLESS tip #3:Negotiate A Settlement. If you’re unable to make your minimum payments, either ask for your credit limit to be raised (as that will lower your minimum payment) or as a very last resort, ask to negotiate a settlement. Although this will mar your credit, you can often settle a credit card debt for less than 50% of the amount owed and pay it off in regularly scheduled payments.
Call 5: Mortgage
Your mortgage is less of a ‘quick fix’ than your cell phone, cable/internet, insurance or credit card– but since your mortgage is almost certainly your biggest expense, it’s surely one worth tackling.
- fabuLESS tip #1:Refinance With Low Closing Costs. If your existing mortgage rate is higher than current rates, call your current lender and ask if you qualify for a streamlined refinance. Many lenders will offer existing customers the ability to refinance with lower closing costs– it might even be possible to simultaneously lower your payments and shorten the length of the loan. Currently 15 year fixed rates with excellent credit are hovering just below 4%. You can utilize this calculator (http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/mortgages/refinance-calculator.aspx) to determine how quickly the new loan, including closing costs, will pay off.
- fabuLESS tip #2:Ask For A Loan Modification.If you have an ARM (Adjustable Rate Mortgage) that has been reset and you can’t afford the new monthly payments, consider asking for a loan modification.
- fabuLESS tip #3:If Needed…Ask For a Forbearance of Postponement.If you have a temporary financial strain, ask your lender for forbearance, or a postponement, for a few months. Most importantly, contact your lender as soon as, if not before, you find yourself unable to pay your mortgage.
Bonus phone call(s):
Call and cancel any services that you’re not using whether that is your gym membership, your country club membership, or your premium cable channels. Cancel anything that you’re not using even if there’s a cancellation fee. It’s much better to pay the one-time cancellation fee rather than pay monthly or annually for a service that using.
These 5 PHONE CALLS will only take minutes of your time, and save you thousands of dollars over the years! If you keep up with these tips every 6 months, you might catch some great promotions and new deals that can save you even more. You won’t know until you ask!
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