We love a good side hustle for making some extra cash. But did you know there might be extra money to add back into your budget hiding in plain sight? It might not be common knowledge, but many routine bills are up for negotiation. In many cases, all it takes is a few minutes of research and a phone call to cut your monthly bills or achieve a lower rate. Let’s see which bills you can negotiate:
Cable or Satellite TV
As more consumers “cut the cord” and turn to streaming services for their news and entertainment, cable and satellite TV providers are more willing to negotiate with customers than they used to be. Call your provider and ask if they can match the rates they’re offering for new customers. If not, see if they will add premium channels to your plan for free. If they still won’t budge, let them know you’re considering cancelling their service altogether; that’s usually enough to get them to play ball.
Many consumers have been locked into their cell phone plans for years without realizing there are better deals waiting. First, ask outright for a lower rate. Then, review your current plan to see if it still meets your needs. For example, are you paying for a large data plan you hardly use because you’re almost always connected to wi-fi? Or are you paying for replacement coverage on an old phone that’s close to an upgrade? Make sure you’re not paying for things you don’t want or use.
And while you’re at it, check into lower-cost providers. If you already own your phone outright and plan to keep it for a while, these services can save you a bundle every month, with very little difference in quality. You may save even more than if you’re able to negotiate with your current service.
A wi-fi signal has become so much a part of everyday life it’s easy to forget it’s a service we actually have to pay for. Call your provider to see if they are willing to extend their introductory rates to long-term customers. And similar to your cell phone plan, be sure you’re not paying for more than you need. If you’re paying for super-fast speeds, try downgrading for a month to see if you notice a difference. You might find lower speeds (and prices) more suited to your needs.
Credit Card Rates & Fees
It’s not widely known that credit card interest rates and fees are up for negotiation. You can save money every month and pay off your debt more quickly by contacting your credit card company to ask for a lower rate. Of course, you’ll want to make sure you have an excellent record of on-time payments and that your balance isn’t approaching (or over) the limit. Learn more about negotiating credit card interest rates.
If you’re unable or don’t want to negotiate a lower rate on your own, talk to one of our counselors about the possibility of going on a debt management plan.
Remember that super-low rate that got you to join the gym in the first place? There’s no reason you can’t have it again. Talk with a membership manager to see if you can get back on the same introductory rate they’re offering to new members. If that’s not an option, see if you have can get free or discounted rates for specialty classes or personal training. If you don’t go to the gym because you can’t find the time, consider dropping your membership and working out at home instead.
With a clean driving record and no recent accidents, negotiating a lower car insurance rate should be fairly simple. Spend some time getting quotes from other companies, then see if your current carrier will match the lowest rate. Also, go over your policy to be sure you’re receiving all the discounts you’re entitled to, such as multi-car or bundled rates for having multiple policies with the same carrier.