Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A few ways to save a few bucks

Next time you get some time on your hands and your sitting around watching TV or you're bored out of your mind doing nothing, you can take a few minutes and save yourself a few bucks. You'll also have a great feeling of satisfaction after because you did something to help yourself!

1) Cell Phone - Call up your current cell phone service provider and let them know that you have been shopping around for better deals and you have found one. Let them know that you have run a break even analysis and even with the large fee that you may be charged for cancelling your contract with them, over the next few years you will be saving a lot more money. Now, don't get pissed off and start yelling because you really should have no intention on cancelling with them. Tell them, you've liked the service you have received from them for however long you have been with them, and if they could help you out somewhere along the way (more minutes of you need them, free texting, shave a few bucks off each months bill) you would be more than happy to stay with them. This should be good for a small break in the monthly service fees or some free minutes and texting.

2) Car Insurance - I did this just the other day, it only took a few minutes and the person with Geico was actually pretty helpful. I called and told them I was looking to shave some costs off my car insurance monthly bill but I also wanted to make sure I was well insured still. We went through my entire policy and we were able to make sure I was still very well insured and I took a few dollars off each months bill. ALSO, with car insurances, you can save money based on how you pay you bill. If you pay lump sum every 6 months you won't be hit with any fees, but sometimes if you pay monthly they charge a convenience fee, which can add up to be like $50 a year, so see if you can work something out with the insurance company. You could also pay the insurance for a year or 6 months on a 0% apr credit card, that way as long as you pay it on time monthly you wouldn't be hit with any fees.

3) Credit Cards - This can be helpful if you have a card with a balance on it or if you just have a credit card for emergencies. Call up your credit card company and let them know that you have been shipping around for credit cards with better rates and you have found one. You can make up a card company (chase, citi, amex, whatever) and say they are offering a rate lower than what you are currently getting with your current card. Again, like the cell phone, you don't need to yell at them because its very possible you have no ambition to switch credit cards. Just let them know there are better rates out there, reiterate you haven't had problems with the current card, or if you did they weren't huge ones and you are just looking out for your best interest. If you do carry a balance that can safe you a ton of money a year, and if you don't, when you have an emergency and have to use your card it won't be quite as painful.

4) Reconciliation - Go through all of bank statements and credit card statements and look at all of the charges. Make sure you know what every charge is and you need every charge. Make sure you don't have a small fee getting charged every month from your credit report, or if you don't listen to satellite radio, call and cancel it, this can save you $30 or more each month (if you cancelled your credit report and satellite radio). There are other ways out there to get a credit report for free, you don't need to pay $15 a month.

Follow these steps and be that much closer to positive cash flows at the end of every month.

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