In the last week, I’ve had two friends tell me they shopped their car insurance around and found a better deal. One friend will save $600/year; the other friend will save $850/year. For the same coverage!
All for some phone calls and a little bit of paperwork. What a deal!
Yes, it’s a hassle to take the time to make those calls. But it has huge potential for paying off. Once you get a lower rate, you reap those benefits every month from there on out (until you shop ’em around again later!).
- Credit card interest rates. If you are carrying a balance, call and ask for a lower rate. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t, but you won’t know unless you try. If you aren’t making headway on your credit card debt due to high interest charges, you could consider a balance transfer. There are fees involved with that and it may not be worth doing a transfer. Use this balance transfer calculator and “what will it take to pay off my credit card?” to have a better idea of what to do.
- Car insurance
- Homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance
- Cable/internet/landline: I am working on the internet portion right now. I’m with Comcast and I have to call every 6 months or so and ask to be on the new promotion. My bill for the same service ranges from $50-$80 depending on if I can get a promo. It’s maddening. I don’t really have a lot of choice with my internet, since we do need a fast speed. But still. I gripe. And I ask for a better deal.
- Cell: This one is tricky. Sometimes you can reduce your minutes, drop the insurance portion on your plan or roadside assistance, go to a lower data plan, etc. But it seems like once you upgrade to a certain level of service, it’s hard to reduce it.
- Netflix/Hulu/etc: We have Netflix streaming and it is worth it for us. We stream straight from our Wii to our TV and can avoid commercials and choose what we want to watch immediately. We are so behind on current TV shows that I don’t care at all. And of course, there’s Hulu and other similar services for more current programming.
- Loan refinance: You can do this for mortgages, but also for cars if the term is bad enough. Also, student loan consolidation.
Here’s a post I wrote in January 2008 (!!) about how to reduce your fixed expenses. I go into more detail here.
So. I invite you to look over all of your fixed expenses and see if there’s anyone you can call to either drop an aspect of service, ask for a promotional rate, or switch to a different company.
Yeah, it’s work and kind of a hassle, but it pays off immediately.
What else can you add to this list? Have you saved money on a fixed expense recently?