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Saving money is a vital part of maintaining a healthy financial situation, and yet so many people are happy to blindly pay their bills without even considering that there might be a cheaper way. Cutting your bills isn’t about refusing to pay or even deciding to shiver through cold nights rather than putting the heating on. It is about being smart with your money and knowing what you need as well as where to get it.
So, if you’re feeling stuck with high bills and not enough in savings, read on for 3 smart ways to reduce your payments.
Shop Around For the Best Deal and Negotiate
With a free market comes the determination of lots of businesses to compete for the most customers. This means that you can shop around and search for the best deal. Though it takes time, and you might need to make a list of calculations to figure who is actually offering the best deal in the long term, shopping around is always worth the effort.
What most people don’t realise, though, is that you can negotiate with all sorts of different utility companies to persuade them to give you a better offer. It might sound a bit scary, but once you have started the negotiation process, the worst that can ever happen is that you end up paying the original amount. And if things aren’t going well with this advisor, hang up the phone and try again – this time ask for a supervisor.
Before you open negotiations, make sure that you know what you want and what you will settle for. So, you might decide that a 10% decrease in your monthly bills will be good, but will settle for a 5% decrease if that’s what they offer. They might also offer you different perks, so do consider other options as well.
Your cell phone bill is probably the best place to start negotiations. Call your service provider and tell them that you are looking to lower your bill and while you want to stay with them, you will be forced to leave for a different company unless they can help in some way. While phone companies may not agree to lower the price of your contract, they may offer you other perks like free minutes or texts.
You should also shop around for different types of insurance when your policy comes to an end. Taking out all your insurance policies from one company may be cheaper, but you should always shop around to see if there is a better deal. Just make sure that a cheaper policy still covers everything you need.
Switch to a Lower Interest Rate
If you have some debt, the monthly payments you make can quickly make saving anything difficult. This is particularly true if you are saddled with a high-interest rate and you have struggled to make repayments in the past.
One solution is to find a credit card that will allow you to transfer the balance of your debt. As long as the interest rate on the balance transfer card is lower than your current card, you should be able to save money by making smaller monthly payments while accruing less interest. However, you should still aim to repay this card as quickly as possible to alleviate you of all your debt.
Before you make the switch to the new card, make sure that you do qualify for the lower or 0% interest being offered to you. If you have a poor credit score, you may not be able to use this type of card. You should also make sure that you will be able to repay the card within the time frame of the lower interest rate offer as once the offer has expired, you may find that the interest rate suddenly rockets.
Become a Savvy Consumer
Cutting your bills is all about becoming a savvy shopper and being prepared to take the time to find the best and most suitable deal for you. This doesn’t just stop at utilities and credit cards, though, saving money will quickly become a way of life. Shopping around to find the best prices for groceries, clothes and everything else you need will become a good habit before you know it.
However pressured you feel to keep up with the Joneses, the most important thing is that you are happy and healthy. Saddling yourself with debt or simply wasting money on bills that are too high isn’t going to help that cause but shopping around certainly will.