Are you overwhelmed by bills? Nobody wants to pay them, yet they come every month. Bills can put a real strain on a household’s finances.
In fact, one study by doxoINSIGHTS found that in the 25
largest metro areas in the United States, the average American household pays
$984 per month, or 17% of their household income, on nine common bills.
That total doesn’t include housing expenses
such as rent or mortgage, but it does cover the average costs for expenses such
as utilities, health insurance, mobile phone, cable and internet.
But here’s the good news: You may not have to pay so much. There are ways to lower your rates on some of those regular expenses—from cell phone bills to your credit card fees. Here’s how.
Overwhelmed by bills- let’s lower them!
Lower your cell phone bill
Flip on the TV, and you’ll see the ads from
cell phone providers. “Switch to us and we’ll buy out your current contract.”
“Let us cover your fees.”
You may have just re-upped for another
two-year contract with your current provider, but other companies are more than
happy to extend a better deal to you if you’re looking for a change.
When it comes to cell phones, you can use the
competition among the many providers to your advantage. If you want to lower
your bill, gather offers from other companies and call your current one to let
them know that if they can’t match the best rate elsewhere, you’ll simply
switch to another carrier.
NerdWallet offers some other options too, including opting for autopay, changing your cell phone insurance and
forgoing a phone upgrade.
Lower your cable bill
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by bills, it’s likely that your cable bill is one of the culprits. Just like those cell phone bills, if there are multiple cable providers in your region, you may be able to talk them down to a lower rate as well. After all, it’s cheaper to keep you as a customer than to have to find and retain another one when you leave.
According to U.S. News & World Report, if
you don’t get a better deal on the first attempt, it might be best to call
again—and again. Some customer service
representatives may be more inclined to help you out than others.
While it may seem like a shot in the dark,
many of those who do attempt to talk their way into a lower bill are
successful. According to a survey from Consumer Reports, 70%
of respondents said they had haggled with the cable company, and 80% of those
consumers were able to get some perks, such as an extended promotional rate,
price cuts and additional premium TV channels. It’s worth a shot.
Lower your internet bill
Internet service providers also may lower your
rate, according to BroadBandNow.com, if you’re willing
to spend some time on the phone—as much as an hour or so—to do it.
The website recommends that when you call, you
should be ready to cancel your service in order to persuade them to offer you a
better deal. It also recommends that you be “ridiculously polite” while you do
it. Internet service providers may be more inclined to cut your rate if you
have a history of paying your bills on time and are close to the end of your
contract, the article says.
Lower credit card rates and fees
In all seriousness, you just need to ask. A survey by CreditCards.com found
that few cardholders call their credit card company to seek a lower credit card
rate or have a fee waived. But, when they do, they often get what they ask for.
The survey found that 84% of cardholders who
asked had a late fee waived, 70% got an annual fee waived or lowered and 56%
got a lower interest rate. Credit card companies likely will consider your
spending and payment habits before they agree to cut you a deal, according to
Haggling, once a time-honored tradition, might not be as common today. But, when it comes to your cell phone, cable and internet bills and your credit card rates and fees, you may just be able to negotiate a discount with your provider. You don’t have to be overwhelmed by bills. You can make those monthly expenses a bit more affordable.
CESI Team is committed to helping you reach your financial goals. If debt keeps
you from living the life you dream of, contact us for a free debt
analysis today and get started on
the road to a brighter future!