13 Responses to Five Ways to Save in Fifteen Minutes This Week

  1. SaveBuyLive says:

    When I got my cable bill lowered the trick was to be calm and persistent. At first no one was willing to lower it. Everyone wanted to upsell me to the phone/internet/cable bundle. After about 6-7 rounds of stating that no I don’t want more services I want to pay less for the existing services, I finally got transferred to someone who could actually lower my bill.

  2. Luke says:

    About 3 weeks ago, I decided that I was spending much, much too much money on internet/phone/cable. Being that I 1.) only watch tv about an hour a week and can watch my shows on hulu and save time with no commericals and 2.) Have used the phone for personal reasons probably 3 times in the last year…gotta love prepaid cell phones and not wanting to talk to anybody, that I could do better. I called and said I was happy with current service but was really just handing them money for no reason and what could they do for me. I ended up going from 60 dollars for internet to 24.99, 39.99 phone to 19.99, and 69.99 cable to 39.99…and lost no services, and actually picked up 30 or so channels. I still don’t use them but wife and kids are pumped.

  3. Carl says:

    Great advice. I did learn that if you are a long time customer with a bank thatyour banker has discretion to raise the CD renewal interest rate above the advertised rate. I got .25% over the advertised rare.

  4. Ann says:

    Sorry, David but nothing new for me here. :-) I already do this on a regular basis and paid off my mortgage LONG ago, so that one isn’t even an issue. The other stuff I check out on a regular basis.

  5. Has anybody had experience with lowering their electric bill in Texas after we de regulated?

  6. David G. Mitchell says:

    Ryan — A friend of mine recently negotiated substantial savings in Texas. If you will tell me your specific questions, I can try to find out how she did it.

  7. I am curious if she was with TXU or one of the smaller providers? We switched to a smaller provider and signed a contract, that contract will be up soon and I am sure the rate will increase.

  8. David G. Mitchell says:

    Ryan — I checked with my friend and received this rather lengthy response. I think you will really find this helpful, especially the link that she provides.
    ************************

    I was with Green Mountain Energy. They got me as a customer back in 2008 after advertising outside my grocery store (signing people up right there). They’re big thing is that all of their energy sources are green. So I signed up.

    Back in Jan ’09, I saw my bill increase quite a bit. I checked my rate and it had increased to over 14 cents/kwh. When I called, they informed me that it was the rising energy costs and blah blah blah. They offered to lower my rate to something over 12 cents/kwh. But I didn’t take it.

    I went to http://www.powertochoose.org and compared all the local companies that serve my area. I found Dynowatt. It had multiple plans. One was a cheap plan that is sourced only from green energy sources. Their 1 yr fixed rate was listed around 11 cents/kwh. When I called them, they informed me their rate was actually closer to 10 cents/kwh.

    I called Green Mountain Energy back to see if they could match that rate for a 1 yr fixed period. They couldn’t. When I told them I would switch, they offered me a lower rate but it was variable and I believe a 2 yr contract. A 1 yr fixed rate is ideal for me because it allows me to review every year.

    Anyway, my negotiations weren’t successful in keeping me with Green Mountain. But they were successful in finding me the cheapest 1 yr fixed rate. Switching wasn’t a problem for me. Some people don’t like to switch. So for everything I needed and was willing to do, I have saved a ton of money. The difference between 14 and 10 cents per kwh? Very cool.

    So that’s my story. Oh, and I checked out Dynowatt’s online payment options and website to make sure it was something I’d be able to work with. Their website and online capabilities were actually better than Green Mountain. So I think I got a win-win.

  9. Thanks!

    That is a great site. I am sure that will save me some money this summer!

  10. spicoli says:

    Ryan — You may also want to check out this article that David wrote on utility company discounts back in December.

    http://www.savingadvice.com/blog/2008/12/08/103492_utility-company-discounts.html

  11. Pingback: A Frugal Lifestyle » Financial Websites Experiment: Week 3

  12. persephone says:

    I managed to reduce my ISP bill and I got free HBO from my cable company. Thanks for these tips!

  13. crazyliblady says:

    Good material here. I save a substantial amount of money each month (around $80-$90) by taking my lunch to work nearly every day. I walk to work each day and the route I take does not permit me to go near any convenience stores. It also saves me gas and not having to buy a parking permit at my work. Because I walk to work everyday day and am at least 15 minute from any restaurant (McDonald’s being one of them), my original real choice is the school cafeteria at the college where I work. I do eat there occasionally, but it’s expensive, so I limit it to payday only and the occasionally soda or iced tea after lunch using a discount because I bring my own cup. So, taking lunch to work and not driving much probably gives me about an extra $175 per month. That money I save in an emergency savings and pay off my debt with every month.

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