Thursday, June 16, 2011

How I Save Money - Communications

When I look over I look over our bills our two highest 'non-essentials' are our electronic communications.  I'm including cell phone and cable in that category.  As I've looked for ways to bring our expenses down I've explored options on bringing those two bills down.  I'm happy to say that I've had some success with that.

Cable - I know the easiest thing would be to get rid of it, but that is not an option in our house.  The first thing that I did was go over my bill very carefully and look for items that I could get rid of.  After checking out my bill I went online to see what they were offering new customers, this gave me a gauge as to what I would probably be able to get them to do for me.  I then called our cable company, explained that I was looking for ways to lower my bill and ask what they could do for me.  After some negotiating (and mentioning that I knew what new customers were getting) I was able to bring my bill down by about $25 and lock the price in for two years.  Just remember, it's cheaper to keep an existing customer than to gain a new customer so ask for the retention department if you get a rep that won't help you.

Cell Phone - There are so many plans out there that this can get a little confusing.  The first thing that I would do if you are looking for a new plan or trying to bring down your existing plan is to see if you or your spouses employer has an agreement for a reduced rate from the cell phone company.  My company has an agreement with Verizon while my husband's has an agreement with US Cellular (our phone carrier).  We stumbled upon this discount by accident but we are now getting a 20% discount off our bill.  Of course now my husband is wanting to add a smart phone to his account with my money we're saving - I'm going to stall him on that one.

I would recommend when you are looking for a plan is that you don't let a sales person talk you into something you don't need.  The plans can be very confusing and I find that in store the pressure can be pretty great.  I would recommend calling the different places first and get an idea of what they have to offer, it's easier to hang up on someone than to be face to face.  I have seen a few people get pushed into plans they didn't need because of sales people. 

I would also see if you could share the family plan.  For our plan it's $10 for each additional line (base plan) and we can have a total of 5 lines.  We've recently added my mother-in-law to our plan since she only wanted the phone for emergencies and didn't want the expense of her own plan.  This isn't saving us any money but it is saving her some money. 

How do you save money on cable and cell phones?

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