Firing Unnecessary Service Providers can Save Big on Your Budget
There are hundreds of companies that make a living providing services billed on a monthly (or annual) basis. These services providers are wonderful organizations that help us communicate with others, easily find entertainment, organize our lives, and even improve our finances. Their costs are relatively low, so we become very comfortable paying small amounts of money every month to enjoy them. Over time, however, these providers add up and many services overlap each other. All of a sudden, these individual small amounts add up to a big part of our budget.
Scrutinize Monthly Service Providers
One of the easiest ways to get a little breathing room in your budget is to take a good hard look at all the greedy companies you've let set up shop in your checking account. These are the companies that have sold you on how great a deal their monthly service is, then slowly bleed you dry as they pull money from your checking account month after month. (We'll ignore the fact that you shouldn't have let them in your checking account at all).
Why pay for services you don't use all that often?
Most consumers have collected quite a few of these companies, from cell phone providers, to the cable company, to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. Now don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with these service providers, but there are a lot of them 'earning' your hard-earned money and you aren't getting very much 'service for the cost.
Look for places to stop the bleeding.
Consumers are always amazed at what good deals they can get from companies for signing up for a monthly program. But here is the truth from a former marketing executive; the company is getting a much better deal than you. Scour your monthly bills to find these service providers, then evaluate whether you really need them, or if you can cancel their services. If you don't want to cancel the service because you use it, then look at if there is a cheaper membership option that is more attuned to your needs.
Negotiate lower rates on those you keep.
You can also negotiate with them to lower the monthly costs of your existing service. The'll be much more willing to lower the price if you tell them "OK, then I guess you can cancel the service." If they don't drop the price, then cancel it. They all have plenty of competitors who will jump at the chance to bleed you dry at a lower monthly price.
Places to Look
Here are some of the most common companies reaching their grubby little hands into the average consumer's accounts.
These are the companies that connect us to the rest of the world, not the real world mind you, the digital world: your internet provider and cell phone company. (If you're still rocking the land line too, that's probably the first to consider cutting). This category, your likely not to cut out, but you can very likely cut down on them. Internet providers have a ton of competition now, not just with other companies, but with themselves. Most provider have multiple tiers of service at varying connection speeds. Call them up and drop down to the lowest tier package and try it for a month. If it's too slow, you can always bump up to the next level of service and try again. Playing them against each other can also net you big savings. Call each one with the others best deal and ask if they can beat it. My family pays $20 a month per cell phone plan. Of course our plan only has unlimited data, unlimited text, unlimited calling, and free international text and data. But we somehow suffer through it.
Everyone loves their TV, but for many, it's not a healthy love,. It's more a creepy "peer through the bedroom window" obsession. There's Netflix, Hulu, Cable TV, DishTV, Amazon Prime, and the list goes on. If you read that list proud that you have subscriptions with the majority of them, then your probably spending too much on these services. If you have more than one or two service, you probably have more TV watching options than you could ever consume. The simple solution, pick one and binge on that one service. I know you'll likely have to wait a bit to see your favorite shows, but remember, debt is a measure of your impatience.
I know you have that amazing gym membership for only $79 a month, but let's be honest; the most use you get out of that membership is when you brag about having it. Here's a pro tip: You can cancel the membership, save the nearly $1,000 a year it's costing you, and then just lie to people that you have an amazing gym membership deal. They'll never know, because their lying to you about going to the gym while instead they binge on Netflix and stuff their face with Bugles.
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