Today our friends at Darling Magazine and DailyWorth are sharing 3 simple ways to save hundreds of dollars. Read on for their top tips for big savings this year…
A few weeks ago, I saved my family $792 a year with a single 10-minute phone call. A few months earlier, another quick call saved us $833 a year. Many times, saving money requires time and energy—sometimes for very little payoff. I prefer the lazier way: quick hits that don’t take long, but that reap big benefits. Read on for are some small ways to save big.
1. Call your cell phone company.
In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a price war going on among cell phone carriers right now. The major ones are slashing the costs of their plans even as they’re enriching what you get (including more data for smartphones). These deals aren’t just for new customers, but typically you have to ask for them—carriers won’t lower your bill on their own.
I called my carrier several months ago when I heard it was dropping prices. Within minutes, the phone rep had chopped my bill by almost $70 a month and doubled my data allotment from one gigabyte of data a month to two gigabytes. More recently, I called in about another matter and the customer service representative volunteered that I could now get three gigabytes of data for the same price. It’s a good idea to get in the habit of calling every few months to see if there’s a better deal.
2. Call your television provider.
If you’re not ready to cut cable to save money, at least ask for a better deal. I used to have to play a lot of games with my television provider. I’d call and threaten to quit, they’d cut the price a little, I’d say that wasn’t enough and they would transfer me to the “customer retention department,” which had the power to wheel and deal.
Lately, though, I’ve been getting big price cuts just by calling up and saying, “My TV bill is too high. What can you do to help me get it down?” The latest promotion shaved $66 a month off my TV/Internet/phone bundle, and the company installed (for free!) a new router that nearly doubled my Internet speed.
3. Install price-comparison software.
No single retailer offers the lowest prices on everything. Sometimes it doesn’t matter if you pay a little more to get the convenience of one-stop shopping. Other times, you’ll want to make the effort, and price comparison software makes it easy.
One recent example: I put a much-desired potential Christmas present for my daughter on an Amazon wish list when it cost $58. Overnight, the price jumped to $69—and then jumped again (in real time, while I was watching the screen) to $71. I plugged the item’s URL into PriceJump and was directed to Sears, which had the item for $62. I saved nine bucks in less than a minute, which would work out to an hourly rate of $540.
Having a price-comparison app (like RedLaser or PriceGrabber) on your smartphone and another installed or bookmarked on your browser (such as PriceJump) can help you check prices on the fly to make sure you’re not getting gouged.
For more from DailyWorth, check out:
- 5 Ways to Actually Enjoy Saving Money
- How to Save $5,000 in a Year
- 10 Money Questions You’re Too Embarrassed to Ask