Some people call it ‘tight’, other’s say I’m being ‘stingy’, and some would even nickname me Scrooge. But I say; why wouldn’t you want to keep hold of as much of your money as possible? Okay, okay, let’s call it what it is: I’m a money-grabbing scrimper. And I’m proud of it. Because I know all the tricks of the trade that can help me save money on everything.
Now, I’m not talking about cutting costs when buying gifts, going out on a date, treating your family to a lovely day out etc. No – these are the very reasons why I want to save money: to spend it on what really matters. I want to have spare cash to buy tickets to see my favourite comedian on tour, or to find a fabulous money-no-object birthday gift for my nephews and nieces. But how can this be done when all your earnings leave your bank account by direct-debit every month? By cutting the cost of your monthly bills, that’s how! And I’m going to tell you how to do it right now…Be loyal.
As an existing customer, a brand won’t want to lose you. You make up part of their regular annual income so they don’t want you to wander off and join up with a new provider, taking any profit away with you. Therefore, you may be able to haggle for a better deal than a new customer. This is certainly the case with mobile phone, TV and broadband providers. Look at it this way; you already have their technology in your home (be it a Sky box, hub or phone) so it doesn’t cost the brand anything more to keep you, therefore why wouldn’t they give you a discount? New customers get free connections, free hardware, free software etc and all you’re asking for is a smaller bill. Wait until the end of your contract and get on the phone to your service provider. Tell them you want to leave and you’ll get put straight through to someone who has the power to bargain with you. I found a list of helpful haggling phrases in this #ChallengeYourBills article online, such as “I’ve calculated my monthly budget, it’s £X a month maximum. I have nothing more” so pick a phrase, a price and stick to your guns. And be ready to leave if necessary…
Don’t be loyal.
On the other hand, it pays not to be loyal in some instances. Many utility providers will slash prices to attract new customers, so shopping around to compare prices gives you knowledge of what deals are out there. When you have this information it can help you get a discount with your existing provider – simply give them a call and let them know the deals you can get with other suppliers. If they can match the price that’s great, and you won’t have to go through any hassle of changing suppliers. But if they can’t do a deal with you at least you can walk away confidently, safe in the knowledge that an alternative brand can help you save money. Okay, switching over might be a bit of a faff but if you’re making significant savings on your bills each month, this small amount of admin will be worth it.Be kind to salespeople.
Knowing the right time to call can actually help make a salesperson happy. Seems, unlikely right? Well, I’m pretty sure that they’ll be more likely to want to do you a deal if it’s the end of the month and they’ve not being hitting their sales targets! In this instance, your ‘new customer’ status is just what they need, and they’ll be able to ‘sort something out’ in order to get you signed up before they get a dressing down from their manager. Similarly, making a quick call at the end of the financial year would be a smart time to sign up to a new service. If you can’t wait that long, the end of the week (or even day) can make a difference, so give it a try. I found out from the Contact Numbers UK website that November and December are particularly slow months for insurers so those months are a good time to negotiate a better deal on car and home insurance if you can wait until then. My top tip for getting a discount is simply to be nice. If you’ve ever worked in a call centre, you’ll know how much abuse the staff get from customers, so do the unexpected and treat the salesperson as if they are human. Be kind, help them to help you get a deal by knowing exactly what you want and you’ll both get much more out of the phone call than a ranting customer would.
I hope these tips help and have inspired you to make a few changes over the coming months in order to save a little extra cash each month. If you get started right now, you can start to put away the money you’ve saved ready for Christmas. Yes, I went there. Sorry. But there are only 115 sleeps til Christmas…
Leave me a comment with your suggestions for saving money, and please share any stories of deals you’ve made in the comments section below – I’d love to hear your cost-cutting tips and I know everyone reading this will be interested too! Plus, you can tweet me your tips @Cassiefairy using the hashtage #ChallengeYourBills.