How we saved $600 in one hour
There are so many ways out there to save money or make money that slowly add up. A penny saved is a penny earned, but when your debt is in the six figure range, saving penny by penny is going to take a really long time.
My general rule of thumb on ways to save or make money are comparing it to my pay rate at my day job and cutting costs of things I planned to do anyway. Basically, if a task that takes three hours saves me about a dollar, its not really worth it. Even for three hours, someone making minimum wage, saving 20 dollars would not be worth it. Unless its mostly things you would be doing anyway. For example, grocery rebate apps. We are buying groceries anyway and we don’t buy anything extra because there is a rebate. So in terms of time spent, I maybe spend 5 minutes a week on these apps (outside of shopping) and the return on my time investment can vary from 25 cents to a few dollars. If it is a slow week and I can only redeem 25 cents in the 5 minutes, that translates to $3 per hour. Which I would classify as not worth it, but I know there will be weeks, like this week where I claim rebates totaling about $5 which would translate to $60 per hour. So overall this is something I plan to continue to do.
Six hundred dollars saved in one hour is quite the return on time investment. I have yet to ever make that much money in that amount of time. Maybe one day I will, but not anytime soon. I really do hope that happens someday. I digress. So how did we do it?
Full disclosure, “we” did not do it. My husband did. He is great. He sat on the phone with our cable provider for an hour. I played cheerleader every time he was placed on hold, though. He dropped our package down to the next lowest package and said if the bill could not be lowered that he would be canceling. We have been out of contract for awhile and he has been itching to cut the cord. I, however, was begging him to not cancel. I have tried the no cable thing and its not for me. He was able to get a lot knocked off of our monthly cable bill by going with a lower package and requesting an even lower payment seen in an advertisement. This was going to save us about $30 a month and the rate locked in for the next 12 months without going back under contract. This is huge for the hubs, he hates contracts and loves that he can walk away at anytime should he finally convince me to cut the cord.
But wait… $30 x 12 months = $360 not $600.
Then the cable company rep asked what company provides our internet service. As it turns out this company offers the famous “bundle” with our cable provider. Ok, but we don’t want a landline, we are millennials after all. Well lucky for us, we could bundle just TV and internet. There was a bundle that did offer the phone service as well, but it would cost us more total to have that bundle even with a bigger overall discount. The bundle saved us $10 more on our cable bill and $10 from what we were already paying for internet. As an added bonus, we even got faster internet with this deal. Since we were already with the company, we didn’t have to pay any service or installation fees.
If you love your cable as much as I do, you do not have to cut it out completely to save money. You can lower your package, we even removed insurance for service calls we had been paying for but never used. If you see a lower advertised price, call and ask for a similar deal.
This is one of my favorite ways to save money. In most cases you can get the same services at a lower rate, in our case we took less channels, but got better internet. We came out $600 ahead for the year. We will be placing another call when our year is up to negotiate this same deal. Or maybe even try for a better one to save even more money. I know no one wants to sit on the phone with their cable company for an hour, but I think $600 saved makes it worth every minute. That works out to $10 per minute, which is a quite nice return on your time. For the record, so did my husband since he was the one that actually did it. Thanks again for that Mr. LLB!
Have you ever negotiated cheaper utilities? What is the biggest discount you have received? Do you think it is worth the time to work out a deal or have you cut the cord on cable altogether?