(MoneyHippo.com) – Most people believe their monthly payments are set in stone when considering budgets. Yet, as most good managers will affirm, everything is negotiable. The problem is that each obligation will take time out of your day to haggle with the person on the other end of the conversation. Fortunately, there are effective tactics you can use to speed up the process and bring the budget back in line. Here are three top places to start negotiating.
- Insurance: Consider calling a local insurance provider or broker not directly affiliated with a large company. Make an appointment and meet with this person, telling them what you currently pay, what competitors offer, and where you’ve set your targeted monthly cost. Agents working for smaller companies are generally more willing to work within your budget.
- Cable or Internet: Call the cable or Internet company and immediately tell them you want to cancel. Ask for someone who can discuss the process with you. The agent will likely connect you to the customer retention department, which can give you the best deals. Tell them your budgeting goal to see what they can do for you. Beware — this negotiating technique comes with a catch. If you don’t like the new cost, prepare to go elsewhere for service.
- Energy: Call the energy company and ask whether there are other providers for electricity or gas. Then, compare per-unit rates and switch to a different company. Some states already offer sites detailing competitive rate information for consumers.
Have a script in front of you, if necessary, to help keep conversations on track. Always remain polite, but stick to your guns and remind the companies about the value of loyal customers like you. Saving money on monthly expenses might only require a quarterly or biannual investment of time to negotiate lower bills. Why not research where you can save and start dialing?
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