Whether you are scraping to make ends meet or are financially secure, it is never a good idea to waste money. Further, the worst kind of financial waste is waste that occurs repeatedly, every week or every month. So with that said, it is time to take a nice long look at your cable and internet bill. Even if you are addicted to your current services and are absolutely unwilling to give them up, there is still a great chance you can lower that bill just be exerting a little effort. Here are some simple things you can do to lower your cable and internet bill.
Check that all Charges are Accurate
Take out your most recent bill and study it carefully. You will likely see a list of itemized charges. Look at each charge carefully. Do you what the charge is for? Is the price listed accurately? If you are writing the cable company a check every month, you at least ought to know where your money is going. If you are not sure what a charge is for, do a quick Google search to see if you can find out. If you cannot find anything online, then it might be necessary to call the company to clarify. Of course, if you are being overcharged for a service, you will need to call the company to remedy the situation. It is extremely important to examine your bill! If you never bother to look, you will never know if you are being overcharged.
Eliminate Any Unused Services
People have a tendency to accumulate cable and internet services. Perhaps when you signed up for services there was a special deal that included digital video recording (DVR) or premium cable channels (HBO, Showtime, etc.). Perhaps at some point in your life you added an extra sports package or upgraded your internet service. Take the time to scrutinize your cable and internet package. Do you really need everything that you are paying for? How often do you use the DVR? How often do you watch the premium channels? Could you get by with fewer cable channels or a slower internet connection? Take a long, hard look at everything and drop what you do not need. Remember that even a small change can mean big savings over the course of a year. Dropping DVR services that you rarely use could save you $12 a month, or $144 a year.
Call the Company and Ask For A Lower Price
Chances are high that when you signed up for your cable and internet services, you received some kind of promotional deal. Chances are also high that after 6 months or a year the promotion expired and the cost of your services increased. Wouldn’t it be great to go back to your old promotional deal? Wouldn’t it be great to pay that low price you see advertised on TV for “new subscribers only”? The reality is that you can pay those prices if you are willing to haggle a little bit with your cable and internet company over the phone. It is a poorly kept secret that cable companies will often lower your bill if you simply call and ask. There are a variety of strategies that work, depending on your comfort level with haggling. To start, you can simply call and ask if there are any promotions that you qualify for. If you are feeling more confrontational, you can call to say that you are planning to switch to their competitor because the competitor is offering a lower price. You can even call to say that you can no longer afford your services and you need to cancel unless the price is lowered. You see, once they have you as a customer, cable companies will do almost anything to keep you, including lower you charges or plying you with free services. If you are willing to play a little hardball, you can likely reduce your cable and internet bill just by making a phone call. Even if you are satisfied with the price you are paying, it is worth calling every year or so to see if you can do any better.
So there you have it. Overpaying for anything is a foolish thing to do, but overpaying for cable and internet is particularly bad because it is a charge you pay month after month. By simply examining your bill for errors, canceling unused services, and calling your provider to ask for a lower price, you can likely dramatically lower that monthly bill.