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Lower Your Monthly Bills

Do you want to know how to ask for and get your utilities and phone bills reduced? It seems that the phone and utility companies raise their rates on a monthly basis.If you follow these simple steps you may be able to save hundreds of dollars every month!

Schedule Your Discount Request Days

Some people may think it is a little obsessive or not worth their time to be asking for discounts on bills. If you can monitor the bills you have, you will see that the rates are frequently raised. It is important to schedule days to review your statements and  to call and ask for lower rates on your monthly bills. Approximately every three months, go through all of your utilities and household bills and try to find lower rates by asking for discounts.

Get Out of Contracts

The biggest mistake that people make is to fall for the contract deals that service providers offer.Some providers offer an amazing deal for a limited time to get you to sign their contract agreements. These agreements are often for two to three years in length. They usually offer a great incentive that lasts for several months. After the introductory period is over, you have to remain at their regular rates for the remainder of your contract. Once the incentive period ends you are at the mercy of the contract holder.What most people don't realize is that the rates can be very high once the introductory offer is complete. 

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It is a good idea to stay away from the contract offers. Contracts mean you are stuck with the rates and you are locked in. If you have a contract you are at the mercy of the business and often are unable to  negotiate.Some companies do allow you to  get out of your contract by "buying"out.This means you have to pay to cancel the contract. To buy out your contract can be expensive and is not recommended. If you are already in a contract,wait until that period ends and then don't make the mistake of signing up again.It is possible to receive discounts if you are in a contract although it is much more difficult.

One key to receive discounts is to make sure that you you are pleasant to the sales representative. Remember, this is their job and they are people too.If you call them and angrily complain about the bills, they probably won't give you a discount. It's as simple as that, the sales reps are your first step in getting your rate lowered. Another option is to ask to speak to their supervisor. Often, the supervisor will be able to give you a discount.

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If you still have a land line, this is a great place to ask for a discount. Land lines are becoming a thing of the past and the phone companies know this. They want to keep you as their customer.When calling the land line phone company, remember to be pleasant. Mention that you are wondering if there is any way they could find a way to help reduce your monthly phone bill.Tell them you just need a little help. Oftentimes, that is all it takes. If they still haven't offered a rate reduction then try adding mentioning that you e might have to cancel your land line service. That is usually when they will turn you over to the customer retention representative. There you will most likely be given a discount.

If they still haven't offered a discount, mention Magic Jack. This is a device you can use to lower your monthly phone expense. Magic Jack uses the internet for phone calls. Avoiding the phone company altogether.

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Cell Phone

Whether you have AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon or the like, you can score some decent discounts. If you are not under contract you will reap the biggest rewards. Call your phone company often and ask for discounts. Again, give them your request (use the same tactics as the land line request.) If they offer you a better rate, keep them as your provider. if all else fails mention that Walmart and several other companies are offering a lower rate Track phone.Walmart also offers a low rate home phone and a monthly plan that is cheaper that most cell phone companies. If you Mention your other options, most likely you will receive some discounts.

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This is an area that is rarely discounted.It is more difficult to get a discount on services such as electricity or gas. However,with a little work, the benefits are available.The first step is to Call the company and ask if you can discuss your bill. When you reach an agent, ask for discounts. The sales rep will most likely tell you that they can't discount your bill. If you mention to the rep that you really need some help with your monthly budgeting they may be able to offer you ideas of how to save money.Many electric companies have an energy expert that can come to  your home (for free) and inspect for energy draining devices.Oftentimes, having the energy expert inspect your home will give you a one-time credit on your statement.

Most electric companies have a discount program for off peak hours usage. It is a good idea to sign up for off-peak electricity. Off-peak  electricity means that you will try to use washing machines, dishwashers etc. either early in the morning or late at night.Savings can really add up if you sign up for the off-peak hours programs.Many such programs can reduce your monthly electric bills and you can often save up to $30 or more a month!

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Gas Company

The gas company also will most likely tell you that there is no way they can lower your monthly bills.Most gas providers offer a monthly service program which can be a huge money saver.If you  sign up for their repair plan, for a small monthly fee, they will come out and fix almost any appliance, furnace, dishwasher, stove, oven, washer, dryer etc. If you have several older appliances this program can be especially beneficial.The repair service providers will  fix most of your appliances for no extra charge. Most parts that are needed, are also covered by the plan. The repairman will order any parts needed, have them delivered  to you, and will install them no additional charge. This program definitely is a money saver.

Another program most gas companies offer is free shower heads or faucet heads for your kitchen, typically the parts can be ordered from their website and shipped to you free of charge. Most programs offer four new shower heads and two kitchen faucet heads free of charge. If you check out their website, chances are that there will be other offers to take advantage of. As an incentive to use more energy efficient lighting many will offer rebates for fluorescent lighting. There can often be rebates for Energy Star appliances, energy efficient garage doors etc. Making this one phone call can save you hundreds of dollars in rebates, free products and energy saving.

Another tip about the service contracts,  If you have another appliance that isn't covered under the contract, and the repairman is already there to fix a contract item, ask the repairman if they could take a look at that too. Since they are already there for the other work, they often will also fix the appliance that isn't covered. Often at no extra charge or for a very low rate!

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Garbage Company

The garbage company is probably the hardest place to get a discount. If you ask for a discount here chances are that you may not get one. However, you may be able to get something else. If you are kind enough to the rep, and plead your case they may offer you a free size upgrade on your trash can. Or, perhaps,they may offer to haul away an extra item at no cost. If you are in a competitive area for trash haulers, you should ask for a discount. Oftentimes, if they have competition, they will be willing to give you a better price to retain you as a customer. At times, they can give you some amazing tips on how to get rid of things without paying for it by using the local recycling center.Recycling centers can take everything from old sofas, tables, paints, mattresses, microwave ovens and much more. With recycling centers, you have to bring the items to them but this is a much better alternative to paying a huge fee for someone else to haul your item.Most recycling centers will take your recycling for free or for a very small fee.