Lets Make lots of money – $2000+ Easy Cash for ALL Members part 2
In the first part of this article, I explained how all companies have a cost to acquire your business and how you can use this “budget” to make big savings on your monthly outgoings.
I have received emails from members who have saved a few $100 so far and one who has saved OVER $3000 just by sitting down and following this advice.
Ironically those who are too busy to get round to following this advice are the ones who will benefit the most.
TAKE ACTION TODAY. This money is simply sat there waiting for you to claim. Here are some more areas where you can make BIG savings. Don’t be a fool -DO IT!
Phone companies are a great example. Mobile phone companies are highly competitive so always negotiate when your current contract comes to an end.
Recently I had a problem with our service provider, Telefonica. Its one of the most complained about companies in Spain. They have had a monopoly for 40 years and are not in a hurry to change. They have a have a history of quite literally taking money from clients accounts without permission.
My teenage son had downloaded a “ring tone” via the internet and my mobile phone, naughty I know, but it was only $2. However unbeknown to him (it’s a scam) he had agreed to accept 7 per week. I didn’t notice the payments for 5 months. When I finally got around to checking a particularly large bill I discovered that over $300 had been taken from my account. I rang Telefonica who as usual had no interest in my case and refused to refund the money, even though this is a known scam AND they received at least half of the revenue from it as they provided the premium rate line to the scam company! A company that has already been fined and banned in other European countries.
I went to Vodaphone and signed a new contract BUT made a mistake on the form requiring Telefonica to hand over my line and numbers. By switching providers I would already have saved $200 per year, but suddenly I receive calls from “Miguel at Telefonica”who is terribly sorry to hear I am leaving (exits division) and what can he do to persuade me to stay.
To cut a long story short I got the $300 refund AND $20 discount per month from my internet/phone package + a new, free, quality mobile phone and a wifi router & connection, total value (excluding the refund) of over $500 PER YEAR.
Now this got me thinking! I made a deal with my teenage kids that they could share half of all money they could save me on major expenses, if they did the research. I could have outsourced this for a much smaller fee as per the “outsourcing section,” but I wanted my kids to be able to spot the good deals from the bad AND check out ALL the potential hidden costs.
Negotiate a Lower Interest Rate on Your Credit Card
If you’re struggling with credit-card debt, you are not alone. Total card debt in the U.S. alone is over $1 trillion & that’s after some alleged major manipulation of the figures. A national survey conducted back in 2002 asked 50 consumers, of all credit backgrounds, to call their credit card companies and ask for lower rates.
More than half, 56%, obtained lower rates, the average saving was 6%.
Times are now obviously harder for the card companies and therefore your chances of success are even greater. This mountain of debt gives you even better negotiating power. Rising delinquencies and default rates have made card issuers more inclined to cut deals. You might be able to lower your interest rate, get penalties waived, or if your situation warrants, reach a settlement for substantially less than what you owe.
Why are card issuers so willing to cut interest rates for so many of their customers? For one thing, competition in the credit card industry is fierce. If you’re a good customer, a card company is going to want to hang on to you.
“It costs them a couple hundred bucks to acquire a new customer and it’s not so easy anymore,” says Howard Strong, author of What Every Credit Card User Needs to Know.
If you are seriously struggling then many banks and credit card companies now have hardship programs. ASK. The important thing here is TAKE ACTION & TALK to THEM. As you saw above, the success rate in 2002 was over 50%. For the sake of a 15 minute phone call you have at worst a 50/50 chance of saving money. Its A NO BRAINER. Do it.
Additional Tips For achieving a better rate:
Tell them you have received a great offer in the mail for a new credit card that has an introductory interest rate of only xyz % – Check out the current best rates/offers before you call! Tell them you prefer not to switch cards, since their service has been great but you are going to have to transfer the balance unless they can lower the interest rate.
Most of the service reps will make you an offer at this point. If you feel its not low enough ask for more! If you do not get the deal you want ask to speak with a supervisor or ask them what you need to do to close the account.
If you have more than one card then concentrate on using these new savings to pay off the highest rate card first or see if you can transfer the balance to a lower rate credit card. The ultimate goal is to have just one card that you will pay off every month, that way the card works for you not the card company.
Use rewards credit cards. I get cash back on every purchase and I pay the card off every month so I don’t pay any interest fees. I recommend reward cards, but only if you have no current credit card debt, and can afford to pay the balance every month.
Ask your bank or credit card company to waive the annual fee. Unless the benefits outweigh the costs then no one should be paying to have a credit card. If your company charge them, ask them to waive it.
The more you know about what deals are available the more discount you can negotiate from your existing supplier.
The internet is great for this with lots of comparison websites. Find out what is available from other companies so you have all the details before you make the call.
Next I threatened to change insurance companies (be careful with car & home insurance companies, do not make claims that you have a deal from XYZ that’s $200 a year cheaper, they all know each others rates), BUT you can make big savings.
I was offered a deal for my car with an equally reputable company that would save me $95 a year, so if my negotiations did not go well with my existing company I still had an option to save some money.
How to Save Money on Car Insurance
If you have been with a company for years they know you become complacent, so they may not give you all the discounts that are available. Ask them what can they offer you to stay. Are there any incentives for long term customers.
Perhaps your circumstances have changed ( I only drive 10.000 miles a year now whereas I used to drive 40.000 ) THAT alone saved me over $150 a year off the cost of my premium). Also I now work from my home office and have a less risky profession, that saved $40 a year.
Finally if you are not happy with what they are offering, ask to speak to a supervisor & if you still have no joy then ask them what you need to do to cancel the policy (do NOT of course cancel until you have a new provider in place). Often you will now be passed to the “exit division” who can offer you more to stay than the customer service rep you just spoke with. If you do not immediately get put through to them, wait for a few days, they will be in touch.
If you are currently paying monthly and can afford to pay annually, that will usually save money. Interest charges are often very high for this kind of agreement, anywhere between 10/20%, therefore on a $1000 premium you should save at least $100 over & above any premium savings.
Breakdown Insurance. For years I had a policy with a national break down company. My car insurance policy now provides this cover FREE make sure you are not “doubling up” on policies.
Home insurance- check out web comparison sites then contact your insurer, same procedure as for car insurance I discussed above.
Travel Insurance. Years ago I took out an annual travel insurance policy. Whilst doing this current review of my finances I realised that my credit card company provide a similar level of cover, FREE if I book my travel arrangements with them. Also if you don’t intend to travel in the next 6 months, cancel the annual policy and restart it when you need it, if at all.
You can try different “pitches” – “what can you do to help me?”
“Can you do any better?” or try the sympathy pitch
“Please can you help me I am having major money problems due to cut backs at work at the moment.”
If you don’t like that approach then think of your own, but always be pleasantly forceful. If none of that works call back later, a different rep may be more helpful. Finally, if that doesn’t work then ask to speak with a supervisor. Be tough but polite.
Life assurance Here you have a number of options. You may be able to negotiate a cheaper rate. Your circumstance may have changed? If your mortgage is paid off, kids have left home etc you may no longer need the large amount or type of insurance you are currently paying for? Have you stopped smoking or drinking since you took out your existing policy?
TIP: DO NOT just cancel existing policies they may have a surrender value. I will explain this more in a later article.
Cable tv- My families bill had crept up to $100 a month.On closer inspection they didn’t watch half of the channels anymore, so I told the service provider that I was going to cancel unless they could give me a better deal. They offered me $35 less per month for a year AND did not reduce the number of channels. Saving $420 a year.
Energy company deals. Lots of tips online to find cheaper electricity, water and gas suppliers.
Gym memberships + any other subscriptions that you hardly use. I have cancelled my wifes gym membership! She doesn’t know it yet but when doing this review my kids and I estimate she has used it 5 times in the last 6 months. I have bought her an exercise bike that cost $300 and cancelled her membership which was $1000 a year. Saving $700. Sharon hates the gym and only goes when she gets her positive head on. The bike is currently being used to hang clothes on, when she next gets the urge to go to the gym she can get on her bike
Book your own “package holiday” online. Why pay agents fees when you can make big savings booking flights, hotels, transfers direct via the internet. My wife is an expert at this, she doesn’t like trying to negotiate on the phone, but she saves us a fortune via the internet.
Stop smoking/Cut down your drinking? Hey I am not here to moralise, its only a suggestion Its over 20 years since I stopped smoking, I didn’t realise how expensive they have become. Stop it and save $1000′s a year & live longer.
Cars: Consider downsizing or hang on buying a new car. Wait a little longer. There are great no deposit & no interest finance deals that seem to get better every day. The crisis means that there are millions of unsold new cars around the world with fewer and fewer potential buyers. Basic economics says that over supply and low demand = better deals and lower prices.
Cars lose a tremendous amount of money in the first year. Our longer term goal is to reduce the number of depreciating assets we own and replace them with those that appreciate in value. If it means driving around in a smaller or less powerful car now then you will generate more money to treat yourself later.
I like fast cars but currently drive a basic one. It cost me peanuts and I invested the extra I was going to pay elsewhere. That investment has made enough to more than cover the cost of a new one.
If you read a lot of books and money is tight, join the library – especially good if you have kids
This is not an exhaustive list, but by following this strategy I have managed to save over $3000 per year. There is free money sat there waiting for you to claim it. Do NOT be a fool and fail to take what is rightfully yours.
Other Savings You Can Make – if you can think of more please let me and other members know in the comments section below.
Author: Marc Walton