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How to reduce your expenses by negotiating bills

Don't leave money on the table.
If you have never negotiated your bills with service providers, this is a nudge to start thinking in that direction. It could save you in the end!

Not many people are aware that they can negotiate some of their bills, and not doing so can cost them extra dollars every month.

If you have never negotiated your bills with service providers, this is a nudge to start thinking in that direction.

Although it may not be good news for insurance providers, network providers, and telephone service companies, you can reduce your monthly and annual expenses by negotiating and making a request.

With rising interest rates and increases in the prices of goods and services, a reduction in your bills can go a long way.

Types of bills to negotiate

Negotiating your bills is straightforward; it is as easy as calling your service provider and asking for a discount just because you need some relief or maybe because you have updated information that can result in lower payments.

For example, if you got a car insurance policy as a newcomer to Canada or a province, chances are that your insurance premium will be relatively higher than that of a long-time resident. If you build a clean driving history of one to three years, you can call your insurance provider to negotiate your insurance policy and reduce your bills.

If you reduce the usage of your vehicle, such as when many Canadians drove less to work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, you can call your car insurance provider to see if you can reduce the insurance coverage premium on your vehicle.

Note that if you decide to resume your regular car usage, it is important to update your car insurance provider to avoid insurance claims getting rejected.

Likewise, phone and internet service providers understand the competition in the industry. It is easy for customers to switch service providers. While your phone or internet service provider may have limits, they may be able to reduce your plan payments or give you a cheaper alternative that works.

For example, you can negotiate your internet bill from $100 to $85, saving you $15. Also, you can opt for fewer cable TV stations for lower fees. Some cable providers even give you the option to get access to streaming channels like Netflix, Crave, and Amazon Prime in addition to cable channels for affordable fees.

Another type of expense you can reduce is your mortgage costs. While mortgages may not operate as your regular monthly or annual bills, you may be able to refinance your mortgage and get a lower interest.

How to improve your chances of negotiating your bills

  • Be resilient: Asking for a bill reduction can result in long waiting times and a lengthy approval process. However, don’t give up; most often than not, you will get your request granted. Even if you don’t, you can always try again.
  • Ask politely: Negotiating your bills in a polite manner can motivate a service agent to provide help for you promptly.
  • Have updated information that supports your request: For example, a formal driving lesson and an excellent driving history can support your request for lower car insurance fees.
  • Always research different service options available, as this allows you to negotiate better or switch your service provider to a cheaper alternative.
  • Read your contract to identify clauses that lead to penalties when negotiating your bill or deciding to break a service contract.

The bottom line is: don’t leave money on the table. A reduced bill can free up money to spend on your other needs. Negotiating your bills can help reduce your expenses. You can negotiate your bills over the phone or by walking into a physical branch.

If negotiating your bills does not work out, try again after a few months or switch to a more affordable alternative. Before you break a service contract and switch to a different provider, ensure your contract does not include penalties and fees.

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