How I Saved Over $7000 in One Afternoon!
Find Out How Asking for Discounts gave me More Money in My Pocket
It was fast approaching my daughter’s birthday and I decided to buy her a book. She is an avid reader and enjoys the “feel” of a book in her hands rather than reading from a screen. I ventured into my local department store and headed for the book section to see what I could find.
A bright yellow book caught my eye, “Kill Bills” by Joel Gibson. It was a word play on the Hollywood movie with a very similar name. I picked it up to have a flick through…but there was a splodge of glue on the bottom of the book and I couldn’t open the first few pages. Kill Bills indeed! I thought. I’d better get this $20 book cheaper because of this. I went to the service desk and explained the situation.
“You can have it for $4” said the shop assistant.
“Perfect” I said and my Kill Bills afternoon had just begun!
A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned
My mother was the ninth child and born during the Great Depression. Understandably, she was very frugal. She often said, “The money is better in your pocket than theirs”. In other words, don’t pay more than you have to. That was also the basic message to this book.
My family are big consumers. My 4 children drive their own cars, as well as myself and husband and all have insurance. We have mortgages, credit cards, health insurance along with a large grocery bill, electricity and everyone has a phone. This was going to be mammoth task to go through but I was determined to save as much as I could.
I got myself a cup of tea, found all my bills and sat at my table with my phone and a pen. The challenge had started. Let’s see how much cheaper I can make my household bills.
Always Start at the Top and Save on your Biggest Bills First
My very first payment each month is the mortgage. Keeping a roof over our head is the most important bill for us…and also our biggest. We have a couple of loans so I rang our mortgage providers. Literally, ten minutes later I had saved over $300 per month!
One loan wanted a form filled to be sent to the manager. They came back a week later and said no decrease for my mortgage interest rate. I applied again. They came back and said no. I applied again and said I would like to pay “this much”. Third time lucky! They said they would change the rate to what I asked for!
This final change equated to saving $360 per month on my mortgages. Just for asking!
Please Sir, May I Have Some More?
I was starting to have fun saving money on my mortgages. Our next big bill each month is insurance. Let’s see how I do with this because I am supposedly on the top discount tier with my current insurer.
I rang a couple of new players to the insurance market. They’re usually hungry for new business. The ages for my children were a problem as these new companies usually want a low risk applicant. Read old and boring!! But for the mum and dad cars and our home and contents insurance we were able to save over $170 per month on our premiums…for higher payout amounts.
I went back to my current insurer and asked if they could match it. I have been a loyal customer for over 20 years. They gave me lots of excuses but no discounts. We parted ways.
The New Insurer was Willing to Give me a Cheaper Policy
The new insurer is also a major grocery chain. As an extra thank you they also offer a 10% discount on your grocery bill on particular days each month. That adds an extra $30-$40 to the savings each month for our family. Combine this with buying the weekly specials and this has significant savings.
So far, saving $560 per month off my family bills had taken about two and a half hours of my time. Image how much I can save in four hours!
It’s Not What You Say, It’s How You Say It When Asking For A Discount
I was on the final stretch. Next to tackle was the electricity bill. That one was very easy. I had my last bill in front of me so I could compare the unit price per kw. That is the important measure. Some companies may give a bigger discount but on a higher price per unit.
I rang my provider and asked if they were able to discount my account any further please. A few tappy tap taps on the other end and they came back with a 28% discount! That’s more than a quarter of my bill slashed in two minutes.
I’ll take that, thank you!
The Final Countdown To Saving Money On My Bills
My tea had gone cold and the sun was starting to set on my pecunious afternoon.
I had netted an annual saving of over $7000 by just asking my providers for a discount. It really was that easy.
I asked nicely. I did not threaten to leave. In the case of my insurance, I gave my original provider a chance to match the new price. All the suppliers were pleasant to deal with and tried to accommodate my request. I read in my Kill Bills book that it takes a supplier four times the cost to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing customer with a discount.
I did mention that my family is a big consumer but that sort of saving is almost like being paid an extra week’s wage, after tax, every month. Without having to work that extra week! Can this be classed as passive income?
Saving on your bills can be done by anyone that has a bill and a phone
Everyone has bills and many have a mortgage. We all work hard for our money. As you can see, just by asking, you can save thousands of dollars a year off your household bills. Always ask nicely and be respectful of the person on the other end of the phone. If you are not able to get a discount first try, hang up and try again. Saving money on your bills is easy. Spending that saved money on something else is fun. Give it a try and see how easy it is to get discounts.
Paying $4 to buy a book that saved me thousands…Priceless!
Yvette is a stay at home mum who is able to earn an income whilst working around her children by being creative. She is co-founder of Strathfield Web Design, designing, creating and managing the online presence of local businesses.