Over the weekend, I had a little extra time on my hands, so I turned to a money-making trick I found a long time ago. I picked up the phone and made a few phone calls. 10 minutes later, I had made $600! That's $3,600 an hour!!! I'm not sure about what your hourly rate is, but to me, that's a pretty good use of my time!
So how did I make $600 in 10 minutes?
I noticed that my cable internet bill had gone up a month or so ago, moving from $46 to $79 a month. That's a pretty hefty jump. So I picked up the phone and called my cable provider. After 7 minutes of wading through menus and holding, I finally got to speak to a live person.
Here was how the conversation went:
“Hi, I was wondering about my bill, I noticed that it recently almost doubled.”
“Let me check Mr. Smith. Ahh, I see that your promotional period is over, that is correct. You had a two year promotional rate, and are now at the regular rate.”
“I appreciate you checking on that. I only use this service for Internet, and I'm having a little trouble justifying paying that much each month when I know there are more affordable options in town. I really enjoy working with your company, but if that is going to be my rate moving forward, I'll need to shop around to see if I can find something more in line with my budget. Is there anything else you can do on this?”
“Let me check Mr. Smith. I found a great deal for you! We can add in showtime and Cinemax along with Internet for $69 a month, and lock in your rate for 2 years. Would you be interested in doing that?”
“I really only need basic Internet service, and that's still quite a bit higher than I wanted to pay. Any other options?”
“I'm checking, just a moment. I can offer you your current plan at $54 a month after taxes if you commit to a two-year plan again.”
“Thanks, let's go ahead and do that.”
Ten minutes of my time to save $600. Nice!
In case you were wondering how I came up with $600, do the math. $79-$54 = $25 saved each month. $25 * 24 months = $600 savings. Benjamin Franklin once said, “A penny saved is a penny earned.” I've found that to be very true in my financial life. It's often much easier to save a buck than to make a buck!
You can use this trick on just about any bill. I had every intention of shopping around if I couldn't get my bill back in line with where I was thinking; it wasn't a bluff. I didn't beat up my vendor; I merely gave them the courtesy of asking if they could do any better before shopping around. Since they were able to save me some money, I stuck around.
Look at your bills, and make it a point to call any time there is an increase. Also, check with them once a year and politely ask if they can do any better. Do a little homework on your options and make sure your current provider gives you the best deal.
Note that a great provider is usually worth spending a few extra bucks on, so don't automatically switch every time you can save $5, it might not be worth it. What is worth it is knowing what the options are. You'll find that by spending a few minutes, you can save thousands on these recurring expenses!
Hope this helped. If you enjoyed this article, make sure to share it with your friends!
Saving money using little tricks like this is only one of the ways that people build wealth. If you are interested in building wealth over the long haul, check out my article 10 steps to creating wealth!