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How do I lower my expenses?

Learn different strategies for lowering expenses.

Negotiating bills

An image of service bills on a table with a cell phone on top of the bills.
image credit:"Bills" by Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0.
Sometimes it can be tough paying bills, especially when they're for services you rely on, like your phone, internet, or cable. But there's good news: you may be able to negotiate a lower bill with your service providers.
Here are a few tips to help you!

1. Know your options.

Before you call your service provider, research the competition. You'll be in a better bargaining position if you know the rates and plans that other companies offer. If you can mention a cheaper plan from a competitor, your service provider may be more willing to negotiate.

2. Be polite but firm.

When you call customer service, be polite and respectful. Remember, you're asking for a favor, so you want to be as friendly as possible. But at the same time, make it clear that you're serious about wanting a lower bill. Tell them that you're considering switching to a different provider if they can't work with you.

3. Ask for a supervisor.

If the customer service representative says they can't help you, don't be afraid to ask for a supervisor. Sometimes the people higher up have more authority to negotiate.

4. Be persistent

If you don't get the answer you want the first time, call back again in a few days. Sometimes different representatives are more helpful than others. Don't give up!

5. Look for a promotional offer.

If you're not successful negotiating a lower bill, ask if there are any promotional offers available. Sometimes service providers will give you a discount for a certain amount of time if you sign up for a new plan or bundle multiple services together. Remember, it never hurts to ask! You might be surprised at how much you can save just by negotiating with your service providers.

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