Constantly looking for ways to reduce our monthly bills, a few quick phone calls revealed a total savings of $63 a month without reducing our services! Here’s how I, er, my husband did it with my help. I keep an excel file that lists the averages of how much all of our bills cost on each month. I have everything listed in categories, for instance under the category of CAR I included auto insurance, car payment, and gasoline. Out of a total of about 25 items (a lot, I know!) I pay on a regular monthly schedule, I went through my list and highlighted the items I thought we could save on without downgrading any of our services. Those items took only a phone call and included the phone bill, DSL service, and auto insurance for a total savings of $63 a month, or $756 for the entire year.

For instance, with our phone service the customer service rep was able to apply a discount code to our current service pack without altering any of our features. Our phone bill  includes some business services my husband uses for his business and he wasn’t ready to part with them.  This discount code cut our bill by $30 a month. Our DSL service is with another company (though we’ve looked into bundling it in with our phone, they use VOIP so we’re not sure we want to do this yet.) Again, by applying a promotional coupon code to our current service we saved $15 a month on our DSL service for the next year.

Reducing our car insurance was a little more work. Instead of remaining with the company we’ve used for the past 5 years, we decided to switch to USAA. I’m eligible for USAA through my step-father’s previous military service and we’ve been loyal renter’s insurance customers for many years. Now that I’m a little wiser, I really appreciate their services and the benefits I’m able to receive. Not only are we saving $18 a month on car insurance, USAA has some kind of savings plan on premium payments. At the end of the year, I’ll get a small percentage of my premium payments refunded to me. I haven’t received all of the details on this feature yet, but getting anything back on paying an auto insurance premium sounds great. I’m also glad I switched my insurance over because my previous company with whom I was up for renewal in just a week, charged my a $50 fee for canceling 10 days early! The representative initially said I would receive the same refund whether I canceled now or in a week, I guess she was wrong.

I’m looking forward to a long and happy relationship with USAA. One of my primary goals this year is to open a retirement account. Luckily the school district I work for uses USAA as one of their vendors for their 403(b) plan. By summer’s end I’ll be posting about my experiences on my retirement account.

Next on my list of smashing, my crummy line of credit. I’ll soon be swapping out an incredibly high interest loan to a more reasonable loan amount…but more on that soon.

Have you recently renegotiated for services you use? Have you noticed that customer service representatives quickly apply a discount code to your current service more quickly these days?