you never know until you ask

September 14th, 2007

You never know until you ask

Somehow, most of us are conditioned to not ask for things, myself included. Especially in regards to money. From a raise in our salary to a discount in what we pay, generally, people don’t ask for it. Again, myself included. But you never know until you ask, and you could make or save a lot of money in the process. And what’s the worst that could happen? If the answer is no, then you’re still exactly where you started, and all you’ve spent is a little time and effort (and probably achieved a little personal growth in the process!).

Day 14 of No Credit Needed’s 33 Days and 33 Ways to Reduce Debt and Increase Savings Series puts the challenge onto us – call for discounts. Gather up your bills, call all the companies involved, and ask every one of them for a discount. He does this every quarter and he’s had some great results. I have not yet achieved this impressive level, but I have taken small steps towards it. Two instances stand out in my mind where I have discounts through my own initiative.

First is my insurance. I have my auto insurance, my life insurance, and my homeowners insurance all through the same company. Each time I have added some sort of policy, I have been sure to talk to my agent and make sure any multi-policy discounts were in effect on each policy premium, and reviewed all the coverage on my existing policies to make sure they were giving us the maximum savings for what we wanted covered. This has resulted in hundreds of dollars in savings a year. In fact, when we closed on our house, my mortgage broker said he’s never seen a homeowner’s policy so inexpensive for the size house we were insuring. Now that the flurry of new policy adding has died down, I need to make an appointment for myself a few times a year to call my agent and review each policy to make sure they continue to be accurate and there are not any additional savings I could be taking advantage of.

The other instance of reducing costs came from calling my credit card company to reduce the interest rate I was paying. This is something I should have done a long long time ago, and I credit David at My Two Dollars for giving me the final kick in the pants I needed to accomplish it. Calling my credit card company resulted pretty painlessly in a 1% rate reduction, which may not be much but every little bit counts. I have since moved that account to a 0% interest balance transfer offer but even saving 1% for 2 months on a close to $6K balance resulted in a nice savings. And the emotional benefits I got from conquering my fears and calling the company to request the discount were priceless.

So… ask! Call and request a discount. I already have on my calendar a reminder to call my cable/internet/phone company the month before my new subscriber package deal ends and see if it can be extended or how I can change my coverage to reduce my rates. The worst they can do is say no. And they could say yes…..

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6 Responses to “You never know until you ask”

  1. I startled my poor wife a month or so back when we were staying in a hotel. I flat out asked for a discount on the room we were staying at. The poor girl behind the counter was a bit surprised as well. You’re right we simply accept things at face value more often than we should. I quoted an internet based quote for the same hotel and she launched into some explanation which I cut short and asked her if she could do anything? The net result was 10% off and a savings of 12$ – not much but something.

  2. @Matt – Yay for you! Good job! I would have been startled too. But then again, I didn’t marry a very assertive person so if my spouse did that I would totally be startled :)


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