About once a year I review my finances to make sure I am paying the lowest amount possible. I don’t have a set schedule for doing this task, although I probably should. Usually something prompts me to take action. This year it was when my cable provider notified me that they were going to raise the cost of service. Last year it was when a new agreement was provided to me by one my credit cards. Whatever the reason, at some point each year I take a close look at every company I give money to each month and determine if I can give them less.
I usually start this process by comparing my current bills to what other companies are offering in advertisements. However, after doing this if the price I am paying seems reasonable, it doesn’t mean I am not going to try and get a better one. I then call each company and ask them to give me a lower price. The first person you talk to will probably tell you no. This isn’t the person that can make those types of decisions. If I am turned down I ask to speak with their client retention department. Most companies have a department of customer service representatives whose sole purpose is to make sure you don’t stop doing business with their company. These are the people who can get things done.
If the client retention representative tells me that they can’t lower my rate, then I have a choice to make. Perhaps I am paying a good price for the service I am receiving. If so, I move on to the next company. But if I think I am paying too much or if I am unhappy with the service I am receiving, then I look for a new company. That is the beauty of a fair market system. You have choices. After contacting each creditor and making these adjustments I usually find that at the end of the month I have saved money and a little savings each month may translate to hundreds or thousands of dollars in savings over the course of a year.