How to negotiate your bills and reduce your monthly expenses

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(WFSB) – Sometimes the best way to stop paying outrageous bills is to start rolling and negotiating.

Eyewitness News explains step by step how you can negotiate your invoices.

No one can escape the fact that almost everything is getting more expensive.

“My husband and I have been trying to cut our bills lately because the prices are so high,” said Kimberly Palmer, personal finance expert at NerdWallet.

Kimberly knew that one of the best and easiest ways to save her family money was to try and get a better deal.

“Negotiating your bills is pretty easy to do and it can save you a lot of money,” Kimberly said.

Kimberly said you don’t have to be an expert to do this.

She said the easiest expenses to cut often include your cell phone, internet and cable bills, but before you call those companies, make a game plan.

“You really want to do your research beforehand and that starts with checking what you’re actually paying for. A lot of us are paying for services we really don’t need anymore,” Kimberly said.

Kimberly said you can often lower your bill by lightening your plan, but also ask if there are any new promotions you can take advantage of. Investigate whether their direct competitors offer lower prices. It might help you negotiate.

“It gives you that extra power and it also gives you the confidence to know there’s not just one company out there,” Kimberly said. “You can often take your business somewhere else and that’s the power consumers have.”

You are now ready to call your suppliers.

Be polite but firm and direct about your goals. Ask the open-ended question: “what can you do to help me reduce my monthly bill?”

“You’d actually be surprised how easy it is to get a positive response and save a month just by making this request,” Kimberly said.

But if you don’t get immediate help, don’t give up. Instead, ask to be transferred to the company’s cancellation department.

“Sometimes they have extra leeway to make you deals you wouldn’t get anywhere else,” Kimberly said.

Kimberly said if you still don’t get anything, just hang up and try again the next day. You might have better luck with another customer service representative. Remember that most companies don’t want to lose you.

“It’s not just helping you, it’s helping the business,” Kimberly said. “The company wants to retain you as a customer so you can find a win-win solution, making sure you’re happy, so they’ll be happy to know they’re keeping you.”

If you don’t like confrontation, Kimberly recommends using the online chat systems that big companies usually offer these days. She just used it the other day when she managed to negotiate a lower phone bill.

“I was managing our kids and a few other chores,” Kimberly said. “I lowered our bill I think, I ended up saving about $30 a month just by continuing this.”

Take Kimberly’s advice. The worst thing that can happen is that they say no, and hearing yes is an exhilarating experience.

“It feels so good to save that money,” Kimberly said.

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