Day 2- Save $1,000 In 1-Week

Save $1,000 In 7-Days Challenge
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6
Day 7
Day 2

In Part 2 I’ll show you how to reduce your cell phone plans, get a discount on your cable and utility bills, and how you can save on Internet charges.

Click on one of the links below to get started or just work your way from the top down.

Lower your utility rates
Drop cable
Buy your own modem
Cancel your landline
Switch your landline to POTS
Lower your cell phone bill
Cancel your phone insurance
Negotiate your rates
Consider a mobile hotspot for your Internet service
Have a pro negotiate your bills

Lower your utility rates

In many parts of the country, there are multiple providers for the same electricity, oil, and natural gas that heats and cools your residence. You can save up to 25% off of your monthly energy bill by switching to a lower cost provider.

Visit Stream Energy to see if you can get a lower energy rate. Also, use Google to see if there are other alternatives in your area.

Have your monthly utility bill handy so you can compare the per kilowatt hour/natural gas rates.

Drop cable

Cable rates are crazy. If you’re not ready to ditch the cable company, there are plenty of other ways for you to save money.

If you are, check out the great article Cable TV Alternatives – A Guide to Cutting the Cord.

Here are some other suggestions for finding online programming so you can cut the cord:

Hulu (free and pay options)
Netflix (pay service)
AmazonPrime (pay service)
Sling (pay service)
Sony PlayStation Vue (pay service)
CBS All Access (pay service)
HBO Now (pay service)
Showtime (pay service)
Joost.com
Boxee.tv
Clicker.com
ABC.com
NBC.com
CBS.com
FOX.com
CWTV.com
TVLand.com
WorldTVPC.com
SideReel.com
Inner-Live.com
ESPN360.com (only available if your high-speed Internet provider participates)
OVGuide.com (warning: may contain adult content)

A combination of Internet only ($40/month), Amazon Prime ($9/month), Netflix ($10/month), and a $30 HD antenna (one-time) for local shows and sports has saved me $800/year.

Buy your own modem

If you’re paying for Internet, you’re probably paying a separate monthly fee for the privilege of renting a modem from your provider. If you buy your own modem, you can recoup the cost in as little as a year—and then start saving anywhere from $6-10 each month.

If you have a cable modem check out Wirecutter’s write-up of the best cable modem based on your Internet provider.

Another option that works is to look at your current brand and model number. Buy an identical make/model off of eBay. Once you get your new one setup, call your Internet provider and tell them you don’t want to rent your modem anymore. They will give you instructions to ship it back or drop it off at a local authorized dealer.

I have my own modem for my Verizon FIOS service, and it saves me $110/year in rental fees.

Cancel your landline

If you have a landline or one of those triple-play combos for Cable+Internet+Phone, decide if you need a landline. Chances are you can get by with just a cell phone. If you do need a home phone line check out switching to one of the following:

MagicJack

  • Unlimited local and long distance calling to the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico & U.S. Virgin Islands
  • No contract, no monthly bills
  • Works with your Internet connection
  • Get the magicJack device and a year of service for only $59.95. After that, it’s just $35/year.

MagicJack.com

Vonage

  • $9.99/month for a 12-month contract.
  • Unlimited called to 60+ countries. Great for international use.

Vonage.com

Here is a great write-up comparing the two services to see which best fits your needs.

I have used both of these services in the past. We currently use Vonage because one of the twins ripped the magic jack out of the wall and broke it. Kids!

Switch your landline to POTS

In rural areas, you might still have a landline with costly phone service as part of your DSL, or as a standalone phone service. POTS (Plain-Ole-Telephone-System) is a stripped down phone connection that doesn’t have all the junk fees associated with regular phone service.

The thing is you’ll never see it advertised on company websites; you have to ask the customer service rep for it by name. If you have a landline or DSL and don’t need all the fancy call-waiting/voicemail/etc. ask for the POTS service and you can save $10/month.

If you’re not in a rural area, this savings probably won’t be available.

Lower your cell phone bill

Your cell phone provider is not loyal to you, and neither should you be to them. Saving money is more important.

It can be worth it to drop your current plan and pay the exit penalty if you can save $50/month on the same service from another provider.

Cricket

Cricket uses the AT&T cellular network and is a much less expensive option than AT&T.

Republic Wireless

Republic Wireless is a unique service routes calls over wifi and uses Sprint when you’re not near wifi. You’ll have to use their phones though – if you like your iPhone, forget it.

Boost Mobile

Boost Mobile is a subbrand of Sprint. You get unlimited talk, unlimited text, and 2.5 GB of data for $35 a month, and no contract. If you like the Sprint network, check out Boost Mobile.

You can also compare plans at Whistle Out.

Cancel your phone insurance

If you have a decent phone case, how likely is it you’re going to break your phone? The insurance plans on most phones is $10/month. Over the 24-months, until you upgrade, that’s $240, or the price of your next phone.

Oh, and by the way – your insurance plan usually has a $100 deductible if you break your phone and need a replacement. So on top of the $10/month insurance, you have to pay an additional $100 to get a replacement phone. And the replacement will be:

  • Refurbished
  • Will be the same version of your current phone

You’re paying too much for an outdated replacement phone with this type of insurance.

Negotiate your rates

People hate negotiating, but this is where you can save money. Call up your service provider and ask the following:

You: ‘Times are tough, and I need to decrease to my expenses. What can you do for me?’

The answer will be nothing. The first-level customer support has no power to do anything, and they are locked into the canned responses they have in their phone script list.

Tell them you want to cancel your service. Don’t worry, at this point, they won’t cut you off. You’re trying to get to the ‘customer retention’ department. It costs hundreds of dollars in advertising for a company to get a new customer. It’s in their best interest to keep you as a company and making money off you.

You: ‘I need to decrease my expenses. What can you do to lower my monthly bill?’

They will hem and haw. They might say nothing. An old negotiating trick is to just not respond. Seriously. Don’t say anything. Get a good awkward silence going. They can’t jump out and grab you.

Them: ‘Hello, are you still there?’
You: ‘Yes, I’m waiting for you to save me some money so I won’t have to cancel my service.’
Them: ‘Ok, hang on.’

Finally, they should come back with something better.

You’ll get different results from different people. My friend Jason negotiated his Internet modem rental for free. I was only able to negotiate one month of free rental. We both have the same Internet provider. (This was before I bought my own modem).

If you want to learn how to save money on everything and negotiate like a pro, listen to this episode of the show:

Subscribe to the Podcast in iTunes

Consider a mobile hotspot for your Internet service

Karma is a mobile hotspot you could consider as a replacement for your cable/DSL/satellite internet connection. The best part is if you travel you can take your Karma hotspot with you. No more $15/night Internet charges at hotels!

  • The Karma device is $99
  • Get worry-free internet access for $40 a month (5 GB limit), wherever you go. No contracts, no fine print. Cancel anytime you’d like.

Compare that to the AT&T mobility hotspot which costs $50/month for the same service. Every extra GB is $10 extra. Ouch!

Because it has a money-back guarantee, it’s worth trying out to see what you think of the performance if you can save some money.

Use this link and you’ll get $10 off your order.

Have a pro negotiate your bills

Finally, if you love your current cable/cell phone service and can’t get them to budge, let the professional negotiators have at it.

BillFixers.com is a service that will try to negotiate lower rates for you on your behalf. You send them a copy of your bill, and they do the rest. Don’t worrythey won’t change your current plan or service.

I tried BillFixers to get them to lower my AT&T cell phone bill. Since I was already on a good plan there were not able to lower my bill. But it was worth a try.

Real quick

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