Cutting costs over the lunch hour

Andy and I have been trying to find ways to slash our bills over the last year in order to minimize the impact of moving from a terrible duplex to our wonderful house.  I have had some pretty great successes with lowering our bills, and it often just takes a simple phone call over a lunch hour.

When I switched jobs, I had to get my own cell phone plan.  The university had paid for my phone previously because I had to be available 24/7, you know, in case some flowers didn’t show up or there was a table linen mishap (obviously critical emergencies).  In my current job, while I choose to use my phone for work, that is simply out of bad habit and not necessity.  I didn’t realize, however, that I could get a discount by letting them know I was a CSU employee.  After a couple of months on my own, Andy and I combined phone plans.  Someone mentioned that CSU gets a discount, so I made a call to Verizon and we instantly saved $25/month off our bill with very little effort, and we even got an extra GB of data added at no additional cost.  Over the course of a year, that is $300 that we aren’t spending on cell phones.  If we were willing to live without a data plan, I’m sure we could save a HUGE amount, but we aren’t animals.  🙂  But, really, we’re in a contract, so we might try it out when our contract is up.  Might.  I do love having my phone navigate for me, though, and having my Dropbox and Evernote accounts available wherever I go…

The next success happened today.  Our internet promotional discount through CenturyLink ran out last month and our internet went up $18/month.  I opened our most recent statement, and when I was done vomiting over the price increase, I decided I would call about bundling our Verizon plan to get a discount because of an ad they included.  In a two-minute call with probably the nicest person that has ever worked in customer service, I was able to keep our Verizon plan the same (including the CSU employee discount), and they discounted our internet by $20.  Even better, they upgraded us from 12 mbps to 20 mbps for a year for the same price.  For those who are math impaired, we will now be paying $2 less per month than we were with our original discount for even faster internet.  Since we don’t have TV service and rely on internet streaming, this is awesome.  Savings: $240 off our current bill over the year, and SO MUCH MORE INTERNET.

Last week I officially canceled my massage membership, so I eliminated a monthly $75 bill from my recurring expenses.  Next on the list will be decreasing my yoga costs, and Andy and I need to work on decreasing our utility bills.

Have you had success getting a bill lowered?  Or have you run into problems like the horrible Comcast call floating around the interwebz?

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