I saved us $59.90 in just two days by paying attention to details and making necessary phone calls.
Saving #1: Credit Card Late Fee (39.00) — Due to the moving madness, we missed a credit card bill. The partner has never missed a bill and I promptly told him to call them and ask to have the charge removed. After almost two weeks of telling him to not forget, I just made the call myself. I explained the situation and reminded them that he has always payed his bill on time. They removed the fee and also reset the APR that had shot up 3% in response to the late charge. I also expressed concern over it being reported to the credit agencies and hopefully that is revolved as well — they were a little less clear on this matter.
Savings #2: Residential Phone Service ($2.98) — We’ve had some very unfortunate experiences in getting phone (and internet) service. After our first failed attempt, we put in a new order on the 11th. However, the line still didn’t work and no one came out until the 17th to fix it. However, our bill still showed charges for the week that we couldn’t use the phone. This call took the longest because they were a little reluctant to provide a credit, but I persisted and got a credit. According to my bill, the credit should have been $3.79 but I decided to give up after 10 minutes on the phone and took the $2.98 credit offered.
Savings #3: Electric Service ($17.92) — When moving into a new place, take note of your meter readings. The electric company overcharged us for almost 200 kWh. While we forgot to take a meter reading the day we moved in, we did take one two days later and then the following week. Those numbers, along with the current meter reading, provided me an average daily use number that allowed me to give the electric company a more accurate previous (initial) reading and reduced our bill. It is important to know your daily energy usage — I knew ahead of time that we were using about 35 kWh/day and that the bill’s stated average of 51 kWh/day was too high. Also, when making the call, be confident and don’t let confused agents talk you out of your savings – the agent told me that I was providing a higher previous reading and that I would be charged more. I had to clarify for her that when considering the difference of the current reading and previous reading, a higher previous reading would in fact reduce my bill, it took her a moment to finally realize her math error and agree.
Each of these calls took, on average, about 6 minutes. The average was driven up by the phone company’s reluctance to give me the credit, but it is worth it. If we had the more expensive phone packages the savings would have been more substantial, but whether it is $3.00 or $30.00 it is still our hard earned money that is being spent.