We finally did it. In my book I talk about a way to use negotiation to save money on your monthly bills. In one of the examples I talk about asking your cable provider for a better deal. The worst they can say is ‘No. You have our best deal’.
In 2012 I contacted our provider, through whom we have bundled Internet/TV/phone service. I said “This economy is hitting us and I think we’re going to have to cut our cable out. Is there anything you can do to help?” They were able to give around a 20% decrease, but only for 6 months.
The 6 months ended in December and our bill went back up. So, after looking at our bill again, and seeing what one of the competitors was offering, we decided to make the switch.
Under our old provider, we spent $149.00 per month for the bundle of three. That includes tax, title, valve stems,etc.. Soup to nuts. The whole enchilada..
With our new provider, we have a deal for 2 years where it will be $91.00. That’s a monthly savings of $58.00. (I’m rounding here, so please forgive). On top of the monthly savings, Verizon is giving us a $300 Debit Card where we can use it for whatever we want. It will most likely be used for groceries.
The FiOS service is great, although I did have to give up a few things, like watching Standard Definition TV and slower internet speeds 🙂
There were a few other added costs. Now that we had HD, we “needed” a new Tivo. We’d had a Tivo since 2004 with Lifetime service. As it turned out, the week we got the new Tivo, our original Tivo finally died. Almost like it knew it was being replaced.
The new Tivo cost $199 (on sale at Best Buy saving $50) and we did bite the bullet and pay for the Tivo Lifetime Service (plus 3 year warranty) for $440.
So how did we get an Extra $1000? Like this.
1,395.84 – Monthly Savings with Verizon: $58.16 (x 24 months)
300.00 – Debit Card from Verizon
$1,695.84 – Total ‘Income’
440.00 – Tivo Lifetime Service
210.00 – New Tivo
$650.00 – New ‘Expense’
1,695.84 – Total Income
650.00 – Total Expense
1,045.84 – ‘Profit’
Is this some type of rationalization? Maybe. It’s not like “Look how much I saved by buying all of these clothes (shoes, DVDs, etc). As bad as it may be, the entertainment factor is a pretty important aspect of our life here. We’ve come a long way in getting ourselves out of debt, so I think this ‘splurge’ is well worth it.
So, to summarize. Take a look at the overall picture of your budget and determine if it makes sense for you to take a short term savings vs a longer term goal.