Finances are often tight in families caring for an elderly loved one. Saving money and bringing in more income helps cover the costs of high blood pressure medications, an extra railing on the stairs, or a ramp up to the front door.
Social security payments, retirement funds and assistance from Government agencies only get you so far. Many families need to cut back on their spending.
I often hear “at-home care is so expensive” and “I don’t know how we’re going to pay for a nursing home if Dad needs to go to one.”
I want to speak directly to those concerns. I want you to feel empowered with your own money. I want you to feel confident that you know how to cut back when it matters.
Let’s start with high value areas. After reading this article you will know how to spend 2 hours and save $1,000. The strategy is to negotiate recurring monthly expenses. I have personally done it multiple times. It works.
Many bills that you pay on a recurring basis can be negotiated. The difficulty is the conversation. People hate talking about money.
I will show you the exact language I used to have these conversations. I will show you what questions I asked. I will show you how I navigated common speed bumps. I will show you how I got to the dollars.
I want to remove the nervousness and confusion. I want you to have the exact steps and language so that you feel comfortable.
The results will be stellar. I have personally saved thousands of dollars using these methods. You can too.
1. Negotiate Your Phone Bill
Time: 30 minutes
Savings: $250 – $500
Earlier this year my phone bill was $140. I have an IPhone and IPad that share a data plan with AT&T. Occasionally my bill would go up to $160 when I went over my data plan.
I decided to sit down and call AT&T and renegotiate my plan.
Here is what I said:
JP: “Hi my name is JP Adams. I have been a customer of AT&T’s for four years and I pay my bill on time each month. I have had several competitive offers recently that provide cheaper monthly rates. I wanted to see if there was anything you could do to keep me as a customer.”
AT&T Representative: “We value you as a customer greatly. Let me look into any special offers that we may have available.”
Notice the structure: I am a valued customer and pay on-time, I see other opportunities from other phone companies, can you help me lower my monthly bill?
I’m congenial and professional. No yelling. No screaming.
They put me on a different data plan and lowered my bill to $100 a month. $480 savings over the next year. Chaching!
2. Negotiate Internet Bill
Time: 30 minutes
Savings: $125 – $250
My internet is with Time Warner. Few companies do I despise as much as Time Warner. I’ve had many occasions over the last few years to negotiate my bill.
Below is what I said in a recent phone conversation:
JP: “Hi, my name is JP Adams. I haven’t been getting a good internet connection for the last few weeks. It keeps skipping in and out and sometimes it doesn’t work at all. I was wondering if you could take a portion of my monthly bill off as I haven’t been able to use the service.”
Time Warner Representative: “I’m sorry for the recent challenges. I can see here in your account that you have been experiencing spotty reception. We would like to send a technician out to your apartment.”
JP: “No thank you. I don’t have the time for that right now. However please lower my bill for this month to compensate for the poor service.”
Time Warner Representative: “We’d be happy to. I can credit your account $20 for the last month. Is there anything else you need assistant with?”
JP: “Yes, I have been a loyal customer of Time Warner’s for three years. There are several new providers in the area. Do you have any special lower cost plans that I could take advantage of to keep me as a customer?”
Time Warner Representative: “Let me look…Ah yes, it turns out we have a program that is $20 cheaper a month. Would you like me to put you on that plan?”
JP: “Yes please. Thanks!”
Saved me $240. Boom!
Remember. Stay professional but direct. Ask for better deals and a lower monthly rate. You’ll get it.
3. Negotiate Your Gym Membership
Time: 10 Minutes
Savings: $100 and Free Services!
I recently called my gym to check if I could get a lower rate for my monthly membership.
JP: “I have been a loyal customer for a year. I have received some competitive offers from other gyms now that it is the summer. I also recently had my girlfriend join the gym. Can you offer me a lower monthly rate or free services?”
Gym Membership Director: “Because you brought your girlfriend to the gym we can offer you a month free as a referral award. I can’t offer you a lower monthly rate as you have the lowest rate already. However would you like a free massage?”
JP: “Excellent! Thanks.”
Not all rewards are financial. A free massage or training session at a gym can be just as valuable.
Notice the consistent structure. Share with them how valuable you are as a customer, mention competitive rates, and ask for a better deal.
Make sure to ask them if they have any special offers. You may be surprised what they can give you.
4. Negotiate Your Rent
Time: 60 Minutes
Savings: $500 – $1000
I recently signed my lease for another term. I live in Manhattan where rents are notoriously bad and rise each year.
I knew that I would need to negotiate an early exit from my lease so I could move apartments. I didn’t want to fight the summer rental market in 1 year so I asked for a 9 month lease instead of a 12 month contract.
I sent my landlord this email:
JP: “Dear (Land Lord Name). I wanted to speak with you about next month’s lease. I have really enjoyed the apartment. I would like to stay but due to personal circumstances cannot stay for the full twelve months.
I know that you have many considerations on your end. If I were to depart you would need to list the apartment, hire a broker, repaint it, and make repairs. I hope to help you avoid this work.
The rents in our neighborhood with similar units reflect a slightly lower rate than what I am currently paying. They reflect rates $150 below my current rent. However since a 9 month lease is a shorter lease I would be willing to compromise at a $75 lower rent per month.
Please let me know if this plan is attractive to you.
I received an excellent deal from my landlord that met many of my goals.
Notice that you mention the increased expenses they would need to incur if you left. This is essential. Remind them that you are the cheaper option.
Stay professional. Above all, make sure you ask!
Great work. You’ve saved hundreds!
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July 23, 2015
By: JP Adams