6 Surprising Bills You Can Negotiate to Save Money

Just about everybody gets off track with their budget now and then. One way to correct the problem is to make cutbacks in your spending.

For example, you could keep to a strict budget for your grocery spending and eat out less. You could also shut off your cable, turn down your thermostat, and be more frugal with water consumption.

However, along with all of these cost cutting measures you could also try attacking the problem from the other end. In other words, you could try to get some of your bills lowered to save more money.

While this may not work for every bill you have, here are six bills you can negotiate.

1. Cell Phone

Cell phone statements could be one of the bills you may not know you can negotiate. But even if you’ve thought about changing to a new provider it is not necessary to switch just to get a lower rate.

What you could do as an alternative is to call your current provider. Mention that their current rates are not working for your budget and ask if they have a better plan that’s more affordable.

Other options include getting your data reduced in order to get a better monthly rate on your cell bill. Or, if your usage is low, drop the plan altogether and just get a pay by the minute plan. Explore all of the available options to get the best deal possible and lower your bill the most.

2. Medical Bills

Medical bills are another of the bills you may not know you can negotiate. To increase your chances of success, contact the billing department to ask if they will reduce your bill.

If there are any errors, point them out and make sure they are corrected. Then, explain your unique situation and why you are seeking a discount. Once you make an agreement, make good on it so any adjustments they apply are not reversed later on.

3. Investment Fees

The likelihood of lowering your investment fees depends, in part, on how large your investments are. If you have a great deal of money invested with a particular firm you’ll have more leverage than if your investments are smaller.

But there are other considerations as well. For instance, if your funds are growing it may be well worth the fees you are paying. Conversely, if your investments are not performing well you may be able to get your fees lowered.

4. Bank Fees

Make sure you know exactly what you will be charged before you open a bank account with any financial institution. As an example, some banks will charge a fee if your balance drops lower than a certain figure.

If you traditionally carry a fairly significant balance in your account at any given time, ask your bank if they can lower some of your other fees.  Additionally, if you have another reason why you shouldn’t be charged the fees in question, politely plead your case.

5. Airline Charges

One of the bills you may not know you can negotiate is airline charges. That being said, it may not be possible to negotiate with every airline. Some are trying to keep airfares down already so they may not be able to lower your rate or baggage fees at all.

But if you travel frequently you may have a bit more leverage when it comes to getting your airfare or baggage fees lowered. This may be particularly true if you usually fly with the same airline.

If you are a government employee, former military, student, or senior citizen you might be able to get an automatic discount on your tickets. Also, if you are travelling in a group, mention it when you book your flight to see if you can get a lower rate.

6. Car Rental Fees

Traveling by air to another place often results in a car rental in order to get to and from hotels or other places. Although a rental of several days can cost in the hundreds, you may be able to get either a reduced rate or free extras if you haggle a bit.

One more idea is to see if you can rent a car late in the day. You may be more likely to get a good deal or extra’s thrown in if you rent in the afternoon.

Another tactic you can use to negotiate is to mention that you can get a similar car from another place for less. Then, nicely ask if they can do better. However, if you try this approach, be ready to prove that you received a quote from a competitor.

Clearly, it is possible to fix your budget once you’ve gotten off track. Try a combination of spending cutbacks as well as bill negotiating to have the biggest impact on your finances.

Have you ever successfully negotiated any of your bills? Which of these bills you can negotiate was most surprising?

Jeanne is a married mother of 2 children who works as a full-time freelancer and also helps out occasionally on the farm she and her husband own together. Her background is mostly finance and medical office management.  She’s currently working to improve her financial well-being and hopes to help others improve theirs as well.