Want to Save Money? Just Ask.

It might be easier than you think to snag a discount.

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One of the easiest ways to save money is to simply ask for a discount. This might seem obvious, but many people are unaware that they can receive a discount on many of their monthly bills if they ask. Of course, companies are not likely to volunteer this information and they may not give you a discount when you first ask. Here are some categories to target when asking for discounts.

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Rent

It is possible to negotiate a discount on your rent and I have had success in doing this in past. When my lease was up, I pointed out other apartments that were available for less. Since I had been a good tenant, the landlord reduced my rent rather than have me move out. Others I know have been able to get a discount on rent by paying for the remainder of their lease in one lump sum. You are more likely to have success getting these discounts if you are dealing with an individual or small management company, but even if you are dealing with a large management company, it can't hurt to ask.

Credit Cards

You can call up your credit card company and ask for a lower APR and get fees waived. I have been able to do both of these. If the customer service department won't get you the deal, then ask for the retention department. They have more authority to grant the discounts you want. If you have good credit, then there are plenty of credit cards out there with low APRs and no fees. If the credit card company won't accommodate your reasonable request be prepared to cancel the card. I have only had one credit card company actually let me cancel the card rather than accommodate me and they later sent me an offer for an even better deal than I asked for in the first place.

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Cell Phones

Competition is pretty fierce in the cell phone industry so it shouldn't be hard to get a discount if you have been a good customer. If you just ask if there is a better deal they will probably find one for you. If not, do some research and find the cheapest plan that will work for you. The cell phone companies don't always publicize their lower cost plans but if they know you are aware of them they should let you sign up.

Subscriptions

Anything that you subscribe to is likely to offer a discount. It is a lot cheaper for them to keep you as a customer than to acquire a new customer so there are generally lots of discounts available for subscription offers. They may not tell you about them unless you ask though.

Those are just a few categories where you can receive discounts, but there are plenty of others. Most things you pay for have some kind of discount available. You won't always receive discounts and sometimes you are already receiving such a good deal that it isn't even reasonable to ask for a discount. In general though, asking for a discount is an easy way to save money.

Andy Hough writes about frugality and living well on a small income at TightFistedMiser.com.