Most people don’t realize the power of negotiating is alive and well, even when it comes to big companies and buying small things.  We often associate negotiation on things like a car but not so often on things like your phone bill.  Recently I chatted online with a representative from our internet provider (that’s right, today you don’t even have to negotiate in real life) and simply asked if I could get a lower monthly rate.  The rep gladly gave about a 20% monthly discount, gave us access to on-demand movies, and then thanked me for actually being nice to her.  You should evaluate your recurring expenses to see if there is some room for negotiation.  Usually it’s as simple as asking.  I’ve heard success with many types of monthly items (phone, internet, subscriptions, etc.).

Another area where this can apply is if you forget to pay something on time, underpay your taxes, or just plain make a mistake on something.  Often the company/government is open to waiving or decreasing the fees/penalties if you proactively reach out to them to apologize for your error, explain how you are resolving the issue to not happen again in the future, thank them for their patience in dealing with you, and ask that they waive any fees/penalties.  Plus, this makes things more human and believe it or not there is still likely a human involved on the other end as well when you are in this type of situation.

This can be a quick way to save hundreds of dollars by investing as little as a few minutes.  What types of expenses have you been able to lower by simply asking?