The problem is that many of these companies have begun to think about you in terms of only how much money they can get from you. In addition to this, they have begun to think in terms of how they can limit their expenses and often their services while still getting the full payment participation from your family.
As a result, we have adjusted our thinking so that we treat them as a negative event in our family budget and we recommend you treat them the same way. What does this mean for you? It means that you should review your services at least once each year and work with them to seek a reduction in pricing.
No, I am not kidding.
Times have gotten more and more difficult for middle class families. On the other hand, big business (especially) in this country are FLUSH with cash. This is because they constantly operate from a conservative position of limiting and reducing expenses while PRESSING for PROFIT.
To meet this challenge you should start this at least yearly process of approaching every business that gets money from your household and PRESSING THEM for REDUCTION in costs.
The process begins with a phone call, but you must learn to be pleasant and firm while being prepared to make multiple phone calls and seek out supervisors multiple times to reduce costs while keeping services.
You start by telling them that you are having financial difficulties and really want to keep their services. However, you should also tell them that you need to reduce the bill you receive by 10 – 12%. That’s where the negotiation begins.
Again – be patient.
Be willing to listen to their suggestions. Be willing to talk to multiple supervisors and stay calm and pleasant as you work your way to a DISCOUNT.
When you negotiate a discount, take the money you saved (in actual dollars from your monthly bill) and add it to your “automatic savings bill.” This will help you establish or expand a regular monthly “bill” that actually goes directly to savings in a money market savings account.
In 2011 you should be working toward having 15 to 18 months of your family expenses in actual savings to have a proper emergency savings fund (correctly funded). Why? Because it may take you longer to find a new job making your current income if you lose your job. You may become a part of a large wave of people who cannot replace your current income if you lose your job. Having a right-sized emergency savings fund for 2011 will be very helpful to your family.
If you do not have this kind of emergency savings fund, we recommend you look back in previous blog entries here and at http://www.StickyAsset.com/blog to find our “1% Savings Plan” or check it out at http://www.MiddleClassMoney.com to begin a systematic way to launch and grow regular savings.
We believe it’s us against the world. That means your family must take more control of your money and see companies you do business as BUSINESSES that must be NEGOTIATED with so you get the most value for the least costs.
And always actually save what you save. This is a major key to GROWING SAVINGS.
HELPING YOUR KIDS GET AHEAD
If you think I was born saving money, you are wrong. My own family didn’t believe in saving. They don’t believe in having a 401k. Our people have had “emergencies” all our lives. These emergencies always get in the way of saving money regularly, and our family is not different than millions of other good American families. I was not brought up to save and invest regularly and I have made every mistake you can think about when it comes to money. My parents thought they were shielding me from the realities of bills and worry. In fact, they were isolating me. I have had to learn from my own mistakes over time. I have had to learn the absolute hard way how to get savings on track and make it a part of your life without killing your lifestyle or allowing “it” to overwhelm you. It is my mission to share what I have learned about regularly saving with my own children and also share it with you. That’s why we have a lot of “free” (blogs like http://www.boostmywealth.wordpress.com and http://www.stickyasset.com/blog and groups on Facebook like “Coupons & Coupon Codes”) associated with our mission!
It is our goal to encourage everyone to teach our children about money, managing money, and saving regularly (and automatically. Children should receive lessons about compound interest and steady investing for a long-term future before they face the hard choices of adult life while being subjected to the consequences of the high-speed marketing culture we live in. As a parent, we are always concerned that they get a good education and go to a good college so they can make a lot of money or have a valued career path. The truth is that we could do our children the biggest favor by simply sharing with them sound saving and investing principles.
You can join our free Facebook group (or have your children do it, too) by searching in the Facebook bar on your “wall” for “Live The Lifestyle Your Family Deserves.” Click on “become a fan.” It’s free and it ties our free blogs into that group. You can get our free e-saver newsletter by signing up at http://www.StickyAsset.com/blog.
If you want to give your children the same information we are giving ours, you can purchase the only thing we sell on any of our blogs or groups. It’s called “How To Survive Any Financial Crisis” and you can get it for only $4.95 at http://www.middleclassmoney.com.
Good luck to you and your children.
Thank you for reading our blog and good luck!
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“Coupons & Coupon Codes”
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All on Facebook – join. It’s free.