Monday, November 28, 2011

Get Your Credit Card Interest Rate Lowered & Annual Fee Waived

Here's a money saving method that will ultimately save you tens of thousands of dollars over your lifetime. In today's challenge we are going to take the first step in learning how to ask for savings.

To begin, call your credit card company and ask for one of the following: a) to have the credit card interest rate you're charged lowered, b) to have your credit card annual fee waived or c) both a and b.

The first thing you need to do is to find the number of your credit card company. It should be on your credit card or on your credit card statement. When you call, you want to say something like:

Hi. I have used your card for the last 3 years and have been happy with it. However, I recently received a competing credit card offer with no annual fee. Would it be possible to have my annual fee waived?


Hi. I have used your card for the last 3 years and have been happy with it. However, I recently received a competing credit card offer with a much lower interest rate (have a percentage rate in mind in case they ask). What is the best interest rate that you can give me?

If you are currently paying a annual fee and a high interest rate, feel free to ask about both in your call. One of two things will happen: 1) you'll get your annual fee waived or a lower interest rate or 2) you won't. While it will be great if you do, the result is not nearly as important as actually getting up the courage to make the call because when you learn to ask for discounts on a regular basis, even if they don't all work out, many will and you will save money.

Take the challenge. Get up from the computer and go to the phone right now. Even if you're a bit nervous, that's fine. Just commit to making the call and ask for a better deal.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Save On Prescription Drug Costs

By Megan N.

Almost everyone cringes at the thought of spending hundreds of dollars on prescription drug. Shelling out for expensive drugs is an especially grueling experience for seniors, and those who take multiple types of medicine daily. Because these costs can add up to hundreds out of your pocket every year, the first method for is to be proactive. Know which medicines are absolutely necessary for your health, if there are any alternatives, and whether or not your insurance covers them.

When it comes to being prescribed new drugs, remember that talking to your doctor can mean a world of difference. Doctors would rather have a conversation with their patients about drug costs than see them skip out on filling prescriptions or stop taking important medicines all together due to lack of money. Usually they can offer alternatives, including generic versions of drugs that can be a fraction of the cost. They may also be able to give samples which can reduce costs.

In fact, before you even make it to the doctor's office, it makes financial sense to check up on a few different but similar drugs that could provide alternatives to the one your doctor is likely to prescribe. Call your insurance company and ask the copayment on each one, so that when you reach the doctor's you are armed with knowledge. Tell your doctor what you've discovered financially about these drugs, and your doctor can tell you what the differences are medically. You could save yourself hundreds each year by choosing a drug with a smaller copayment and less restrictions than its alternative if there are no major differences in effectiveness.

Another two simple ways to cut prescription costs are by prescription coupons and trying different pharmacies. Buying prescription medication is a lot like shopping for the best price on milk -- different stores offer various incentives and discounted prices to retain you as a customer. You can also look out for money saving programs, like the one offered by AARP, which help fill the gap that some coverages don't.

The best defense against prescription drug costs is speaking up. Often, your doctor, neighbor, or family members can recommend pharmacies, discounts, and alternative drugs that will keep more money in your pocket.

Friday, November 04, 2011

How To Break A Soda Habit

If you are anything like I once was, you may have a terrible (health wise) and expensive soda habit. I tried for years to break it and failed miserably each time. Then about 5 years ago, I came up with a method that worked, and eventually cut my $1000 a year soda habit down to $0.

My main problem was that when I tried to quit drinking soda, I always felt deprived. The deprivation had me always thinking about it and at some point I would cave in and start drinking soda again. I had to come up with a way so I didn't feel deprived.

My simple solution was to say I could drink as much soda as I wanted, but I had to drink a full glass of water before I could. The result was that I didn't feel deprived of my soda since I could have as many as I wanted, but drinking a full glass of water before each one made it so I didn't drink nearly as many each day.

After a month, I made the rule that I had to drink 2 glasses of water before drinking a soda, and that eventually increased to 4 glasses of water over time until I was in the habit of drinking water instead of soda. I'm not sure it that will work for you, but it is certainly a set of baby steps that are worth a try if you are looking for a way to break this type of habit.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Pay Yourself $1.00 Game

If you are having trouble saving money, I have found that playing a pay yourself game works wonderfully and it's easy to implement. Basically, you pick something that you do around the house and charge yourself every time you do it. Turn on the TV, pay $1.00. Do the laundry, Pay $1.00. Open the refrigerator, pay $1.00. Each week take the money collected and place it into a separate savings account. It's amazing how fast the savings can add up.

It's also an effective way to keep you from being lazy. If you feel you are watching too much TV, charging yourself to do it will help discourage you from doing it so much. Give it a try and I think you may be surprised at how effective this baby step can be.