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Greedy Tip of the Week: Negotiate Every Bill

In addition to death and taxes, one of the other certainties of modern life, and the practice of law, is bills.

But thanks to modern medicine and lawyers, death and taxes (respectively) are negotiable (sometimes); so why shouldn't your bills be too? You might be surprised that, at least sometimes, some bills you didn't think would be, might actually be negotiable.

Below, you can read more about how to negotiate your bills down to put more cash in your pocket.

Ask for Lower Bills

If you have time to burn, say during your daily commute, it doesn't hurt to call up all your regular monthly creditors' customer service to see if there's any way to shave a few bucks off your bills. After all, saving a few bucks every month can add up over time.

Your law office probably has several vendors. If you're in charge of hiring and paying those vendors, it doesn't ever hurt to try to negotiate a lower rate for your firm. But if you're unsure on doing so, you can practice with your personal bills first.

Your cell phone, cable, internet, auto/home/malpractice insurance, and even utility providers, might be able to help you out with ways to save. Often there are special discounts for membership in clubs, or belonging to a professional group, or bundling different services together. Sometimes there might be a promotion going on that you can sign up for (just be sure to ask about what happens at the end of the promotion).

The big downside to just calling and asking is that these calls can often be overly time consuming if you haven't prepared, and you might just prefer to enjoy the sound of the open road, or the radio, rather than deal with a customer service representative (assuming you can get through the automated phone labyrinth) while commuting. But sometimes you get a rep who just wants to help and can.

Once Denied, Regroup and Prepare for Battle

If you're denied any discounts, and you will be, you can do some research and see if there are competitors in the area, or if other people pay less than you for the same services. The internet is your friend. Make a spreadsheet, and spend the time to research and document. Also, if you belong to associations, clubs, or other groups, check to see if there are discounts on similar services through those.

When it comes to the basic utilities, you'll probably be out of luck (unless you're willing to play the long game and go renewable-but you probably want to crunch those numbers hard there); but in most areas, you can probably find a few viable options for all your insurance needs, as well as internet, cable, regular home services (like yard-maintenance/snow removal), and phone. Get quotes for comparable service, and if you get a better quote than what you're paying, call back your current provider and see if they can beat it.

Yes, saving some money (for yourself and your firm) can be as simple as asking.

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