One of many things you can do to keep your costs down over time is to ensure that you’re not overpaying for things you subscribe to or purchase on contract.
This includes a long list of things that include
- Utility bills (gas, electricity, water)
- Home Internet
- Cable / Netflix / Hulu / Amazon Prime
- Home Insurance
- Car Insurance
- Car Lease
- Mobile Telephone Contract
- Mortgages and Home Rental
- Loans and Credit Card Debt
Each of these things can be renegotiated, but often only at a specific moment in time. In some cases, these things auto-renew for an additional year and if you miss the window, it become impossible to alter for yet another year.
Your mobile phone contract, for example, probably includes a surcharge for the telephone they gave you when you signed up. They’re hoping you don’t realize it’s reached the end of its contractual period because now you’re paying for a telephone that you’ve already paid. If you move to a SIM-only contract, you’ll pay a lot less. Alternatively, you could sign up for a new contract and get a new phone, either giving yours to a relative or selling it (after deSIMlocking it) to recoup some of the value that is now yours.
Another important example is renegotiating your debt. As time goes by and you’ve improved your financial situation, you will have a gradually improving credit rating. That entitles you to cheaper debt and you will only get that if you renegotiate your existing contract, or shift your debt to a new lender.
In order to not miss these opportunities, it’s useful to have a reminder somewhere around the house, along with all the necessary information at your fingertips, so that you can rapidly shop around for alternatives and then eithre renegotiate your existing contract or ditch the current provider for the best offer out there.
This kind of calendar is easy to draw up and stick to your fridge. An hour of work now to identify all the necessary information and put it in one place will dramatically reduce the effort of renegotiating these contracts when they come up.
If you prefer to use a template, I have one that you can download by clicking here, and you can then stick it to your pinboard, fridge or next to your coat-rail, wherever works for you. The messy information goes on the back so you won’t have to worry about looking for it all later.