If you read my first blog post, “Where it all started,” you have some idea the magnitude of trouble I found myself in financially. After I worked out a food budget and had that marked off my mental checklist, I realized that I must do everything I could to conserve money. The next thing I did was simply ask for discounts. I called every utility company, cable and internet provider, car and health insurance companies and asked for a discount! Every one that I was writing a check to each month, I called. My request was simple. “I’m a new single mom and I must live on a budget. I’m looking for your best advice on how to keep your service and make it fit into my budget.” Surprisingly, every one offered some sort of advice and discount
Here’s what I learned.
If you pay your electric bill on time for a year, my provider would refund the deposit. In December when I needed extra cash for presents, I cashed this in. I also asked the utility companies what I could do to save money each month. There were simple things like not running appliances during peak hours, turning the thermostat up when I left for work and changing to energy efficient light bulbs. My advice to you? Call your utility companies and ask to speak to their weatherization department. Many offered these services for free!
As for car and health insurance, I just called and asked the same questions. With my health and car insurance I simply raised my deductible which lowered my monthly costs. Of course, every situation is different and you will want to weigh all the pros and cons in your unique scenario before making any decisions.
The cable and internet companies cooperated, too.
They know that there is a lot of competition in these areas. They were quick to make a deal. However, be prepared when you call! Know the rates of the other companies so that you have all your facts when you ask for a discount. “If I switch to ABC Cable Company they can offer me…. Can you match that offer? I’ve been a customer for X amount of years and have always paid on time.” I usually start the conversation with, “Can you tell me when my contract expires?” This lets them know that you are shopping around and ready to make the move to the best deal. This rings true with cell phone service, as well. We have all seen the commercials for free cell phones on TV. Call your current company and ask if they have a program for customers receiving assistance. I simply switched my current cell phone, whose contract had expired, to a prepaid account with ATT. Same phone, same number, same service, same features, and half the cost. Literally half. More than a decade later, I still call these same companies every year and ask can I get a better deal! Every year, they say yes.
I love God’s Word! These verses have become my favorites to stand on when I make financial decisions.
Luke 16:10 – He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much.
Matthew 25:23: His lord said unto him, well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Philippians 4:19: But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
God is good and always ready to lead you in financial wisdom when you ask Him.
About Lynn Cunningham
Lynn Cunningham, manager by day, single mother by night. Lynn has been a single mother for more than a decade. Lynn adapted what she learned in business and applied it to her home. Lynn takes business principles such as developing a mission statement, budgeting, team meetings and delegation, and employee relations, then adapts them to successful principals for your home. Through practical, easy to use tips and techniques, you can become more organized, less stressed, have more money in the budget and develop a team player mentality! *In 2019, Lynn passed away after battling cancer.