Some tasks to save money take a lot of time and effort. And, as such, they can end up on your to-do list for a very long time.
But there are other things you can do to save money that only take a short phone call. And when I say short, I mean usually 15 minutes or less.
In fact, some of the ideas listed below can take less than 5 minutes online. Here are some of the easiest money-saving phone calls that you can make today.
1. Call Your Credit Card Issuer
If you're carrying a balance on your credit card, just call and see if they will lower your interest rate. Nine out of 10 times they'll offer you a discounted rate for a period of time.
That's a quick and easy savings. The conversation will usually go something like this:
Of course, this isn’t going to work 100% of the time. If, for some reason, they won’t lower your rate, look at getting another card.
Spend 5 minutes browsing through our favorite rewards credit cards to find a card with 0% APR balance transfers, and spend the last 10 minutes filling out the application. In 15 minutes, you could be on your way to savings.
2. Call Your Insurance Provider
The next phone number on our list of easiest money-saving phone calls is your car insurance company. See what the current rates are and if you qualify to have yours reduced. This can add up if it has been years since you looked at your policy.
Also, have any of your circumstances changed? Do you garage your car now, or did you get an alarm? If you tell the agent, you'll usually qualify for a discount. Here’s what the conversation might look like:
Many insurance companies don’t readily offer their list of discounts, so you need to make sure you ask. Finally, do you have homeowners insurance or renters insurance? If you bundle with the same insurance company, you usually qualify for a multi-policy discount, which can save you even more!
We got our renters insurance for free in college because we had a combo discount with our auto insurance? See if you can get a similar deal here.
3. Call Your Phone Or Cable Company
Contacting your phone or cable company and asking for a lower rate or discount can be another one of your easiest money-saving phone calls.
With all of the competition in these markets (especially from online streaming services), many providers are concerned about losing customers and will offer incentives to stay. Here’s what the conversation might look like:
Again, this won't work every time. And you shouldn't threaten to close an account unless you're truly willing to walk away.
It's also important to point out that many companies have a length list of available discounts. And the clerks have incentives to offer the cheapest ones before the big ones. Read about how we found the best cell phone plans.
Just keep asking, don’t settle for free products, and see where you end up. Also, note that most discounts only last for a short time, such as 6 months. So make sure you stay on top of when your discounts end. At the end of the day, it might be a smarter option to cut your cable and save money without it.
4. Call Your County Assessor
Finally, if you're a homeowner, you should call your county assessor and see if your property taxes can be lowered. Here’s a sample conversation script:
Many counties have very streamlined processes for handling appeals. For example's here's how a property tax appeal works in Georgia counties. Call your local office to find out how things work in your local area. A quick phone call could save you thousands!
Read our full guide on how to save money on your property taxes.
5. Bonus: Let Someone Else Make The Call For You
The easiest of all money-saving phone calls is the one that you don't have to make at all! Luckily, there are a few services out there that are happy to tackle this to-do list item for you.
A few popular services that can help you find savings include Truebill, Cushion, and Trim. Each will negotiate your bills on your behalf so that you can enjoy the benefit of lower costs without ever having to pick up the phone.
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.