Every once in a while I like to do a financial check-up to make sure I’m getting the best deal possible. Sometimes, what was a good deal in the past is no longer a good deal. As old habits die and new habits emerge it’s important to make sure you’re not paying for something you no longer need.
Many readers may remember how I saved over $70/month by cutting the cable completely off. That season lasted for 8 months and I was able to save money to put towards other things, including beefing up the emergency fund.
However, since then, I have bought a house, gotten married and turned the cable back on. When choosing a service provider, the cable bundle beat out satellite dish / DSL combos. Also, I was going to install a land line phone, something I didn’t need in my apartment, solely to keep the alarm system activated.
Fast Forward 7 months….
I have a cable 3-in-1 bundle with a home phone that I rarely use. But, I keep it around because I assume I need it for the security system to work.
There has to be a better way….the call….
I decide to call the security company to see if there is a way to keep the service without a land line phone. It turns out, they can install a cellular \ wireless box with a one time installation fee of $250 and an additional $12/month.
Since my phone bill is $30, eventually this would pay for itself. But it gets better….
I ask if they have any upcoming promotions with a lower priced installation fee. The salesman tells me no. I then ask if they offer military discounts. Again, I am told no, but they do offer discounts for AARP and USAA members. HEY, I’M A USAA MEMBER!
As a USAA member my installation fee is $230 plus $10/month. Cha Ching!
Next, I ask him to help me get a Certificate of Installation, so I can get my insurance discount. (Sidebar – This is something I should have done about 7 months ago!)
I was guided through how to print that from the website and immediately sent it to my home insurance representative.
Let’s Tally the Savings!
Phone bill ($30) – Cellular Backup ($10) = $20 saved / month
USAA discount = $2/month
Home Insurance discount = $5/month
Total savings ($27) * 12 months = $324/year
Not bad for a 5 minute phone call that is going to result in recurring savings. Since I have to front the $230 for installation, I won’t start truly saving until around month 7. But there will be an immediate extra $27/month that can be applied to building savings or paying off debts.
What about you? Do you have services or subscriptions you rarely or never use? What would you do with an extra $324 / year? Are these check-ups worth it?