This is a random disclosure of a lesson I have learned over the years. It is not new or radical, but it can save you hundreds of dollars.
If you sign up a new account or make changes to an existing account (i.e. phone, T.V., cell phone, gas, electricity, credit cards, house payment, etc.) always check over your bills. You may already do this, and that is great. be honest, I have been guilty of just paying the amount due without paying attention to why that is the amount due. There is no telling how much I have been over-billed on things in the past. However, today, I live on a budget. I pay very close attention to my cash flow (money coming in and money going out). I know how much my bills should be and, usually, know immediately when something is out of the ordinary. These discrepancies usually occur when I make a change like moving or changing providers. In the last week, I have caught over $200 in billing errors from various sources!
That may not sound like much, but when you have three kids, soon to be four, and you live on 100% commission, you pay attention to dollars. They matter!
So with that, I encourage you to pour over your recent bills. If you don’t keep them in a file drawer somewhere, you’re an idiot. Keep them. Check them every month. If you find something you don’t understand make a call to customer service. Be nice and patient with the person you speak with, and you just might get some credit on your next bill. DON’T BE RUDE. Being rude will not get you where you want to be. Taking control of your finances does not mean being an ass, so don’t do that. It doesn’t work.
BTW, some of those errors would have been about $20 a month in recurring errors if I had not paid attention. PAY ATTENTION!!