Reader Challenge: Take A Day Off To Work On Your Finances

Many of us suffer from financial inertia because we can’t seem to find the time or desire to deal with our money problems.  We put off decisions that, with some careful planning and research, could save us hundreds of dollars per year.

So what if I told you that you could save $1,000 or more on Monday and all you’d have to do is take the day off work?  Sounds crazy, right?  Consider this:

I talked with a co-worker the other day and we discussed how much we pay for cable, internet, and telephone service.  When I mentioned that I was able to get a discount on my cable by calling up my provider and negotiating a better deal, she flipped out.

Related: How I Saved $300 On My Cable And Internet Bills

“I need to do that!  I love negotiating and I can be tough and persistent on the phone.  I just don’t have the time,” she said.

The power of asking

The next week she tells me that she took a day off work and made a point to call her cable, internet, and cell phone providers to get a better deal.  She managed to save $40 per month for the next year just by asking!  Total annual savings on telecommunications: $480

But she didn’t stop there.  Next up was her insurance provider – she’d been with them for over a decade but her loyalty was only rewarded with an annual increase in premiums.  One phone call and 30 minutes later and she knocked $50 off her house insurance and saved 10 percent on her car insurance – which with two vehicles set her back $1,100 per year.  Total annual savings on insurance: $160

Related: How I Saved $300 On My House Insurance

It wasn’t even lunch time yet and she had already saved $640.  On a roll now, she turned her attention to banking, where she and her husband pay $14.95 per month for an unlimited chequing account at one of the big banks.

She called up her banker and changed the account from unlimited to the basic chequing account, which comes with a $3.95 monthly fee that is waived when you maintain $1,000 minimum balance.

She also used my Orange Key (39602788S1) to open up a Thrive chequing account at Tangerine, where for a limited time you’ll get a $50 bonus when you open an account and deposit $100 or more (I’ll also get $50 if you use my Orange Key).

Then she sent an email to her HR department and had her payroll switched from her big bank chequing account to her new Tangerine account.  That’s because, for a limited time, you’ll get an additional $120 bonus when you open a Thrive chequing account and transfer your payroll.

Related: Free Chequing Account Comparison

Tired of using debit for everything and not getting anything back from her bank (other than more bank fees) she decided to switch to a no-fee cash back credit card.

A promotion through Rate Supermarket gave her a free $100 gift card just for signing up for the Smart Cash MasterCard.  There were over 50 options to choose from, but she picked the Safeway gift card to help save on her grocery bill.  She estimates that she’ll earn $250 cash back over a year on $1,200 spending per month.

Total annual savings on banking: $600

That’s $1,240 saved in one day!  Still sound crazy to take the day off?

How much will you save on your day off?

I recently spoke with Tom Hamza, president of the Investor Education Fund, and he and his wife used to take a day off every year to work on their finances.

“We had all these fees that we hated paying and bills that we knew were too high, but we avoided dealing with them because we were so busy,” he said.

Hamza and his wife made a commitment to take a day off work and call all of their service providers to negotiate better deals.

“You’ll be surprised how quickly you can save $1,000 or more at the end of the day just by asking,” said Hamza.

Related: 35 Ways To Save Money

Readers, what are you waiting for?  Put a list together and then take Monday off to deal with your finances.  Report back with your savings.  

Your list should include anything you’ve been putting off.  Hiring an advisor, firing an advisor, finding a better mortgage rate, opening up a discount brokerage, anything – just make it happen!

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  1. KC on November 22, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    I’ve done this before when I had a lot of financial stuff to address. Morning is the absolute best time for negotiating.

    When everything is said and done, I then update my budget and do my financial review and update my plans.

    After that, take a well-deserved break and head back to work the next day feeling a lot less stressed out! 🙂

  2. Money Saving on November 22, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    I started my own blog to do just the things you’ve written about above. If I weren’t blogging about it, I probably wouldn’t have taken the time to force myself to go through and save the money.

    So far, I’ve saved about $3,500 a year through negotiation and eliminating unnecessary recurring monthly expenses!!!

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