We talk a lot about tracking your expenses and building a budget. But how do you actually bring your expenses down? All businesses have the same goal – making money. But equally important is retaining customers. While the companies on our list will never publicly advertise these discounts – ask and you (likely) shall receive.
Each of these secrets can save you at least 20-30 shekels per month, which can cover milk and eggs for the week. By contacting a few of these service providers, you can save hundreds per month and thousands per year, which you can then invest or use to treat yourself to something you’ve always wanted.
Here are eight ways to save that these companies will never tell you.
- Your credit card company. There is no reason you should be paying a monthly credit card fee. Call your company and request to waive the fee. Most of the time they will grant your request for one year. Make yourself a reminder for eleven months ahead to call again. If they refuse to waive the fee, find a different credit card that will.
- Your bank. If you’re a medical professional, high tech employee, teacher, student, or have an income over a certain threshold, many banks will offer you an account with no fees . You might need to call every few years to renew these terms.
- Your supermarket. While we have a whole post on how to save money at the supermarket, we want to draw your attention to three biggies:
- Check your receipt to make sure that you were not overcharged and that your sale items were discounted properly.
- Avoid shopping while hungry. The bakery and nosh isles can be a real temptation.
- And if you can, avoid shopping with kids – for the same reason as above.
- Your internet, cable and cellular providers. You’ll find a bunch of goodies here.
- Most of these companies offer introductory rates for new customers. Before the year ends, call the company and ask for another year of the introductory offer. Like your credit card company, these companies will likely oblige. If they don’t, leave. We have been ‘new customers’ for years now.
- Check the website Kamazeh to compare prices between companies. You are not married to your cell phone provider. Feel free to switch companies as often as you’d like.
- Some companies offer bundle packages that include internet, cable TV and cell service. If you use all three services, you might get a better deal this way.
- Your municipality (Arnona). Check your city’s website to see if you qualify for a discount. For example, cities offer arnona discounts to senior citizens, low income individuals and families, new olim, single parents, and people who recently finished their army service.
- Your water company. Does your water company know how many people live in your home? In our freshwater starved country, each person is entitled to an allotment of water at a discount. Once you pass this amount, the price jumps. Log onto your water company’s website and follow the instructions on how to update the number of members in your household.
- Your gas company. Look over your bills from the past year or so. The company might have raised your bill slightly. Ask neighbors in your building what they are paying for gas. As you all have the same provider you should be paying the same per unit. If there is a discrepancy, call the gas company yourself or get the vaad bayit to send a request to lower the cost for the whole building.
- Your favorite shopping sites. Unsubscribe, unsubscribe, unsubscribe. You don’t need ads and newsletters clogging your inbox. If you need to buy something, you know where to look.
Bonus: While all of the above companies don’t want you to know how to save money, there is one exception. Israel’s Electric Company is always advertising ways to lower your electric bill. Though don’t be fooled. It’s in their own best interest to keep electricity use in check, to make sure they can keep up with demand. And when reading your electric bill, make sure that the fee is based on an actual reading and not an estimate. If you see estimates for many months in a row, call them and request they check your meter.
In summary, just about everything in Israel is negotiable. You can do this! Don’t forget to make yourself a reminder to call and renew your discount every year.
Which of these do you already do? Which will you start doing now? What other secrets can you share with us?
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