The Call: Your Bank
Your Reasoning: “If your bank has charged you a late fee, ATM fee or any other monetary penalty, you should ask to get your money back,” says Wong. Simply explain that there wasn't another ATM available or that you were traveling and couldn't pay the bill, etc. “Politely tell them you've been a good customer and would like to request the fee to be waived.”
The Call: Your Mobile Provider
Your Reasoning: You want to make sure you're on the best possible plan. Are you using too much data? Or do you have way more data than you need? Would you be better off combining plans with your significant other? Once you've worked your way through that, ask the representative to look for any promotions they could offer or possible discounts for groups that you may belong to (for example, AAA, military discounts, professional organizations/unions).
The Call: Your Doctor or Health Insurance
Your Reasoning: Sometimes you're hit with a bill from your doctor or insurance that you weren't expecting. There may be a chance to negotiate a lower cost. Call your doctor's office or insurer and ask if there's anyway they can work with you. Wong was once charged a premium for a few medical tests that she hadn't requested, so she called her insurance and they were able to cover more of the cost as a one-time courtesy.
The Call: Your Internet/Cable Provider
Your Reasoning: These are bills you want to watch. There can often be random charges or price increases that go unnoticed. When you see them, get on the phone. Ask why you're being charged this or if there's a way to lower the cost. Many providers offer discounts every couple months, you simply have to inquire about them.
The Call: Your Credit Card
Your Reasoning: According to CreditCards.com's recent rate report, the average card APR is just over 17%. Many creditors actually have departments specifically focused on interest rate reduction, so it could be worth your time to call and ask. Let them know you want to make your payments and pay off this debt, but you need help with the interest rate. It helps if you've been a good customer. Of course, if you frequently pay your credit card bill late, your creditor will be less inclined to grant your request.
The Call: Your Car Insurance
Your Reasoning: Most insurance companies now offer discounts or rewards for clean driving records. They'll send you a small device to observe your driving, and track things like acceleration or braking. Some companies will even give you a small discount just for agreeing to the program. If your insurance company doesn't offer that program but does provide other insurance like renter's insurance, look into bundling plans that might save you money.