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Negotiate A Better Rate With Your Cable Company

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Welcome back to A Dollar A Day, where every day we'll dish out creative and quirky ways to save on your living expenses.

Today's lesson: Cutting fees on cable and other seemingly non-negotiable services.

Our challenge to you: Set aside 10 minutes this weekend and call up one service provider--your gym, your cellphone company--to see if you can negotiate a better rate.

Make an effort to schmooze the customer service rep on the phone -- chances are they're sitting in a call center reading from a script all day. Connecting with them and assuring them you're a reliable customer could work to your benefit. Do your research and know what competitors are charging for the same service. Tell them you're making less money and considering suspending service altogether.

Ramit Sethi, personal finance blogger behind the site "I Will Teach You To Be Rich," advises:

In each call, you'll do these three things:
  • Negotiate fees and rates
  • Say "I'm a great customer and I'd hate to have to leave, but..."
  • "What can you do for me?"

One blog contributor on Sethi's site wrote that he was able to shave over $40 off of his monthly cable/internet bill. Over the course of one year, that's $480!

Of course, this isn't guaranteed savings. But we're certain that if you have a positive experience negotiating a lower rate, you'll be inspired to try it again. Let us know about your experiences! What worked and what didn't? Would you do it again?

Send your feedback and saving tips to money@huffingtonpost.com.

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Filed by Emily Cohn