The awesome folks at Go Banking Rates recently hosted a fun contest. They asked money bloggers, experts and reporters for their best money saving tip–in one minute or less.

    You might have noticed that I’m kind of into the whole money saving thing. So, obviously, I had to be a part of it. Check it out here:

    Bill haggle days are great because you haggle once, and you continue to save each month. Just list all of your bills, give each company a call, and simply ask them if they can reduce your rate. Obviously, some bills are easier to haggle than others. But I’ve had a lot of success haggling with T-Mobile and Time Warner (though TW puts up a fight).

    A few tips for effective haggling:

    Be nice. No one wants to give a jerk a good deal.

    Shop the competition. Know the rates of other companies. Ask for those.

    Shop their site. See if they have “online only” rates or new customer rates. Ask for those.

    Threaten to cancel. Hard to do in combo with #1, but it works.

    And if some bills are un-haggle-able (def not a word), dissect them instead. Look at each line item, find out what it means, and see if there are ways to save. An editor made me do this for a story once. “Dissect your electric bill,” he said. “See what it’s all about.” At first, I thought it was going to be a fruitless idea. But I dissected my bill, called LADWP, and I learned a couple of helpful things:

    • They use “tiered” payments, which can make my bill extra expensive (more on that here).

    • I pay a mandatory $1.30 each month for a “bulky item fee.” This means, if I have trash that’s too big for my apartment dumpster, I can call the city and they’ll come pick it up for me. I had no idea!

    So that’s “bill haggle day” in a nutshell. It shouldn’t take the entire day, though. Maybe just a couple of hours. An entire day of bill haggling would be depressing.

    But I have to say, my video isn’t anywhere near as creative as other bloggers’. Check out all the entries here.