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I lost my job late 2008 and, at that time, I took my first shot at tightening my financial belt. Luckily, I wasn't someone who lived well beyond my means to start with so I was in better shape than most. I also had invested money and had a savings that helped me to downsize debt immediately!
I was amazed how many debtors did work with me. I not only called my credit card companies (I closed most because they didn't have balances) but I also called my dish and phone suppliers. I told them I had lost my job and because of this I was going to quote out their service. I mentioned that I didn't want to change companies but I needed to save money where I could. AT&T gave me a $10 credit for the next 12 months to stay with them and I was happy to do so. Dish Network discounted my current package to the package price below it without changing my service. Just between the 2, I saved $276 annually and I was happy I had made the calls. I figured, it didn't hurt to try and I didn't know the people on the other side of the phone so I could "suck it up" and make the request!
It isn't easy to walk away from something you're used to buying but when you face reality, it is a necessary action to enforce "living within your means".
Do you have any cost saving tips that you were able to implement? If so, can you share them so others can benefit from your discovery?