Posted by: Kate | April 15, 2013

Money Talks: Financial Health

I’ve spent a good part of this week taking care of a number of small details that will add up to a nice help in our finances, and thought I’d share as maybe it could help some of you.

The first thing we had to do was look over our benefits package as the annual enrolment had come around. I had noticed recently that the payments on Mr. Kate’s pay cheque had gone up a significant amount, so I was looking forward to our 10-day window where we could make adjustments to our plan. Many people just let these plans roll over, or have good intentions but miss the window and so have to live with the status quo another year. Am I ever glad we didn’t! If we had made no changes, the amount coming off the paychecks would have increased by another $5.00 every two weeks. As it is, we made some tough decisions and adjusted our expenses by $28, in our favour, per pay cheque.

The next thing was to follow-up on a change I had thought I had made five weeks ago. At that time I went online and looked at our landline carrier’s long distance plans, and realized there was one that would suit our needs much better than the old one we were on. I switched online, but got a message saying it may take longer than usual to switch. I got a bill shortly after and the change wasn’t on it, so I figured it was still in the works. When I got the next bill this week and still no change, I took action. A five minute wait on hold and a very nice customer service rep, and the plan was not only switched but also changed retroactively to credit my  last bill. A savings of $15 on this bill, and definitely a cheaper bill going forward.

Next bill to arrive that caught my eye was our satellite tv bill. We choose to have a fairly extensive satellite package, so it would be easy to overlook a difference, but I noticed that there was a difference of about $6 in the bill this month. Again, online, look through all the packaging to find the culprit. Turned out they had raised prices on the package we like, but we were able to take off a couple of extras right away and bring our bill back down to where it was before.

The last review was of our mortgage. I won’t go into detail here, but it was an instructive meeting that gave us good insight into where we are going over the next ten years or so.

All of these things took time, waiting on phones and wading through costs on our own. It was annoying to have to look for it and correct it after the fact – an issue for me with loyalty and customer service – but well worth it. So my message is, check your bills, check your plans, check your financial health. You never know what might help you in the long run, and it is certainly worth the half hour or so of frustration if it saves you money.

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Responses

  1. You are so right. I called Rogers the other day to cancel my cell phone service. We have had the same “family plan” for years and I never questioned the bill until I realized that I rarely use my phone and it certainly wasn’t worth the amount it cost. A very nice service agent went over the bill and the end result was that I get to keep my cell phone and our bill was cut almost in half! I am irked that I didn’t do this a long time ago and also a bit peeved with Rogers that they didn’t let me know there were other options available. They are always quick to sell you more but obviously reluctant to take less of your money.

  2. thanks for the reminder kate!

  3. Well said, Kate, thank you for this. Sometimes saving a few dollars makes a big difference!

  4. It can be a tedious process, but it definitely worth the effort. The slow creep of bills, if left unattended, cuts away any cost of living or tenure increase we see in our paychecks. Completely switching jobs and starting over with new service companies in an adventure unto itself!


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