By Neena Strichart
It seems that we are all still tightening our belts during these tough financial times. Both business and household budgets are still being severely impacted. Lucky for us at the Signal Tribune, we haven’t had to take any furlough days or impose any layoffs. Instead of lowering payroll expenses, which I believe would negatively impact the quality of our publication, I have done my best to be creative when looking for ways to cut the budget. One thing I have found helpful in lowering my overhead is to find money hiding in plain sight. How’s that? Well, here are a couple of examples:
Earlier this week I began studying my business phone bill. It always seemed rather high but, after recently being approached by a different phone company who claimed they could save me money, I decided to call my current carrier and try to renegotiate. It must have been my day, as I reached a nice young man named Paul in an office located in Florida. He really took the time to peruse my account. Scouring through the details, Paul discovered that I had indeed been overpaying, and he was able to credit my account for more than $450. Besides that, he also did what he called a “rebundling” that is going to save us about $150 a month plus give us higher speed with our Internet access. I feel as if we hit the lottery. I just feel foolish for not checking it out sooner.
Next on my list was to try to find a new carrier for my worker’s comp insurance. My payroll company had been trying to recruit me to use them as my worker’s comp business for a while, but, not wanting to rock the boat, I kept putting it off. Last October one of my employees fell, and we had to file a claim. What a nightmare. The company, which shall be nameless (but it is the largest worker’s comp insurance company in California) has been rotten when it comes to communication. One of their adjusters, in a very nasty tone, told me “good luck” in finding anyone with better customer service “on the outside” (of their company). As far as I was concerned, those were “fightin’ words” and I decided to take the challenge and start looking. Thanks to my payroll company, I am in the process of switching over to them, which I have been told will save me 50 percent on my premium payments. And instead of paying huge amounts quarterly I will pay a little with each payroll I run. JACKPOT!
I bet, if we all started asking questions regarding some of our current charges and began looking closer at our bills, we may find even more ways to save money. Do you have any dollar-saving tips you would like to share with us and our readers? If you do, please, call, write or email. We’d love to hear from you!