5 Questions to Ask that Could Save You Money
Whether you are paying down student debt, saving for the down payment on a home, or trying to achieve another financial goal – sometimes asking a simple question could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. CNBC contributor Alicia Adamczyk identified these five questions many Americans have not asked, or did not know they could ask, that can help them save money.
- Ask for a raise – Career website Payscale found that only 37% of 160,000 workers surveyed asked for a raise in 2018. Of those who asked, 70% received a raise! When asking for a raise at work it’s important to demonstrate your value by presenting a particular achievement you’ve had at work, listing any new tasks you’ve taken on since you last got a raise, and all of the value you’ve added to your company. Many people focus on why they “need” a raise and fail to focus on why they deserve it.
- Ask your bank to waive fees – CompareCards, a credit card comparison site, found nearly 90% of people who asked for a late fee to be waived were successful. Accidents happen, you may miss a payment or experience an unexpected overdraft. However, these accidents can add up. A couple $25 charges could soon compound. Please note, negotiating with your bank or credit card company works best if you are a long-time responsible customer or if this is a first-time occurrence, and try to avoid these instances in the future!
- Ask the seller to pay closing costs – Most first-time home buyers know they have to save for a down payment, but few may understand how expensive closing costs will be. In a competitive market, with lots of people selling similar homes in the same area, sellers may be willing to offer “seller concessions” if you buy their home. One such concession could be your closing costs. Director of economic research at Zillow, Skylar Olsen, explained, “what buyers don’t realize is that there are a lot of things you can put in your offer letter that are non-standard. Everything is on the table.” Consult with your Realtor and real estate agent and find out if it’s a good idea for you to ask the seller to pay closing costs.
- Ask for a lower credit card APR – Chances are your credit has improved since you first got your credit card. CompareCards found that 8 out of 10 people who called their issuer and asked for a lower interest rate on their credit card were successful, but only 20% of survey respondents asked! Asking for a lower credit card APR works best when you have been a long-time customer with an established responsible repayment history.
- Ask if you really owe that medical bill – Healthcare costs are some of the most rapidly rising costs in our country today. It’s important to protect yourself by double-checking any and all medical bills to make sure there hasn’t been an error. DirectPath, a service that helps employees manage their benefits, found that at least half of all medical claims it reviewed for clients had an error. If you think your medical bill is incorrect, call your insurance company and your doctor. If that doesn’t help, you can always contact a third-party service to look into the potential error.
Whatever your financial goals are in 2019, a few simple savings techniques could help you achieve them. Be diligent about your credit report and medical bills, consider negotiating with your bank or credit card company, and ask for a raise when it’s warranted.