I recently had some boring medical tests done - nothing major, just maintenance on a health problem I've been managing for a few years. What I had forgotten is that in the time since I had my first round of tests and now, our insurance has changed from the electrician's union to the private insurance we picked out through Jake's new employer. And where the union insurance paid everything, this insurance only paid about half - we chose a higher deductible plan so we wouldn't lose our shirts paying the premium every month.
The net effect was we got a bill for $750 for blood tests - and that was for half of the bill! On the bill, they offer a 10% discount if you paid in full within a month, but that's just a little out of reach right now. I mean, we COULD pay it, but other areas would suffer. The bill also offered a number to call to set up a payment plan. I sighed and dialed, figuring we'd be able to set up a payment plan for the full amount.
When the (actual person!) picked up the phone, I told her the situation and asked how negotiable the bill was. She told me she could give me a discount of 25%! And then I asked about a payment plan, assuming that the discount wouldn't apply, and she gave me that TOO - so just by calling and asking, we were able to reduce that medical bill AND spread it out over a few months! All I had to do was ask.
On a similar vein, I've been trying to promote my book (Duh! said the readers, having known this already). One of the best ways to get more people to buy my book has been to get other people talking about it. So I've been emailing frugal bloggers daily, asking them to read and review my book. Some have said no, either because they don't feel like they can commit the time or because they don't do reviews on their blogs. But a few have said yes, and I'm eager to see what they think of it! When the reviews go up, I'll link to them.
If you have a blog and would be interested in reviewing "Hard Core Poor", or if you have a favorite blogger and you'd like to see what they think, email me - I'd like to hear from you!