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How I Saved $355 in Ten Minutes

by Jackie Beck

I saved $355 this week, after two five minute phone calls.

No, this isn’t another post about how you can save money by calling up your cable provider and asking for discounts (although that’s certainly a good thing to do too.)

This is a post about paying attention. Simply put, paying attention to your finances pays.

And NOT paying attention can be costly.

Here’s what happened. My son recently got his driver’s license. So of course I added him to the car insurance policy. They had a couple of questions for me, told me the new rate (which was about what they’d mentioned previously when I’d called to get a general idea), and said I’d be receiving a bill in a few weeks.

So no problem.

But then I got the paperwork explaining the changes to the policy. A quick glance at it showed me that they had listed my son as an occasional driver on my husband’s car. A car which he probably will never drive. (Heck, I almost never drive it.) I stick to my own car, and that’s the car my son will borrow now and then until he gets his own.

So I called them up and explained that my son would be driving my car. They switched him to the correct car, and the rate went down by about $300. If I hadn’t noticed that Vehicle 03 equated to my husband’s car instead of mine, I’d have paid $300 more every six months than I needed to. Talk about finding a way to save money on car insurance.

Then the next day, I received a bill from the urgent care. I thought I’d already paid them what I owed, so I gave them a call. Turns out that asking for a receipt resulted in a statement being generated — a statement that looked like a second bill because there’s still a balance due. (I just don’t owe that amount.) Again, if I hadn’t paid attention, I would have paid an extra $55.

It definitely pays to look over anything you’re sent that’s money-related. It only takes a minute to scan statements and bills for errors or unusual charges, but the savings can be substantial.

Posted in Insurance on 05.13.10 with 19 comments.

19 Responses to “How I Saved $355 in Ten Minutes”

  • Yep, it pays to pay attention. This is also why I always look over our credit card statements before paying them off every month. I’ve caught two double-charges that way.

    I’m happy you caught both mistakes! Yay, $355!

  • Well said.

    I recently got a pill from a doctor’s checkup I went to in December. They were charging me the co-pay that I paid at their office. Gratefully, I was paying attention and called their collections department and explained that I had paid the copay at their office – before services were even rendered! I saved 20 bucks.

    We make it a habit to check our accounts and 401ks, etc. It does pay to pay attention.

  • opps! I meant BILL, not pill. See what I get from not pay attention….

    • Jackie says:

      Well you might have gotten a pill from the doctor’s office too ;)

      Isn’t it funny how often billing mistakes occur?

  • Yep, it can be really important for you to pay attention to things like this. That’s awesome that you caught these things especially the car insurance. I’m guessing that your husband has a really nice car and that is why it was such a difference?

  • Impressive! It absolutely pays to pay attention! This is part of the reason why I do a lot of my banking manually. I like to go ahead and make payments for my loans, credit card, and any other random expense I may have. Helps me to feel like I have more control over my money which, in your case, was extremely profitable! :)

    • Jackie says:

      I have my credit card paid automatically out of my checking account, but I always go over statement and reconcile it with what I have in Quicken for it. Taking a little time to do things manually like that does kind of force me to pay attention.

  • Two excellent reasons for ALWAYS looking over your statements. That car insurance goof probably happens a lot. Perhaps insurers think no one will notice and do it on purpose?

    • Jackie says:

      Oh I don’t think they did it on purpose. They probably just assumed we’d have my son drive the sedan instead of a convertible ;)

  • leslie says:

    When I first read the title of this article on Twitter, I thought to myself, “I saved that much by calling my car insurance company.” I should have known! Congrats!

  • cm says:

    Yup, just took my wife off our AAA membership, considering she hasn’t driven our car in several years–saved us $88/year that we were paying for nothing.

  • Salman Aslam says:

    Woah. Never thought that you could save that way too. Very well said Paying attention is very important and saving bit by bit can get your money full in a short span because even you dont know where you’re spending mostly and how much you should. Thanks :)

  • Jackie says:

    Salman, yes, there are all kinds of ways to save :)

  • What a great story!!

    It applies to everyday situations all the time.

    Pay attention, and read over stuff before you sign your life (or money) away.

    Kudos to you!!

  • Jackie says:

    Thanks David!

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