How to reduce your cable bill by up to 30 percent

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How To Reduce Your Cable Bill By Up To 30 Percent

CHICAGO --(WGN) Is your cable bill killing your bank account? You're not alone.

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With some persistence, you could cut your cable bill by 30 percent. Brian Delaney, a budget expert, has some tips to help you save some cash.

In this example, Delaney worked with Laura and the Hammes family. They were paying $170 a month for cable and needed to cut costs.

Call your provider

Just call your provider and say: I want to pay less each month, says Delaney. Some cost cutting veterans say you should tell the cable company you actually want to cancel your service because your bills are too high. Either way, define your goal before you call.

The cable company may try to add additional services with lower upfront fees, but those services often require a contract. If your goal is to reduce costs, you need to stick to your plan.

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How to reduce your cable bill by up to 30 percent

Dog-sitting, babysitting, or house-sitting

These jobs are always in high demand, and the best part: you can name your price and create your own schedule! Post an ad on craigslist, or use your friends' and family's connections to get your name out there. 

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Rent out your space 

List your apartment on Airbnb or another rental site, and make some easy cash by staying at a friends and renting out your place for the weekend.

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Share your space

Just as you can rent out your full apartment or house, you can also post a free room (or even just your couch!) on sites like Craigslist or Airbnb. This way you can split your living expenses -- and maybe even make a new friend!

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Sell your body parts

Now here's a weird one: Donate your hair, breast milk, or even plasma for a profit. According to Grifols, if you're healthy and weigh above 110 pounds, you can earn up to $200 a month donating your plasma to life-saving medicine. 

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Sign up to participate in medical tests and clinical trials. 

Universities constantly need volunteers to test new medicines and treatments -- and because the pool of willing participants is limited, there is typically a large compensation for being a guinea pig. 

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Participate in a focus group

Companies and organizations will pay you to join a focus group. These can be conducted in person, online, or via phone. You will most likely be reimbursed in cash or gift cards -- plus, you often get to test out fun new products! 

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Take online surveys

Similar to focus groups, you can get paid to give your time and insights on an online questionairre. Plus, you can do this from the comfort of your couch. 

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Bank on your sperm

Although we don't necessarily recommend this option, there is a very high demand for healthy sperm donors. Keep in mind some of the obvious drawbacks, but sperm donation is non-invasive and highly compensated. 

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Crowdfund your dreams

Crowdfunding allows you to raise monetary contributions from a large group of people who want to support your venture. Post your project or idea on a crowdfund site, like GoFundMe.com, and see the cash pile up.

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Become a tutor

If you're qualified, post an ad online or on a community board to tutor children on their school courses or for the upcoming SATs.

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Get a part-time job

Capitalize your free time (on the weekends or after work hours) by working a part-time job. A bartender, waiter, or Uber driver are all great options for an additional source of income -- and great tips! 

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Resell tickets

Take this suggestion at your own risk: If you're staying within legal limits, buy tickets low and sell high as an effective way to source additional money. (Just make sure to check your state and local laws first!)

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Rentafriend.com

You can sell anything on the internet these days... including your companionship! Get paid to go on a platonic outing for a few hours and enjoy your afternoon with a new friend. 

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Rent out your parking spot

Make sure to check with your landlord first, but if you have the option to park your own car further away, lend or share your parking space or driveway for the hour, day, or even month! 

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Keep a coin jar 

This one takes patience before a big pay out, but keep a spare jar or drawer for loose change that you usually toss anyway. It will keep it all in one place -- and those quarters do add up! 

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Make something to sell 

If you have a knack for arts & crafts, create jewelry or other handmade gifts to sell on sites filled with other thrifty vendors like Etsy

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Sell items online

This effective strategy requires low effort with a high return. Post photos of your used or non-used items on sites like eBay or Craigslist, and let the bidding begin! 

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Have a yard sale

Sell clutter you've been meaning to get rid of right in your front yard. This simple tactic is convenient, and guarantees a wad of cash right to your pocket.  

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Return past purchases

This tip may seem obvious, but is often overlooked: Take your recently-purchased items that are laying around back to the store for either store credit or a full refund. 

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Recycle scrap metal and cans

Collect cans and scrap metal out your own garbage, basement, and street and bring to your local recycler to exchange your findings for money.  

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Make sure you're talking to the right person

"The first person will try to persuade you a bit. If they can't, they'll transfer you to the retention department. Those people are trained and they have the flexibility and authorization to offer you sweeteners to get you to stay," says Delaney.

When Laura called, she was transferred to the loyalty department. With a decision maker on the other end, it's time to convince them why you should be paying less.

Do your homework

Make sure you know the deals being offered by competitors. If the other company can offer similar services at a lower price, it's likely your provider will match -- or even beat -- that price

After discussing competing offers and 20 minutes on the phone, Laura was able to reduce her cable bill by $30 a month without changing or adding anything to her current cable bundle.

YMMV (your mileage may vary)

Of course, there are no guarantees, but for any family drowning in bills, this may be a decent time to wheel and deal when cable bills can often spin out of control.

The Hammes family was able to save $30 a month, but if you have a current promotion with your provider the savings might be less. Just remember -- even if you can only save $5 a month, that's $60 a year back in your bank account!

Keep it friendly

If you're nice, they're more likely to be nice. It seems like common sense, but many people are angry when calling their cable provider. Remember you're talking to another person -- be nice!

Try chatting online

Some people say chatting online with a cable customer service agent is an even better way to go. If it doesn't work, you can always call.

Rates/fees

Make sure you look at your bill and add up the monthly fees you're paying. If you have cable internet through your provider, you may be paying a "modem fee." You can opt to purchase a modem instead of renting a modem from the cable company. It's also good to know the fees you're paying when you ask for your monthly bill to be lowered.

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