Bundle Services to Save Big

In these tough economic times, perhaps you’re thinking about bundling some of your household services? And rightly so — it’s easy, convenient and could save you, well, a bundle.

Telecom services

You can typically get a discount on your phone, Internet and cable services when you bundle all three with one provider (which is why 1 in 3 surveyed Consumer Reports readers do it) and sign a one- or two-year contract, but you always need price it out individually, a la carte, just in case. To find out which company is offering the best service bundle in your area, go to lowermybills.com.

Banking services

As you are fully aware, many financial institutions are tacking fees on formerly free checking accounts. One way around this is to bundle: Sign up for other services that banks offer — such as direct deposit, online bill pay, etc. Having multiple accounts with one bank — and having a lot of money in them, combined (!) — is another way to dodge those pesky fees.

Insurance policies

Many insurance companies offer discounts if you buy at least two policies from them. Bundle your home and car policies, for example (a typical combination), and you could save as much as 25 percent.

Moving services

Did you see our recent study on moving habits? Among other interesting factoids: A whopping 21 percent of all movers spend $10,000 or more as result of their move! Not only is the process of moving expensive, but moving also drives surprise purchases — from electronics to cars! One way to save is to bundle. For example, some storage companies will provide you with a complimentary move if you’re storing with them for a certain number of months (and there may even be room for negotiation if you don’t meet their minimum monthly requirements, but you have to ask). That’s easily a $400-$500 discount.

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Vera Gibbons is a financial journalist based in New York City and is a contributor to Zillow Blog. Connect with her at http://veragibbons.com/.

Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.