Question: I don’t have much left at the end of the month. How can I save?

Advice from the Lab: Negotiate on your bills and save the difference. 

In a recent survey we conducted, 48% of Americans did not know they could negotiate on bills such as internet, cell phone bill, cable/internet provider, or credit card APR. Furthermore, 66% had never tried, even though successful negotiations often took half as long as people anticipated (30 minutes instead of an hour). Most companies offer “royalty rates,” especially if you have been a customer for over a year and suggest that you are considering switching because a competitor has a better price.

Of particular note is how easy it is to negotiate your credit card interest rate. Customers in good standing need only call and request a lower rate. We found that simply calling and asking to lower your APR resulted in a 2% decrease in APR, or a one year 0% promotional rate, for 60% of our participants.   

Of course, if you have extra time on your hands, the gig economy has exploded. While most people know about driving for Uber and Lyft, there are a number of other lesser known apps such as Wag!, TaskRabbit, and Lugg that can be used to earn extra income.