GREENSBORO, N.C. -- You have to pay your bills when they're due but you might not have to pay as much as you're currently paying.
There's not much wiggle room when it comes to your mortgage, electric and medical bills. But when it comes to your cable, internet, even your gym membership, you can and should negotiate.
A bill negotiating service told USA TODAY, Americans can save up to $50 billion a year by haggling over these bills.
It found the best place to start is with your cable, internet, storage unit and gym membership. The reason? These businesses are very competitive and the companies know there are a lot of options for you to choose from. It's cheaper for them to lower your rate than to lose you as a customer.
So what do you do?
Steven McKean, founder and CEO of BillShark, told NerdWallet that you should get the competitors' offers and call your provider. Let them know you're thinking of canceling your service because you found a better deal elsewhere.
McKean advises you to tell your provider about the deal and ask them to give you an offer. He says don't accept the first offer, and if it's not to your liking, tell the provider you'll sleep on it. That's bound to get their attention.
Lastly, keep track of your expiration dates. McKean says you'll need to renegotiate your deal before your bill jumps up again.