Fight For Your Money

If you want to save more money, you're going to have to fight for it.

At least that's what financial author David Bach says.

He shows you how in his newest book "Fight For Your Money: How to Stop Getting Ripped Off and Save a Fortune."

This is Bach's 10th book and it's already a best seller.

Bach, who calls his book a "consumer advocacy guide," looked at how we are being ripped off as consumers by industries. The first thing he tackled was the travel industry.

"We go online and buy our plane tickets a lot of times. If you've got a family of four, we'll click on the number four. Well, the industry now is set up to raise and jack up those fees, versus if you bought those tickets separately," Bach told Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.

Bach demonstrated this and went online and tried to book tickets for a family of four and found tickets for $619 each from New York to L.A.

But when he booked them separately, the tickets were $344 each -- a savings of $275 per ticket.

"It's built into the computer system," Bach stressed. He also pointed out that travel agents often book the tickets separately and then put them back together.

People also need to watch out for bag fees.

"I just came back from Vail (Colo.) yesterday," Bach said. "My bag was two pounds overweight. They wanted 50 bucks for that bag. I stuck it in my carry-on, saved $50 right there. You have to be smart."

Bach also says a fast way to save money is by re-negotiating your cable bill, which can save consumers $500 this year.

"Here's what you do. You call your cable company up and you say, 'Right now it's a recession, folks. I've either got to get a better deal on my cable or I'm canceling my cable.' Every single cable company is going to hate me for saying this, but here's the truth. They're offering a better rate for new customers than the current customer.

"So you may be paying $100 to $150 bucks a month for your cable bill right now. For a new customer, they're charging maybe $29.95 for a year or two-year package. Or $50 with movies included for a two-year package."

Consumers can call up their cable company to find out their new rate and look more closely at their cable bill.

Oftentimes, consumers are being charged for the remote control and the box. Most families have three or four boxes, according to Bach.

"You're paying $10 a month for that ability to videotape right now. But they only videotape in one room," he said. "That could save you $10, $20, $30 a month."

Another option is going to satellite, which will give you a better rate, too.

"It's all about recession and negotiating," he said.

Bach also suggests negotiating with your credit card company.

The first order of business is to know what interest rate you're being charged.

"This is amazing. You can have one credit card, and they can be charging you three separate interest rates for the same card," Bach explained. "Check this out. On purchases they can be charging you 12 percent. On cash advance, 20 percent, balance transfers, 5 percent."

Bach has also suggested before that if you have $5,000 in credit card debt, then transfer to a 0 percent rate credit card. But the way they get you is they can charge you 20 percent for new purchases.

If that is the case, Bach advises to open up multiple card accounts.

Another option is to completely pay off your credit cards, but at the same time be aware of their tactics.

"There is no penalty for paying them all off," he said. "The key is when you pay them off, they're calling you up and asking you to close the account. Don't close the account. Because when you close your account right now, you hurt your credit score."

You can also ask to waive the annual fee -- "If you're not using it, don't pay the annual fee," he said.

When on the phone, Bach suggests saying "I want a better rate. If the person says I can't do that for you, say 'Look, I want to speak to a supervisor right now. Tell me what you can do to give me a better rate.'"



Excerpt:"> "Fight For Your Money: How to Stop Getting Ripped Off and Save a Fortune," by David Bach
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