payResearch proves it: During your premenstrual week, you tend to have more worries and anxiety about day-to-day issues. That’s due to plunging estrogen sapping your brain’s level of mood-managing chemicals, like serotonin, that help you stay confident and resilient in the face of challenges.

Anyway, money is a big premenstrual worry for women–and I’m no exception. Unfortunately, due to some accounting snafus, recently several work paychecks never made their way to me. And, presumably due to whatever mountain of paperwork and electronic filing occurs in corporate accounting offices, the replacement checks are taking their sweet time getting here.

As a result, I’ve been way more money-crunched than usual–and during my past premenstrual week, this really had me on edge.

But this time, rather than let it get me full of anxiety and affect my entire day, I decided to take some kind of positive step to make me feel more in control of my finances. I can’t do anything about those missing checks except wait. And wait and wait. But, I figured I could probably get at least a couple of my monthly bills lowered so at least I felt like I was in less of a bind.

Being premenstrual, I wasn’t overly-optimistic that this would work (naturally since pessimism is more likely as estrogen drops). But, I plowed through anyway. I started with my monthly bill for my cable/Internet/landline/home security. This is a bundle whose price has slowly been creeping up and up every month and is really starting to take a big chunk out of my wallet.

I called the customer service number and reminded myself to remain calm and sweet no matter how frustrating the call may get. After all, knowing this was my premenstrual week, I was fully aware of how irritable I could become if the call went south. But, I also knew that this little reminder would help me overcome that plunging-estrogen impulse to blow my top if things didn’t go my way.

Luckily, things went way more smoothly than I could have hoped. In my sweetest voice, I asked the customer service rep, Mark, if there was a way to lower my monthly bill because it was just getting too high, for instance, by trimming some services I may not need.

After a few moments of looking over my account, he came back to the call and assured me that not only could he lower my monthly bill–by about $50 per month–I wouldn’t have to cut out any of my current services. He was simply going to apply a promo code that would be good for 12 months–a $600 reduction. And, when that expired, he told me to call again and get a new code for another discount. That’s all it took!

Intellectually, I knew that getting a $50 price cut in one monthly bill wasn’t going to change my entire financial picture. But, emotionally, it gave me a complete turn-around, helping me feel more confident and secure despite it being my premenstrual week.

So, for about another hour, I contacted the customer service reps for a few more monthly bills I pay and requested reductions in fees or interest charges. Like the first company, some businesses were on-board with trimming my expenses to keep me as a happy customer. Others weren’t as indulging. However, within 60 minutes, I managed to save hundreds of dollars per month–all just by asking.

Because asking for price reductions worked for me and I’ve reported on surveys that show it’s worked for other customers for magazine articles I’ve written, I’m recommending that the next time premenstrual money worries trap you, try calling and requesting price reductions. You could be pleasantly surprised by the results.

Or, if monthly bills can’t be changed or aren’t too high, consider other ways to take charge of your finances. Even if you manage to gain control in a small way like I did, it can go a long way toward easing premenstrual financial anxiety.

[Photo: Steven Depolo]