When I first signed up for wireless service, my bill was under $30 a month for plenty of minutes and the short list of features I needed. Nowadays, carriers know that most people require a cell plan for their everyday routine, and they’re able to charge a lot more. Sure, phones are more powerful, but they also come with costs and fees for features I don’t need. My bill is nearly $90 a month, and it’s quickly becoming one of my family’s largest monthly expenses.
Other than your home, your car might be the most expensive purchase that you ever make. I love nice cars, but I also try to manage my finances responsibly. As a result, I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that a new car is an unnecessary expense.
Sure, you can find overpriced used cars and bargain buys on brand-new vehicles, but it’s not just the sticker price that makes a new car a waste. The associated fees, subsequent costs, and losses in value (i.e. depreciation) add up to thousands of dollars over the first few years of new car ownership. This is especially bad news if you end up upside down on your car loan.
Lately, it seems as if most customer service representatives are either not empowered to help you, or that they have actually been instructed not to. It has gotten to the point where getting a company to give you the service you deserve is not just a challenge, but almost a sport. We all know how to lose our temper or ask for a supervisor, but what if you want to take your customer service game to the next level?
Due to the recent economic recession, people have become more and more displeased with their banks. High interest rates, credit card fees, and poor customer service have left them clamoring for change and better treatment. The recent Credit CARD Act of 2009 is a step in the right direction, but it’s not an all encompassing fix.
Luckily, there is minority of people who have found ways to outsmart their credit card issuers and make the system, flaws and all, work for them. As one of those knowledgeable few, allow me to share a few credit card tricks I’ve learned along the way.
Dealing with customer service is the bane of my existence. If I could pay someone to do it for me I probably would.
There are only so many ways to contact a company, and each one has severe drawbacks. When you try a telephone call, you risk spending valuable time navigating phone trees and waiting on hold, only to try explaining the problem to someone who may not understand your issue, may not know the finer points of English, or just may not be able to help. When you try email, you may have to wait days to receive a form letter that doesn’t even address your problem. Using the fax machine or sending a letter only increases the odds of an unsatisfactory or untimely response.
Like most people, I rely on the wonders of banking technology to receive my pay checks and pay my bills. Banks offer the near magical feature of having money just appear in your bank account (i.e. direct deposit) or having bills paid on a schedule while you worry about other things.
Modern technology is often so seamless and convenient that it’s easy to forget that both computers, and the people using them, are not perfect. It would be nice to think that our banking system is failsafe. However, that would be ignorant, and, in the case of finances, ignorance is far from bliss.
When I first began my career in IT in the mid ’90s, we generally expected new computers to be obsolete within a few years. Thanks to improving technology however, we can now get a few more years out of computers before they break down or can’t keep up. That’s good news for your budget.
Even better, rather than investing in a completely new machine every time you want to make an improvement, you can snap up some new innovative tech products that will act as sensible and affordable upgrades on their own.
One of the most frequently repeated bits of travel advice is to avoid being coerced into paying extra for additional rental car insurance. When you pay with a credit card, you are usually covered by the policy that is included by the network that your card is affiliated with.
This advice, while generally true, glosses over a much more complicated insurance picture.
Many travelers think that they are covered by their credit card’s policy only to find out after a car accident that they were not.
Here are six common situations where you might think you are covered, but you’re really not.
When my wife and I were expecting our first daughter, we spent hours poring over product reviews, polling friends and family, and researching the very best baby gear that would keep our little bundle safe, healthy, and happy.
The good news? There are literally millions of quality baby products to choose from.
The bad news? It can cost the equivalent of your child’s future college education to furnish a new nursery. Ultimately (and fortunately), we came to the conclusion that many of the less expensive products actually performed as well or even better than the more costly versions.
It has been a long time since having high-speed broadband Internet service went from being a point of geeky pride to an essential utility.
And like all utility providers, Internet service providers will do everything they can to extract the most revenue from each of their customers.
Fortunately, there are six tactics savvy customers can employ to enjoy broadband service at the lowest possible price.