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Archive for August, 2014

Republic Wireless

August 23rd, 2014 at 07:05 am

My parents want me to look into cellphones for them, and while I am at it, I decided to look into lowering my own cellphone bill as well. Here's a quick profile of my parents and I:

My mom looooves to talk on the phone. I am not sure what her usage is like, but basically, she needs unlimited minutes. No need for data or text.

I, on the other hand, am a data junkie. I am terrible. As difficult as it may be, I would love to have unlimited data. Very little need for voice and text, though I do need them.

My dad is the easiest, since he only needs to be contacted when he is out playing tennis, and that's IF he's not in the middle of a game. So, very little need for voice, no need for data and text.

So, anybody know what's the best rates out there for the three of us?

In the meantime, I've looked around myself, and I believe Republic Wireless is the best deal for us. Republic Wireless operates on the same Sprint network as Ting, Virgin Mobile, Boost Mobile, and obviously Sprint. However, they are able to cut back costs even more by offering built-in voice, text, and data by going through WiFi where available.

And how much are we talking about? For my parents, they are only $10 a month each! For that price, you get unlimited voice and text, whereas on Ting, you can only get 100 minutes, 100 texts, or 100 mbs.

As for me, I know that Sprint's 4G coverage is spotty where I am, so really, I could probably get by with only 3G. I am used to 4G LTE, and I currently chew through roughly 10gigs a month, so this would be a dramatic cutback for me. However, I am willing to cut back in exchange for a $25 a month phone bill!

Total, that's $45 a month for three people! You can't beat that with a stick! Well, yes you can, but I meant that figurately. Actually, I would probably want to try their 4G again, so at least the first month would be $60, but that rate is still amazing for the three of us.

There is a downside to this, and it is the paltry phone selection and their price tags. From what I understand, only so many phones are capable of this wifi feature right out of the box. That means the cheapest phone available right now is the Moto G for $150 a pop. I am willing to upgrade to the Moto X for $300.

However, if you extend that to calculate for the total cost of ownership over the course of a typical two year period, that still equates to only $390 per phone for my parents. For me, the cost would be $925 for the 3G plan, and $1260 for the 4G plan. For two years, that's still pretty good.

So, that's the best deal I've found so far. Can you guys find anything better? Would love to hear it if you can.

I still don't like my 401(k) but....

August 22nd, 2014 at 06:45 am

After some email exchanges about it, it would appear that while I can cancel my 401(k) because they don't do employer match here, but they also require that I take my own free time off to jump through hoops of fire in various sizes in order to speak to someone about cancelling it....

So, after looking at my rather paltry contribution right now, and add that my surprisingly reasonable net expense ratio of 0.44%... well, I decided to leave it alone.

Plus, if or when I ever gross enough to hit the next tax bracket, I'm going to want to use this and even increase my 401(k) contributions anyway. This is actually the biggest reason why I'm just going to leave it alone here... because I may need it some day down the road.

Crash Course on Money

August 22nd, 2014 at 06:32 am

I was watching this video last night, and while it kind of delved more into the psychology behind money, it was still interesting and informative.

As a gamer myself, I was also amused at the constant Skyrim visual references in there (though that game really had nothing to do with economy).

Anyways, I just thought I'd share that.

Tax first... for the Price is Right

August 13th, 2014 at 02:19 pm

I found this article rather amusing. Apparently, in CA, when you win something, like on the Price is Right, you have to pay the taxes on it right then and there before you can cart off your prizes.

Here's the kicker. Say, for example, you don't really need the extra sofa set and the pool table, but you win it anyways, well you would still have to pay the taxes for it. You're almost better off refusing some of the prizes....

I'm just waiting for some constant to say, "How much in taxes is that?" on the air.

Mostly repaid

August 5th, 2014 at 04:37 am

Against my better judgment, I loaned a friend of mine $5000 last year. For me, it's no small change, and this friend of mine isn't exactly the best at finances, or else, he would not be asking me for a loan in the first place.

However, I know he's solid, and would pay it back eventually. Well, he finally did, as promised, one year later. Mostly.

Yesterday, I received a letter containing a check for $4000 and a thank you note. This is all he could repay at this time, and I told him not to sweat it. I am certain he will pay back the last $1000 in time.

Yes, I know this was a very risky move. In fact, I had pretty much wrote it off that I've lost the $5000. Except for this one time, I normally do not loan money out to anyone, especially friends. Because I know it can ruin friendships.

Either way, at least I got most of it back yesterday, which gives me a nice boost to my bottom line.

One disaster away....

August 4th, 2014 at 05:30 am

I was reading this article, and although it was written a year ago, I wonder if this claim still holds. I'm sure it still does, though I wonder if things have improved at all.