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How to Save Money on Your Monthly Phone Bill

How to Save Money on Your Monthly Phone Bill

Families in the United States squander around one hundred and thirty nine dollars each month on cellular phones according to J.D. Power and Associates. This is above the one hundred and twenty seven monthly in the year 2009. And based on the reports of the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2011 household spending on cell phone services shot up by above 4.5% and since the year 2006 has increased over 20%. While there are methods to get free home phone using Google’s GV service as I talked about on this post on CorVoIP website, we are mostly talking about cellular phones.

Avoid Wireless Charges You Don’t Use

Todd Dunphy used to work closely with Verizon and he helped develop the mobile phone analytics organization called Validas. Todd has partnered with ABC News “Real Money” team in an attempt to do away with “wireless waste”, which is data, minutes, and texts that haven’t been put to use. Validas is a business that executes evaluations of cell phone utilization for big organizations, and they just lately released Savelovegive (SLG) the very same service for no cost at all to consumers. Its creators plan for the website to turn that “wireless waste” into something useful although the service is free, inviting people to pledge a small amount of their savings to charity. The company doesn’t take a cut from users’ donations. Even if you do not want to take your phone with you in case your CDMA does not work abroad, you could get same apps on your laptop through the infamous hack of emulation.

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“So you have your savings linked to a foundation for the empowerment of women we built in microphilanthropy inside the app”, according to Dunphy. You can take a bit of that savings and redirect it. Or you can preserve it all for yourself, it’s no big issue. But we developed a vehicle.

Validas claimed that when it comes to monthly mobile phone bills 80% of the American population overspend by about $200 every year. As soon as Dunphy looked over the bill of Barry at SLG, he figured out ways to save much more than that almost instantly.

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Though SLG automatically prepares an email that customers may send to their carriers to switch plans, Barry went into an AT&T retailer to switch his plan face-to-face. Because Barry changed his plan to a MobileShare with 6GB of data monthly and adding a corporate discount he’ll go on to save about $1,400 within the year.

Pro Tips to Save Your Cell Phone Bill

If you are ready to lessen your bill and make sure you have a cellphone that fits you perfectly check out some of Dunphy’s effective tips below.

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1. Let free sites figure it out on your behalf—just plug in your cellular phone number. At SLG, you log in with your carrier account information, giving the site access to your previous bills. By taking a look at usage and charges the website analyzes the bills. Once the analysis is complete it will compare your plan to other plans on hand and give you ways to switch up the plan you currently have and save. At the moment customers of AT&T and Verizon are who SLG works for, but the website expects to expand to other carriers soon. Another analysis site is Billshrink. When it came to Barry he was only utilizing 2.5 gigabytes of data each month, but he was purchasing a total of 8. By bundling talking and texting into one new plan, he could save nearly $1,200 a year. You can also check out VoIP plans to use when you are at home or even there are VoIP plans for small businesses.

2. Look for sneaky charges like horoscope texts, roadside assistance and 411.
Very small charges can be added onto your bill without your knowledge. According to research done by the Citizens Utility Board and Validas it’s over five dollars each month on average. If you notice a charge doesn’t look right call your carrier immediately to get them to get rid of it.

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3. Obtain your discount.
In order to get their employees discounts many companies work with mobile phone carriers. It’s not merely for corporate workers – teachers, government workers and even students can qualify. But the key is that you must ask for it, entering your company email on the carrier’s discount site. Examine the discount pages at AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. Barry will qualify for a discount of upwards of twenty five percent since his employer was just bought by IBM – check yours here. The discount may save him yet another $200 yearly. Dunphy told ABC News that Barry’s situation was standard.
A good deal of it is awareness, he explained. Awareness of what’s out there and then also figuring out what you use and what’s out there. It’s like going and acquiring a suit or a dress, getting it perfectly customized to you.

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Mukesh Agarwal

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Published on May 7, 2019

How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

When it comes to stocks, I bet you feel like you have no idea what you’re doing.

Everyone who’s not a financial expert has been there. I’ve been there. But, time is passing and you need to be crystal clear with how you’re investing for your retirement.

Otherwise, it’s back to work until you can afford not to. So, how can you invest for retirement when you’re not a financial expert?

You take the time to learn the fundamentals well. If you do, you can grow your wealth and retire happy. The best part is that you don’t need to be a financial expert to make smart investment decisions.

Here’s how to invest for retirement the smart and stress-free way:

1. Know Clearly Why You Invest

Odds are you already know why should invest for retirement.

But, maybe you know the wrong reasons. It’s time you get clear on why you’d like to retire. Here are some questions to help you get started:

  • Will you spend more time with your family?
  • What does retirement mean to you?
  • Are you looking to launch that business you’ve been holding off for years?

Everyone wants to retire but not for the same reasons. Once you’re clear for why retirement is important for you, you’ll focus on making it happen.

Investing in the stock market allows you to take advantage of compound interest.[1] All this means is that your money earns money on top of its interest. A reason why investment in the stock market is one of the best ways to plan for retirement.

2. Figure out When to Invest

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”– Chinese Proverb

It’s true if you’d had started investing when you were 10 years old, you’d have a lot more money than you do today.

The reality is that most people don’t start investing until it’s too late. So, if you’re currently waiting for the perfect time to start an investment, it would be today. Open your calendar and block out 2 to 3 hours to choose how you’ll invest for retirement.

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A quick way to get a snapshot of where you stand is to use Personal Capital. Input all your personal information and spend some time setting your retirement goals. Once completed, you’ll know where you stand with your retirement.

Having a savings account for retirement isn’t planning for retirement. Why? Your money loses value when you factor in US inflation.[2]

3. Evaluate Your Risk Tolerance to Create the Perfect Portfolio

Investing your money well depends on your emotions.

Why?

Because when the market drops most people panic and withdraw their money. On average, the US stock market yields an annual 6% to 7% ROI (return on your investment.) But, this won’t happen if you’re worried about short-term loses.

Before you invest your next dollar, know your risk tolerance.[3] Your risk tolerance determines the number of risky and safe investments you’d have.

Regardless of your investing style, you need to view investing for retirement as a long term game. Know that some years you’ll lose money but recoup this in the long-term.

Avoid watching market-related new. Also, create a double authentication to log in your investment account. This way you’re less likely to withdraw your money.

4. Open a Reliable Retirement Account

Depending on your circumstance, you may need to open a new brokerage account. This is the account is where you’ll invest your money.

If you’re currently working for a company, odds are that they offer a 410K investing account. If so, here’s where you’ll invest most of your money. The only problem with this is that you’re limited to the stock options that are available.

You do have the option to open a separate IRA (individual retirement account.) Here are some of the best brokers:

  1. Vanguard
  2. TD Ameritrade
  3. Charles Schwab

5. Challenge Yourself to Invest Consistently

Committing to invest for retirement is hard, but continuing to do so is harder.

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Once you’ve started investment for your retirement, you run at risk from stopping. Often you’ll want to contribute less, so you’d have more money in your pocket.

That’s why it’s important that you create a budget that allows you to invest each month. If you’re working for a company, you can set a percentage for the amount you’d like to contribute each month. Most people by default contribute 1% but aim to contribute 10% to 15%.

Be the judge for how much you can afford to contribute after covering important expenses. To stay motivated, use Personal Capital to view your net worth.

A benefit to contributing money to your retirement account is not taxed. For example, if you earn $100 and invest 10%, you’d contribute $10, then get taxed on the remaining $90. As of 2019, the most you’re able to contribute towards your 401K is 19K but this can change.

6. Consider Where to Invest Your Money

The most common way to invest your money is in stocks, but it’s not the only way. Here are other ways to invest:

Robo Advisors

Robo-advisors[4] are fancy algorithms that’ll choose the best investments for you. Sites like Wealthfront make it easy for first-time investors to invest their money. You’d input information about yourself and set your risk tolerance.

Then, set your monthly contribution amount and your robo-advisor would do the rest. Robo-advisors charge a fee to manage your money, but less than regular advisors.

Bonds

Think of bonds as “IOUs” to whomever you buy them from.

Essentially, you’re lending money and charging interest. Like stocks, not all bonds are equal. Some will be riskier than others depending on their rating.

Here are the different types of bond categories:[5]

  1. Treasury bonds
  2. Government bonds
  3. Corporate bonds
  4. Foreign bonds
  5. Mortgage-backed bonds
  6. Municipal bonds

Mutual Funds

Picture a group of people dumping all their money in a jar that’s managed by a professional. This is how mutual funds work. The fund manager manages the money looking to earn capital gains (interest.)

One of the best types of mutual funds is index funds. Since these funds don’t try to beat the market and instead follow it, they need less research. Because of this they often charge the lowest fees and yield the best long-term results.

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Real Estate

Yes, buying a home is an investment when done correctly.

Imagine buying a home and using it as a rental property. After repairing it, you receive a monthly surplus check of $100 to $200.

This may not sound like a lot, but repeat this process enough times and you’d earn a large amount of passive income. That’s why real estate is one of the best investments to not only retire but become wealthy.

But, it requires a lot of money to start and you should expect losing money along the way as you learn the process.

Savings Accounts

Your money can still grow in a savings account. Nowadays most online banks offer a 2% annual return. Although the average inflation is higher your money will be available when you need it.

7. Master Disincline to Dodge Short Success

Investing for retirement is a long-term strategy. That’s why you need to master delayed gratification. All this means is delaying short-term pleasure for something bigger in the future. Research shows that those who have delayed gratification are more successful.[6]

So how can you master delayed gratification?

By building your discipline.

Think back to what retirement means to you. A clear purpose will help you avoid withdrawing your money during a market downturn. It’ll help you contribute more towards retirement when you’d want to waste it instead.

Your journey towards retirement will be long, so reward yourself along the way. Choose a reward that’s relevant and meaningful, so that you reinforce positive behavior. For example, after contributing more towards retirement, treat yourself to dinner.

8. Aggressively Invest on This One Investment

I’ve mentioned several types of investments but haven’t covered the most important one.

It sounds cliche but here’s why you’re your best investment towards retirement. The more you know, the more money you’ll be able to make. The more good habits you adopt, the more secure your retirement will be.

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More importantly, investing in yourself is an investment that no one can take away. There’s no market downturn nor tragic circumstance that’ll wipe your knowledge and experience.

But, how can you invest yourself?

Reading books, blogs, and anything that’ll help you learn new topics daily. Listen to podcasts and audiobooks on your commute to/from work.

Save money to buy courses and hire coaches. I used to believe hiring coaches was a waste of money when I could learn the subject alone.

But, coaches see your blind spots and hold you accountable. Hiring the right coach will help you achieve your goals faster than you would’ve alone.

Retire Happy with Excess Money

The key to a secure financial future doesn’t only belong to financial experts.

It’s possible for you and I. What if you were able to retire earlier than most people and weren’t a financial planner? What if you were able to focus on what you enjoy doing the most while your money was working hard for you?

I know this sounds impossible now, but the truth is you’re capable of taking charge of your retirement. I’m not a financial expert but I’ve learned how to invest my money by reading books and learning from others.

Investing your money is scary. So start small and invest a small amount of your money with a robo-advisor. Feel your money drop and rise for a month or two. Then, invest more and keep this up until you’re aggressively saving for retirement.

One day, you’ll wake up with a net worth you’re proud of – confident about your retirement. You now know a few strategies you can use to invest in your retirement. Will you take action to retire happy?

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Featured photo credit: Matthew Bennett via unsplash.com

Reference

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