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How To Budget Your Money

PTree15

Beach bum
Location
Connecticut
It looks like customers in the U.S. have to pay a lot for mobile services!:eek: I used to have a very convenient plan before, but in January i switched to a new option, and now i pay only 600 roubles every month ($9.25), and i have 600 "free" minutes of talk with any mobile operator in North-West, and i have an unlimited(!) access to the internet (except for torrent files,- they'll be uploading slower). Plus i can go to any russian town (and Abkhazia), and i'll pay $zero for using my current options (it means, free internet anywhere in Russia and Abkhazia) and free talk with SPb mobile operators' clients. Moreover, i switched on the option "Pay whenever you wish",- it's like a virtual phone credit card with $24.5 on it. 10 yrs ago we could only dream about these kind of options. But i use the best mobile operator "Megafon North-West", and i still manage to get fooled sometimes (like subscriptions that i didn't ask for).:p
Yes, I find the plans expensive ever since they started with data plans on phones. Back in the day, a phone was just a phone, and it was pretty reasonable to get a nationwide calling plan. Once smartphones appeared, the plans started getting more expensive. Pay-as-you-go is good, too. I like that much better. There was one company that basically was pay for only what you use, so you could end up with a credit some months. I figure if I'm going to have to pay for what I don't use, I might as well pay less, hence my going to pre-paid rather than paying at the end of the cycle. I never use all the data because I don't stream a lot and when I do, I use my wifi at home.
 

Val

Extraterrestrial
Yes, I find the plans expensive ever since they started with data plans on phones. Back in the day, a phone was just a phone, and it was pretty reasonable to get a nationwide calling plan. Once smartphones appeared, the plans started getting more expensive. Pay-as-you-go is good, too. I like that much better. There was one company that basically was pay for only what you use, so you could end up with a credit some months. I figure if I'm going to have to pay for what I don't use, I might as well pay less, hence my going to pre-paid rather than paying at the end of the cycle. I never use all the data because I don't stream a lot and when I do, I use my wifi at home.
This might sound weird, but something had happened to my current wifi plan, it became very slow and we switched it off (actually, we rejected the agreement with the company that provides wifi, wire home internet and home telephone connection). Now, until autumn, we are living without wifi, until we need it for work, or/and until we find a decent home internet provider. What about me,- i'm quite contented with my so-called 4G+ internet on Android. It allows me to do a lot of things. Therefore, the only things i have to worry about - are my $ balance and my battery charge. But for that purpose, i've bought a portable accumulator, and i've already had a chance to appreciate the advantages of having it. (For the first time, i saw Annie use it, and i decided: "Why not to try the same??" Actually, the one that i have is bigger in size, but it has greater capacity). Looks like i'm bragging, lol. Why am i saying it? - When you are tempted to use your internet without any restrictions, in enormous quantities,- you end up with an empty battery in the middle of a work shift, haha. And that is when such device as portable accumulators appear to help.:p
 

silva

Addicted Poster
Location
Ohio, U.S.A
I have unlimited task and data with cricket for 30 a month, which includes a 5 dollar auto pay discount. High speed had a limit but they've given me an extra gig every year. I've had them like 7 years!
 

PTree15

Beach bum
Location
Connecticut
I have unlimited task and data with cricket for 30 a month, which includes a 5 dollar auto pay discount. High speed had a limit but they've given me an extra gig every year. I've had them like 7 years!
When I need to get a new phone, I'll make sure I get a cheaper plan. My plan is now $35 plus a couple of bucks in taxes. So I know I can do better. I didn't want to switch carriers and not have the phone work, especially because I'm job hunting and need the phone to work well. I at least know that with Verizon, the phone works fine. But as soon as I need a new phone, I'll get one that works with a cheaper plan for sure.
 

shyvas

Deity
Forum Moderator
When I need to get a new phone, I'll make sure I get a cheaper plan. My plan is now $35 plus a couple of bucks in taxes. So I know I can do better. I didn't want to switch carriers and not have the phone work, especially because I'm job hunting and need the phone to work well. I at least know that with Verizon, the phone works fine. But as soon as I need a new phone, I'll get one that works with a cheaper plan for sure.
Do you have broadband on top of that ? I pay 19.99 € for unlimited internet (computer) + 10 € for illimited international calls from my landline.
I also pay 2.99 € for my mobile (no phone included but it only cost me 30 €) for a 3 hr plan plus illimited texts.
 

PTree15

Beach bum
Location
Connecticut
Do you have broadband on top of that ? I pay 19.99 € for unlimited internet (computer) + 10 € for illimited international calls from my landline.
I also pay 2.99 € for my mobile (no phone included but it only cost me 30 €) for a 3 hr plan plus illimited texts.
Yes, there is data plan with the cellphone that's separate from my regular (computer) internet. They charge a lot for the computer internet when you don't bundle it with TV and phone. And the bundle promotional prices last a couple of years at best, and then you're looking at more than $100 per month for TV, internet and phone. And if you don't bundle, which I don't, they fleece you for the separate service. My cable internet (no land line, no TV) is outrageous at $84 a month, and that's for the mid-level plan. The phone is separate and now will cost me around $37 or $38. I don't have international calling, as that would cost even more. I'm going to do battle with the cable company over my internet bill. It's ridiculous for what little I get. And they cap the data at a terabyte per month. I mostly don't reach that, but there was one month when I was watching a lot of streaming TV that I nearly met the cap. It's such a rip-off. They keep wanting me to buy TV and phone, and I'm not interested. I don't watch enough TV to warrant cable. I haven't had it since 1993 or '94. :D

The other problem is the lack of competition in my area. Cable companies, which also provide internet in addition to TV, practically have monopolies in the territories they serve. The only high-speed cable I can get is Cox. The others offer only DSL or satellite. I don't have a land line, so DSL is out. I haven't researched satellite internet to see about the cost and reliability. So basically Cox can charge whatever it wants because it's the only game in town. The other halfway decent companies, like Xfinity or Verizon Fios, aren't available in my area. Every other town around me has those options, though, but don't have Cox. It's a challenging situation for sure.

Also, to put things in perspective, my state is one the priciest in terms of cost of living in the U.S., especially for utilities and gas (for cars).
 

shyvas

Deity
Forum Moderator
Yes, there is data plan with the cellphone that's separate from my regular (computer) internet. They charge a lot for the computer internet when you don't bundle it with TV and phone. And the bundle promotional prices last a couple of years at best, and then you're looking at more than $100 per month for TV, internet and phone. And if you don't bundle, which I don't, they fleece you for the separate service. My cable internet (no land line, no TV) is outrageous at $84 a month, and that's for the mid-level plan. The phone is separate and now will cost me around $37 or $38. I don't have international calling, as that would cost even more. I'm going to do battle with the cable company over my internet bill. It's ridiculous for what little I get. And they cap the data at a terabyte per month. I mostly don't reach that, but there was one month when I was watching a lot of streaming TV that I nearly met the cap. It's such a rip-off. They keep wanting me to buy TV and phone, and I'm not interested. I don't watch enough TV to warrant cable. I haven't had it since 1993 or '94. :D

The other problem is the lack of competition in my area. Cable companies, which also provide internet in addition to TV, practically have monopolies in the territories they serve. The only high-speed cable I can get is Cox. The others offer only DSL or satellite. I don't have a land line, so DSL is out. I haven't researched satellite internet to see about the cost and reliability. So basically Cox can charge whatever it wants because it's the only game in town. The other halfway decent companies, like Xfinity or Verizon Fios, aren't available in my area. Every other town around me has those options, though, but don't have Cox. It's a challenging situation for sure.

Also, to put things in perspective, my state is one the priciest in terms of cost of living in the U.S., especially for utilities and gas (for cars).
I think that you have to work out what your needs are with regard to internet, TV and a landline phone. Shop around and see what the competitors offer new customers. Once, you have a guaranteed price, you should call up your provider(s) and request to terminate your contract. If they offer you a better rate, it sometimes works out cheaper than to change your provider.
Do some providers include landline phones in their internet bundles ? Do you really need a landline as you have a mobile ?
On the other hand, if you are only going to working from home, do you need a mobile with internet access ?

I have a friend who pays a whopping 60 €/month for a mobile with internet access. She no longer works(she's always at home) and would save a lot of money if she were just to access internet via her computer. Moreover, her phone is faulty and it means having to fork out 250 € for a new phone.

Could you write to the FCC and complain about the fact that there are no internet competitors in your state ? Surely that is not legal ?
 

PTree15

Beach bum
Location
Connecticut
I think that you have to work out what your needs are with regard to internet, TV and a landline phone. Shop around and see what the competitors offer new customers. Once, you have a guaranteed price, you should call up your provider(s) and request to terminate your contract. If they offer you a better rate, it sometimes works out cheaper than to change your provider.
Do some providers include landline phones in their internet bundles ? Do you really need a landline as you have a mobile ?
On the other hand, if you are only going to working from home, do you need a mobile with internet access ?

I have a friend who pays a whopping 60 €/month for a mobile with internet access. She no longer works(she's always at home) and would save a lot of money if she were just to access internet via her computer. Moreover, her phone is faulty and it means having to fork out 250 € for a new phone.

Could you write to the FCC and complain about the fact that there are no internet competitors in your state ? Surely that is not legal ?
I would love to shop around, but there is no other actual high-speed internet provider in my town. The companies often have monopolies in less metropolitan areas like mine, so shopping around isn't an option. I don't have cable TV or a land line. What happens is the companies offer you an initial promotional rate for two years for a TV/internet/internet phone bundle, no land lines are offered. Then after two years, you have to pay the regular price, which often costs more than $100 per month. My parents, for instance, pay $160 a month just for cable TV and internet. They don't have a land line, either, just cellphones. The cellphone is a separate company from the cable company. And the cellphone works out cheaper than a land line. I haven't had a land line in more than a decade. Also, the land lines are going by the wayside because so few people have them now. The phone companies aren't maintaining the lines anymore.

Also, the companies stiff you if you don't bundle. I don't want cable TV or an internet phone, so I get stuck paying a lot more just for internet. It's extraordinarily frustrating because the company knows that I don't have any other real options for reliable, high-speed internet. If I want to work from home, I can't afford to have spotty or slower internet service. It's just not practical.

There are people who can shop around, but that's not possible in my area. Even in Middletown, I had only two options for internet by computer.

People have been trying for decades to end the cable monopolies, but these companies have powerful lobbies and the FCC is useless. The head of the FCC used to work for one of the major telecommunications companies. It's a very corrupt industry, IMHO.

With regard to cellphones, the company I'm with for example, doesn't offer any plans without internet access. If you get a smartphone (which is all they want to sell; they hardly offer just regular non-smartphones) I'm stuck with them until I can get what they call an unlocked phone, one that is not tied to a specific provider. They make it difficult to switch carriers with a locked phone. This is becoming less of a problem because people have been complaining about it for a while. When I get a new phone, I should be able to get a plan that just uses calling and texts, which would take a good $10 to $15 off my bill. I really don't need the phone to be a mini computer. I can simply connect my phone to my wifi and not ring up any data charges. I just wouldn't be able to access the internet by phone elsewhere, which is fine by me.
 

silva

Addicted Poster
Location
Ohio, U.S.A
You'd think having choices would make for better deals, but I've found they just offer different deals and pretty much the same pricing. We have Spectrum where you're not tied to a contract, ATT you have to sign up for two years, and get a discount the first year, and now WOW which is quite like ATT. Reviews are all over the place! Most people I know stick with Spectrum since theres no early penalty. ATT is starting fiber optics so I'm watching that
 

PTree15

Beach bum
Location
Connecticut
You'd think having choices would make for better deals, but I've found they just offer different deals and pretty much the same pricing. We have Spectrum where you're not tied to a contract, ATT you have to sign up for two years, and get a discount the first year, and now WOW which is quite like ATT. Reviews are all over the place! Most people I know stick with Spectrum since theres no early penalty. ATT is starting fiber optics so I'm watching that
I think they are all in cahoots with one another. :D I would consider fiber optics as well if it were available in my area. My sister had Verizon Fios (when she owned a home) in Rhode Island and really liked the service. She now has the same company I do, and she loathes it. :D The cable TV is fine, but the internet isn't always reliable. She lives in a big apartment complex, so during times of heavy usage, her internet slows down or just cuts out. Cox really needs to upgrade its infrastructure.
 

shyvas

Deity
Forum Moderator
With regard to cellphones, the company I'm with for example, doesn't offer any plans without internet access. If you get a smartphone (which is all they want to sell; they hardly offer just regular non-smartphones) I'm stuck with them until I can get what they call an unlocked phone, one that is not tied to a specific provider. They make it difficult to switch carriers with a locked phone.
I don't know whether it's the same as over here but unofficially they do have cheap plans which they offer if you
want to terminate your contract.
That is how I got my mobile plan. They only offer it to existing customers who wish
to drastically reduce their bill.
 

raggle

Deity
Location
UK
I've switched completely from Ocado to Tesco for our weekly food shop now. We save about £10 a week I'd say & also get more for the money including more fruit & veg...it used to feel like I had to cut back on that sort of thing before.
 

silva

Addicted Poster
Location
Ohio, U.S.A
Stop looking at buy and sell sites 🤣 .Stop looking at sale ads.
Stick to a budget. Learn to plan meals and shop with them in mind. I'm so bad at buying food either because it's on sale, or it just sounds good, without a plan on how and when to use it. I don't waste, but I sure have a lot of cupboard food to get through
 

KLS52

“SnarkMaster”
I tend to waste and it infuriates me. I’m getting a little better because I want to retire in December so I’m practicing now.

I usually stock up on food with good intentions of cooking for the week and then something always gets in the way and I don’t use the food before it goes bad. :( I’m pretty sure I have an expired packet of ground Beyond Meat in the refrigerator drawer and there’s no excuse for that.
 

shyvas

Deity
Forum Moderator
I've switched completely from Ocado to Tesco for our weekly food shop now. We save about £10 a week I'd say & also get more for the money including more fruit & veg...it used to feel like I had to cut back on that sort of thing before.
Morrison`s also have some very good deals, especially for fruit and vegetables.:)
 

PTree15

Beach bum
Location
Connecticut
Stop looking at buy and sell sites 🤣 .Stop looking at sale ads.
Stick to a budget. Learn to plan meals and shop with them in mind. I'm so bad at buying food either because it's on sale, or it just sounds good, without a plan on how and when to use it. I don't waste, but I sure have a lot of cupboard food to get through
I know what you mean about having a lot of cupboard food to get through. I'm working on that now. I've banned myself from buying pasta until I get through the many boxes on the shelves. I've made a good dent in it by making a lot of pasta salads with veggies that I've brought to share with family and friends. I get my pasta fix without having to eat the whole box. :D And sharing is good. :) I have a some Ditalini that I will use for pasta e fagiole, with the cooler weather coming. It will be a good way to use up some of the cans of kidney beans I have at the moment.
 
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