I got a new phone. That might not seem like big news to most of you, but I’ve never had a decent cell phone. Since about 1997 I’ve only ever had the very basic phone available. Typically it only made calls, didn’t have a camera or even internet access. Whatever the phone company was willing to give me for free or for about $40, that’s what I got and used it until it died.
Earlier this year I started researching my phone options and I really wanted an iPhone. But there was one big problem. We live WAY out in the country and don’t even have AT&T coverage (yet). For now we’d be almost entirely using partner networks and after talking to the reps there they said that chances are my contract would be terminated because of the off-network use. Major bummer!
So, I started to look at BlackBerries. Again, we’re way out in the country and not on a 3G network so I was really hoping to get a phone with wi-fi so that when I’m at home I could at least use my own network. Another problem. We have Verizon and none of their phones come with wi-fi. That would mean switching to Sprint, but my wife had Sprint for a while and the coverage in this area is really not very good. In my research I did notice a new BB coming down the pike for Verizon called the Tour. It looked awesome even without wi-fi, so I did a lot of reading up on the phone before it was released.
I went to the Verizon store the Monday it was released and tried it out and saw just how sweet it was. So I finally made the leap and bought it. I had 30 days to try it out and see how it works at our house and test coverage and stuff, but after just a week and a half I can tell it’s perfect. Even when not on the 3G network it’s quite fast and does everything I need it to. After getting it all set up how I like and tricking it out with some nice software it has really freed me up from my computer. I should have upgraded a long time ago. As far as the budget is concerned, we did have to account for the higher monthly plan.
But anyway, I digress. Let’s move on to this week’s links.
Everything You Need to Know About Budgeting – We all need to create and follow a budget to some degree, but it’s easy to lose your way over time. Here’s a compilation of my top resources to help you with everything you need to know about budgeting.
Save Money on Car Insurance – If you own a car, you have to have car insurance. I hate auto insurance, but then again, that’s because we have never had to file a claim. It feels like we’ve been just tossing money away all these years, but I know that if we ever have an accident or need to file a claim, the insurance will be worth every penny. Since you need to insure your car, you might as well save as much money on it as possible.
Cheapest Cars to Insure – While we’re on the topic of car insurance, let’s look at what cars are the cheapest to insure. If you’re in the market for a new vehicle you might as well start right at the source and look for a car that’s going to be the cheapest to insure and then go from there.
Buying a Car – The Research – I’ve written about cars quite a bit over the past few months. Mainly to point out that a vehicle is one of those purchases that can make or break your finances and long-term wealth accumulation. But if you do need a new car, you should at least put in the proper research and make sure you’re getting the most for your money.
New Credit Card Rules – How They’ll Help You – Some new credit card rules will be coming to consumers soon, but what exactly are the new rules and how will they affect you? Here’s a good breakdown of what to expect.
Should You Accept An Early Retirement Package? – Should you accept an early retirement package if offered? It isn’t always a black and white issue and there are a lot of financial and other considerations. Here, Neal takes a look at an example and breaks down the numbers.
How to Quit a Job – You’ve probably seen a lot of articles written about how to get a job, but how to quit a job? Yes, there’s a right way to quit your job. You don’t want to burn any bridges, and if you’re careful, your exit could actually help open up some new doors in the future.
Use Energy Star Appliances To Save On Utility Costs – Everyone wants to save money and one of the easiest ways to do that is to start with your utility bills at home. Energy Star appliances can help cut your energy costs while even improving the value of your home.
Risk Tolerance and Smart Investing – Risk tolerance is a loaded phrase in the investment world. It’s what brokers and advisors use to help guide you into the right investments. The problem is that most people don’t really know what their risk tolerance is, or even worse, they think their risk tolerance is high when the markets are doing good, and their risk tolerance is low when the markets are doing poorly.
Zecco Forex Promotion Code for $200 Bonus When Opening a Forex Account – Want some free money? If you’ve ever considered trading in the Forex market, here’s your chance. I’ve read a number of books on currency trading and even tried a few practice accounts, but I just can’t get into it. It would be fun if you have the time, but I don’t have enough time in the day to remember to grab lunch, let alone try and trade currencies.
What I Drive Doesn’t Try To Define Me Or To Impress Others – I can relate to this. While I could afford to pimp around in a German import, I instead drive a somewhat beat up sedan with 100,000 miles that’s hardly worth more than $6,000. For the 60 miles or so I drive each day to get me to and from the office, this car will do it just as good as a $50,000 car. It might not impress the ladies, but it gets the job done and allows me to funnel more money towards more rewarding financial goals.
How Much Emergency Fund is Enough? – Just how much emergency fund is enough? You hear things like three months, six months, or even a year’s worth of expenses saved up. But what’s the real number? There’s no right answer that applies to everyone, but Brip Blap makes a good argument for having more money than you think you’ll need set aside.
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Filed Under: Friday Finance Findings
About the Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor® and spent a few years working as a financial planner. Today, he helps people make the most of their money by writing about personal finance here and elsewhere on the web. Jeremy is also Coach at Adaptu and a regular contributor for other publications such as Intuit, and American Express. Be sure to follow Jeremy on Twitter or Google+.