Would You Say No To A Free Tablet?

Posted by Brock | January 28, 2015.

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I’m not a huge fan of cell phone companies. They’ve seemingly been rolling out new pricing structures more often than the average teenager changes socks. They come up with fancy names, and lots of banners, balloons and whistles. They can package it anyway they want but it boils down to various permutations of paying for the phone through explicitly stated phone payments, or through higher monthly fees while under a contract.

I don’t trust them.

I won’t go as far as to say that a cell phone is a necessity, but they certainly do have their place in today’s technology laden civilization. I will have to deal with the cell phone companies whether I like it or not, but I’ll always have my eyes open watching, scrutinizing, and analyzing the offers they put forth. Which is exactly what I did the day my wife upgraded her phone.

The plan choices available from AT&T were standard for what major carriers are offering right now. Get a discount on the phone up front and enter a two year contract with a higher monthly line fee, OR pay full price for the phone through monthly payments with a lower per month line fee. But then, things got interesting.

With the activation of her new phone, we were eligible for a free LG 7 tablet.


The Trouble With Hotel Reservation Lines

Posted by Brock | January 26, 2015.

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Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In celebration of my son’s 16th birthday, as well as another very successful quarter of high school, we wanted to reward him. We allowed him to pick a few friends to take with us on an overnight stay to a nearby hotel with a large indoor water park.  After scouring the hotel’s web page, she called to get additional information about rooms and pricing.

She was transferred to the hotel chain’s reservation line, and after much discussion booked a room that had a large living area where our son and his friends could sleep, hang out, and play video games as well as a separate bedroom for us. Additionally, we were told the room was adjacent to the water park, so our room had a balcony that overlooked the park. It was perfect.

Unfortunately, when we checked in the room was missing one of the features.

After unloading, the rest of the group head up to the room with the luggage cart while I parked the van. When I walked in the door I could hear my wife was on the phone with someone. My son intercepted me and said, “We’re moving, this room doesn’t overlook the water park.” Listening to one side of my wife’s phone conversation, it was becoming obvious that someone had been mistaken, and there were no rooms with the layout we selected that overlooked the water park.


How Spread Betting Works

Posted by James | January 26, 2015.

7bcc145b494742249443501750f40cd7A spread bet is a bet on the future movement of an underlying instrument. In short, if you think that it will rise, you place a buy bet (long), if you think that it will fall, you place a sell bet (short). It is very much unlike ordinary shares trading that you benefit from rising as well as falling of shares or other financial instruments.

To understand better how spread betting works, the best way is through an example.

A spread betting company will give you two prices for an underlying instrument; a bid — which is the price you can sell it at — and an offer, just like a normal equity — which is the price where you can buy at — and the difference between them are known as the spread.

The movement of the instrument is measure in points. Let’s say for equities 1 point = 1 pence for indices and usually 1 point = £1 and you can place a bet of any value right against every point movement in the instrument. You could go £1 per point, £10 per point, £20 per point, etc.

How will you know when to close a bet? You can do this simply by placing an opposite bet on on the specific instrument at the same £ per point. In closing a buy bet, you will sell at the current quote and in closing a sell bet you buy at the current quote.


Clever Posts Of The Week – January 23rd

Posted by Brock | January 23, 2015.

It’s that time of the year when my wife and I start to get that cleaning and organizing itch.  Football season is about over with just the Super Bowl remaining, which means I won’t be firmly planted in my favorite chair watching games all day on Sunday.  We have some storage closets that desperately need some attention.  That also means a few loads to the dump and also throwing up some Craigslist ads to sell gently used items we just don’t want in our home anymore.   How about you, Clever friends, has the cleaning and organizing bug bitten any of you lately?

If not, check out my favorite five posts of the week, maybe it’ll get you in the mood.  :)

  1. 4 Money Saving Tips For The Frugal from GenY Finances
  2. Tricks to Save More Money in 2015 from Prairie Eco Thrifter
  3. How to Make Major Purchases on a Budget from Modest Money
  4. Investing With A Small Amount Of Money from Money Smart Guides
  5. Expect the Unexpected – How to Deal with Unexpected Expenses from Money Ahoy

Brought to you courtesy of Brock


Copper Wear TV Ad Is Too Good To Be True

Posted by Brock | January 21, 2015.

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The narrator talks fast, makes outrageous promises, then throws a special offer at you if you, “Act Now.” It’s the familiar template of the typical 30 second TV ad trying to get you to buy a product over the phone, or if you’re lucky from a website. I have to admit, some of the products look kind of cool, but I would never buy one until I did a little research, or even better yet was able to check out the product live.

One such ad has been catching my eye as of late, however. Maybe you’ve seen it too, it’s the one for Copper Wear compression products. They make them for your elbow, knee, and various other body parts. It sparked an interest in me because I wear a knee sleeve on my right knee, and I’m just not happy with the design. It has a hole where my knee cap is, which I assume is supposed to allow it to bend more easily. But it slips down, and then it just feels uncomfortable.

Over the weekend I was walking through Walmart, and passed through the “As Seen On TV” section. I found the Copper Wear knee sleeve, inspected it, and decided to give it a try. After all, it was only $10, which is the same price as any most other knee braces.


AT&T Deceptive With Data Plan Promotion

Posted by Brock | January 19, 2015.

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Good customer service, integrity and transparency in dealing with customers are important to me. If a company treats me right, they get my loyalty and my continued business. AT&T has been our mobile phone carrier for a little over two years now and I’ve been generally happy with the experience. Unfortunately, something this weekend made me question whether AT&T deserve my loyalty.

Late last year, we had consumed nearly our entire mobile phone data plan with almost two weeks left in the billing period. Instead of paying $15 per extra GB of data, I called AT&T to utilize my trick of bumping up to the 15GB data plan just for that month. The customer service representative told me about a promotion they were running in which I could permanently double my data plan to 30GB per month and pay only the 15GB data plan. It sounded good, but I wasn’t sure if it would be a wise use of an extra $30 a month since the 10GB plan usually worked find for us. The representative said that the promotion only ran through the end of the month, thus putting a little extra sales pressure on my decision. Reasoning with myself, I figured that as more and more content becomes HD it only makes sense that our data usage would go up in the future. I pulled the trigger and signed up.

Fast forward to this weekend.