How to Slice Your Cell Phone Bill in Half

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Can you name any other cell phone providers other than AT&T, Verizon, Sprint or T-Mobile?

If you can’t, I don’t blame you. The ‘Big Four’ have dominated the mobile provider space for decades.

And with their dominance, they’ve been able to dictate the price of your monthly phone plan. The average starting price of an unlimited plan within the Big Four is now $68.75 a month.

Notice I said “starting” price. J.D. Power reports the average monthly cell phone bill last year was $157 up from $149 the year before.

The only good news is the price of smartphones seems to be going down. The average selling price of a smartphone worldwide has gone from over $300 in 2010 to $215 this year, according to Statista.

Even last week, the highlight of Apple’s keynote event at its corporate campus in Cupertino, California was the cheaper iPhone 11 ($699).

It’s the first cheaper new iPhone to launch since 2016.

If you look at your budget, not far behind your mortgage, car, and grocery bill is your phone bill. Too many Americans are overpaying for cell phone service these days.

Here’s how to cut your bill in half and still get great service.

Look Beyond the Big Four

If you’re not bound by a contract, then I recommend shopping beyond the Big Four service providers.

Cricket — which runs on AT&T’s network — offers unlimited plans starting at $50 a month after their autopay discount. And, like other smaller carriers, Cricket’s price includes taxes and fees, so there are no hidden fees when you get the monthly bill.

Making the move, could save you over $200 a year compared to AT&T’s unlimited plan. Plus, you typically get to keep your old number too.

Other cheaper carriers to consider are: Metro by T-Mobile (formerly Metro PCS), Ting, Consumer Cellular, Straight Talk Wireless, Walmart Family Mobile, and Republic Wireless.

Most of these budget carriers still run on the Big Four’s network towers so you don’t have to worry about losing coverage.

Pay for What You Actually Need

Another cost saver is simply looking at how much data, minutes, and text messages you use each month and choosing a more appropriate plan. Most people don’t need unlimited data.

The average person, including younger demographics, uses about 5.8GB per month, according to market research firm NPD Group. I suggest looking at your last three month’s bills and figure out how much data you actually use.

If you’re using 5GB or less, stick to a fixed data plan. A lot of budget carriers like the ones mentioned above, offer cheaper monthly plans with 8GB of high-speed data.

Go Prepaid

If you’re really on the fence about switching carriers, consider at least changing your plan to prepaid. Switching to a prepaid carrier can cut your monthly phone bill in half without sacrificing coverage.

The Tax Foundation found that, in 2017, taxes, fees and surcharges made up a full 18.5 percent of the average customer’s wireless bill.

When you move to prepaid, you typically avoid paying many of these fees. AT&T has a prepaid unlimited plan starting at $50 per month for one line and Sprint has a $60 prepaid unlimited plan.

Meanwhile T-Mobile and Verizon offer prepaid unlimited plans for $50 and $65 a month, respectively. You’d be saving anywhere from $15-20 a month compared to these carrier’s similarly priced postpaid unlimited plans.

At the very least, there will be no surprise costs. Because you pay for your service upfront, you don’t have to worry about overage charges.

Rethink Insurance

Most carriers offer premium protection plans. These plans can include extended warranties on your device, 24/7 tech support and insurance in case your device gets damaged or lost.

In most cases, whatever the basic insurance plan offered is should be enough coverage. It’ll protect you in case your phone breaks, gets stolen or you lose it.

This should cost you around $10/month. After a year, consider dropping protection altogether. Mark a date in your calendar and cancel it. Why? The replacement cost of your phone should go down significantly after one year.

Take Advantage of Autopay

The last tip I want to give you is to sign up for autopay if you can. Most wireless carriers will slash $5 to $10 off your bill if you sign up for automatic payments. T-Mobile, for instance, will knock off $5 per line. If you’re a family of four, that’s $20 a month in savings just by switching to autopay.

It’ll depend on your carrier, but it’s best to link a credit card versus your checking account or debit card. That way the money is not gone from your account, just in case you have to dispute any bills.

Follow these five tips and you’ll significantly cut your cell phone bill down.

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“Dad, I Just Hit a Porsche”

This post “Dad, I Just Hit a Porsche” appeared first on Daily Reckoning.

If there’s one text you don’t want to receive from your teen driver, it’s this one:

“Hey Dad, give me a call. I just got in an accident and hit a Porsche”

You better believe I called David right away. Not because I was worried about the Porsche or the expense at all. I wanted to know that my son was alright!

Fortunately, no one was hurt. The Porsche stopped suddenly when making a turn and David barely bumped into it. From the pictures I saw, there was barely a scratch on the bumper.

Of course the jerk driving the Porsche is claiming thousands of dollars in damage along with injuries. He already has a lawyer and is trying to capitalize on the situation.

So while this incident could have been a lot worse, we’ll likely be spending a lot of time and money to clear everything up.

Fortunately, a few short years from now we won’t have to worry about this type of event anymore. And today, I want to show you how to capitalize on some big changes happening on our roadways!

The Dangers (and Expenses) of Human Drivers

Driving seems to be a theme at my house right now.

David had his accident just a few days ago. My 18-year-old daughter has been driving for a year now and is a big help with carpool when we need her. And my 16-year-old daughter is scheduled to take her road test to get her driver’s license this week!

(We worked on parallel parking last night and she’s got the hang of it!)

While I’ve been very careful to teach them as much as I can about safety, and we’ve logged hundreds of hours behind the wheel, my protective side is still worried about them.

After all, there are so many unnecessary deaths on our roads.

Just last week, one of my friends lost his brother in a tragic accident.

A couple of years ago, a friend of mine turned left in front of an unseen vehicle and was killed instantly.

And my kids felt their own sense of grief when one of their classmates died in a crash last year.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were nearly 40,000 people killed on U.S. roads in 2017, and about 90% of those accidents were due to human error.1

Talk about unnecessary tragedy!

And that number doesn’t even begin to touch the hundreds of thousands of accidents that did not have a fatality — but still resulted in immense costs in medical expenses, vehicle repair, infrastructure repair, lost productivity and more!

Fortunately, something is being done about the dangers on our road. And you can be part of the solution while also collecting income checks and booking investment gains!

Self-Driving Cars are the Answer… And They’re Right Around the Corner!

It wasn’t all that long ago that the thought of a self-driving car sounded like science fiction. But many of today’s new vehicles are capable of operating with minimal input from a driver. And in a short time (probably only a couple of years), we will have vehicles that can completely drive themselves!

Of course, this type of technology isn’t evolving overnight.

It has taken hours and hours of programming time, vast technological resources, and plenty of trial and error to get self-driving cars on the road. And over the next few years, these investments are going to be even more intense!

Self-driving cars will need an estimated 300 million lines of programming code to handle all of the variables the road throws at them. And computer systems will need to handle more than 1 terabyte of information per second to keep cars driving safely.

(To put that number into perspective, it wasn’t that long ago you couldn’t even find a personal computer that could store one terabyte of data, much less process that much information in such a short period of time.)

With this demand for intense computer processing capabilities, semiconductor and memory chip makers are going to see demand increase sharply over the next two years. And communications firms that instantly send traffic and road condition data to fleets of cars around the country will also benefit.

Companies like Broadcom (AVGO), Micron Technology (MU), Verizon Communications (VZ) and many, many more will be launching new business units tied directly to autonomous driving technologies.

Automakers like Ford Motor (F) and General Motors (GM) will profit as an entire population shifts towards safer vehicles that have autonomous driving capabilities.

I still have a lot of questions about how insurance companies will fare once self-driving cars become the standard. Because while there will likely be fewer claims, insurance companies will also be forced to reduce prices as fewer vehicles will wind up in costly accidents.

The important thing is that many, many lives will be saved. Because self-driving cars don’t check their cell phones, get distracted by a billboard, or accidently run into Porsches while making turns.

Thanks to autonomous driving technology, the future will be much safer — and much more profitable! And we’ll be tracking the best opportunities in this ever-growing market right here at The Daily Edge.

Here’s to growing and protecting your wealth,

Zach Scheidt

Zach Scheidt
Editor, The Daily Edge

1 On the Road to Full Autonomy: Self-Driving Cars Will Rely on AI and Innovative Memory

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