Have you finally reached the end of that oppressive (and expensive) two-year contract with your mobile
phone carrier? Time to start shopping for cheaper alternatives.
It's a common misconception that you have to stick with the same service provider after your contract
expires. But there's a very good chance you can indeed shop around, as a number of upstart prepaid
carriers now offer similar (and in some cases better) service for considerably less money.
I'll use myself as an example – or, rather, my daughter. She has a hand-me-down iPhone 4 that's
currently part of our AT&T Family Plan. But her phone is out of contract, so we're under no obligation
to stick with AT&T. (My wife and I will be out of contract as well come October, so this will be a great
chance to test the waters with another, cheaper, service.)
If there's one monthly bill I hate more than any other, it's my
Like many folks, I'm locked into a two-year contract that costs me
around $80 per month -- money I pay even if I don't use my
allotment of data or minutes. Most months, in fact, I use a whole
That's why I'm enamored with a couple companies that are shaking up
the way smartphones are sold and serviced. If you're more
interested in saving money than owning a state-of-the-art phone,
one of these options might be just what the accountant ordered.
How does $19 per month sound? That's the tantalizing deal offered
by Republic Wireless, which takes an ingenious,
why-didn't-someone-think-of-this-before approach to mobile
Believe it or not, that price includes unlimited talk, texting, and
data, with no overage charges whatsoever.
4S comes with one of the most revolutionary features we've seen
on a phone yet: Siri. For those of you who haven't seen the
commercials yet, and have managed to avoid the hype, Siri is a sort
of personal assistant within your phone. You can talk to your
iPhone in natural language, and Siri is the program that sorts out
what exactly it is that you're asking for and tries to get it for
I love my iPhone, but I hate, loathe, despise, and otherwise am not fond of the bill I get every month from AT&T. It's especially frustrating when I stop to think how much the phone is costing me per year.
It's not like I can negotiate a discount with AT&T (I tried and got laughed out of the store). Thankfully, there are ways to cut that monthly iPhone bill down to size, and there's nothing AT&T can do about it, nyah-nyah-nyah. (If you're a Verizon user, skip ahead to tips #2 and #3.)
Get ready to cut your credit cards in half. Nope, credit cards themselves aren't going to be obsolete, but soon credit card iPhone apps--as well as apps for Droid and other smart phones--are likely to become a lot more popular. At some point in the not-to-distant future, smart phones are going to be as common as regular old cellphones are today and this may just transform how we pay for things.
Most already use the convenience of "one-click" shopping online. Basically, the credit card app works by the same principle--except you can use it out in the world.
CVS, Safeway, Kroger, Blockbuster, Costco, the Library...
What do all of these locations have in common? They all require
some kind of membership, loyalty or reward card in order to
checkout. If all these cards are clogging your wallet or key chain
you'll want to check out CardStar.
CardStar is an iPhone app that allows you to load all your card
information into one place and easily retrieve it whenever you need
it. Sure there are other similar apps out there but here's why I
They have more than 400 participating merchants.
Advanced options allow you to easily add cards not included on
the master list.
Barcodes can be scanned directly from the screen at most
The app is easy to navigate.
Best of all: It's FREE!
Stop forgetting your cards. Quit carrying around a mess of a