Tag Archives: cost savings

My 7 Month Cashless Experiment

Now, I am not saying that we should eliminate money. At this time, there are simply too many political, logistical, and social issues that will stand in the way of that Utopia. However, I am suggesting that we go Cashless. There is a difference. Money is what we use to trade for goods and services. Cash is the physical representation of money. Since January of 2014, I have conducted a small experiment. I decided to discover the impact and consequences of going cashless. I am the type that wants to be as unbiased as possible, and if I am going to complain about something, I am going to know what I am complaining about, and bring up realistic solutions to whatever my gripe is.

So, what did I rely on, and what happens when someone gave me cash? Well, what I would always carry will be my photo ID, my Google Wallet card which has all of my discretionary money, and if needed – I could transfer money from a credit card to my Wallet account. Last I had my Public Transit card. The ID had nothing to do with going cashless. However, to ride the public transit system, I used the Public Transit Card. When I needed to refill the card, I used a credit card, or my Wallet Card. So what happens when someone handed me cash? Well, I placed it in an envelope and would take that money down with me the next time I would be close to my bank. Once a month, I will take $10 of that cash to do laundry. This is because the Laundromat in Troy Hill supports only cash. Once my money was deposited into my bank account, I can then pay bills, or transfer to my wallet. Also, the shoe repair shop will require a minimum of $10 for cashless transactions. If need be, I will get cash – but will be spent within 15 minutes to address the shoe repair. The only other instance in where there is some form of physical representation will be my Landlord and sending him a check. However, I pay my landlord through the bank’s site and they mail him a check with no additional cost to me. However if my Landlord would take Google Wallet, he could get his money in minutes on the first rather than maybe the 3rd – 5th of the month, only to have to take time to deposit it.

Again, let’s go into the difference between cash and money. Cash is a physical thing. You can touch it, and put it in your pocket. It can be stolen, lost or given away rather freely. Money is the backing of a government and promise to honor a means of trade without having to rely on goods. At one time, cash and money was one and the same. Then came the banking system, and computer transactions. Think about it. If a Millionaire went an bought a $400,000 car – do you really think he is going to bring a briefcase with $400,000 in the dealership? No, he is going to write a check. That check is a promissory note of $400,000 that authorizes the bank to take that money and give it to the dealership. Now, do you really think that banks send large sums of money to each other? In a time before computers – yes. There would even be $100,000 US Notes that could be used to purchase something. These were typically used between banks. Now, it is a simple modification of a computer system and databases. Already – most of the money that transfers and used in commerce is digital. So what are the reasons for not going cashless? Well continue reading

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Comparison of New T-Mobile Plans

T-Mobile this past weekend rolled out new Un-Carrier Value Plans. So, are these new plans right for you. First, let’s address a few things. This is in regards to T-Mobile USA, so the other countries will not have these plans as an option. Second, out of all of the Big 4 carriers (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon), T-Mobile was always the cheapest. This still applies.

So, what is the new plans and how does it work? First, there is no contract. You however will have to pay full price for your phone. In example, a Samsung Galaxy S3 is not $200. This is a subsidy price, and this involves a contract. Instead –you are looking closer to $600 – $700 for that. To offset this price, T-Mobile (qualifying customers) can make a down payment and split the charges over 25 months. However, those used to using prepaid VMNOs such as Cricket, Boost Mobile, and Virgin will not have as much of sticker shock as these carriers always been doing full price for the phones. So, how do they compare with the competition? Keep in mind that quality of service varies. This will not take that into effect, and will assume that quality of service is equal.

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So, you will be conquered by AT&T, now what?

First, let’s get one thing noted. I am biased towards this instance. I personally feel this will be one of the worst things that will happen, and to make matters worst, I don’t think there is any stopping this. Next, I am not an insider. I don’t know any of the back door agreements, and for the most part will be as much in the dark as any other common person. Last, I am not an analyst. To be exact, I am disabled, and live offer of an amount that is below the poverty rate. I am telling this so no one panics and takes my predictions as law, and written in stone. However, on a more personal note, I have a nasty habit of being right a lot of times, and I personally wish I was wrong more often. Just because I say something that is right, doesn’t always means it is beneficial for everyone.

So, with all of this aside, and me trying to keep my animosity towards AT&T in check, I will try to rely on just facts. On March 20, 2011 – AT&T made it known they were buying T-Mobile USA for $39 Billion in cash and stock from Deutsche Telekom. This only affects the T-Mobile company in the United States. Any European Entity of T-Mobile are not affected just as Virgin Mobile in Europe weren’t affected when Sprint bought Virgin Mobile USA. The reason this sale didn’t go through immediately is that it has to be approved by regulatory such as the Department of Justice, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commission. They normally do not have to get involved with every transaction that takes place, but such a purchase will do a few things.

  1. Allow a company  to have public spectrum that was not normally negotiated to them on a national scale.
  2. Reduce the number of national carriers that are in the United States
  3. Make sure that AT&T will not have monopolistic power over the Cellular Industry within the US
  4. Make sure that the purchase was legal according to the laws in the United States.

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Let’s Reform Data Charges

If you have a smart phone, you are most likely paying for data. Here’s a couple of questions. How much, and what kind? I know on a Motorola Razr I never use, but have a SIM card in it until the contract expires uses GPRS (1G speeds). RIM 8xx0 series uses EDGE (2G), although CDMA networks claim everything is 3G. Almost all new smart phones uses HSDPA, UMTS, or EVDO (3G), and Sprint now offers one WiMax (4G) phone. However, the problem is not so much of the data connections, but the charges. I pay the same price on my UMTS Android phone for data as I did on my RIM 8320. And while everyone at one time claimed “unlimited” data, there was a 5GB cap in the fine print – which in my opinion was false advertising.

Some companies decided to rephrase their bandwidth caps from unlimited to 5GB. Sprint does claim that their 4G phones would be unlimited when using WiMax, but 5GB when on EVDO, even though you are required to pay an extra $10 per month for the privilege of having a WiMax phone even though you are most likely not in a WiMax market.

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Android + Google Voice = Heaven

I have been a Google Voice user back when it was Grand Central, although I didn’t use it much as Grand Central because of the stupid call announcement. Really, that is what Caller ID is for. Google buys Grand Central, and shortly afterwards – allows you to turn the feature off, or turn it on selectively. Then they rolled out with an application for Blackberry, and a mobile WAP site for cell phones. And of course with the application roll out comes one for their own phone OS – Android.

I never gave anyone my private cell phone. When I had Vonage + AT&T, I simply gave people the Vonage number, and it rang both the home, and the cell phone. When I left the stupidity of AT&T, and went to T-Mobile, I bought my Blackberry, and eventually gave people the cell phone number only because of UMA, but people got stupid, and some people I didn’t want to talk to.

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