Technology http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8130/all en-US 8 Crazy Things Tomorrow's Cars Will Do http://www.wisebread.com/8-crazy-things-tomorrows-cars-will-do <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-crazy-things-tomorrows-cars-will-do" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/toyota_fv2.jpg" alt="Toyota FV2 futuristic concept car of tomorrow" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The funny thing about concept cars is that they're just that &mdash; concepts. They're futuristic ideas displayed at auto shows, designed to highlight advanced technologies and stylistic directions of cars that may never actually see the light of day.</p> <p>While we don't pretend to predict which future features are likely to catch on, there are plenty of cool bells and whistles that are worth hoping for. Some are more conceptual than others, and some more likely to be seen in the next few years than scrapped. Here are our top eight:</p> <h2>1. Flying Cars</h2> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bp2TWNpTA7s" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Even before the Jetsons made it to primetime, a flying car has been seen as a futuristic solution to every commuter's problems.</p> <p>Trademarked as the <a href="http://www.terrafugia.com/tf-x">TF-X</a>, a company called Terrafugia says it's making a car that becomes airborne like a helicopter, and then flies like a plane. The company makes another flying car, called the Transition, that has wings and takes off as a plane (and amazingly is road legal for driving). You just may need to land at an airport and then drive to your destination. Both flying cars still appear to be in the experimental stages.</p> <h2>2. Motorcycle-Car Combos</h2> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/RZXCqGiBxYY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Toyota's <a href="http://www.toyota-global.com/innovation/personal_mobility/i-road/">i-Road concept car</a> has two wheels in the front and one in the back, with an enclosed area for two passengers. The front wheels are powered by electric motors that share a lithium-ion battery. It has a driving range of 30 miles and goes up to 30 mph, making it best for short trips.</p> <p>This electric vehicle made its second appearance at the Chicago Auto Show, giving the impression that it's more of a concept than reality &mdash; for now.</p> <h2>3. Clean Cars</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/tesla_model_x.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Electric vehicle innovations are already numerous, and more are on the way. Major carmakers are getting into the hybrid business, and some, such as the <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/research/transport/projects/items/lean_and_green___the_clever_vehicle_en.htm">CLEVER</a> vehicle designed at the Technical University of Berlin, have a compressed natural gas engine to cut carbon dioxide emissions.</p> <p>If you're looking for a clean car that's beyond the concept stage, the Tesla <a href="http://www.teslamotors.com/modelx">Model X</a> is scheduled for delivery in early 2016. It's an electric car that's designed as an SUV/minivan mashup that may have two different battery packs available. Teslas have some of the longest battery life of EVs, traveling 230-300 miles when driven at 55 mph.</p> <h2>4. Solar-Powered Cars</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/ford_c_max.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The Ford <a href="https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2014/01/02/let-the-sun-in--ford-c-max-solar-energi-concept-goes-off-the-gri.html">C-Max Solar Energi Concept</a> has a solar panel roof that draws power from a solar concentrator lens like a magnifying glass. A day's worth of sunlight produces a range of up to 620 miles. The 2015 version of this gas/electric hybrid doesn't have a solar roof, so we can only guess that this concept car is either still in the planning stages or shelved.</p> <h2>5. External Airbags</h2> <p>Safety technology maker TRW Automotive is developing <a href="http://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/attack-of-the-stay-puft-marshmallow-man-external-airbags-coming-to-the-side-of-a-car-near-you/">external airbags</a> for below the exterior of car doors to protect a car's occupants. While a full-car bubble wrap isn't part of the plan, TRW plans on having the airbags on a German luxury car by the end of the decade, likely the Mercedes-Benz S Class.</p> <h2>6. Extended Tailgates</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/hyundai_santa_cruz.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Have you ever needed to haul something in your truck and the truck bed just wasn't long enough? The 2015 Hyundai <a href="http://www.hyundainews.com/us/en/media/pressreleases/42741/hyundai-introduces-convention-shattering-santa-cruz-crossover-truck-concept-at-detroit-international">Santa Cruz</a> concept crossover truck is an experimental vehicle with a tailgate extension to make the bed length similar to a mid-size pickup. It has a drawer-like sliding function for longer cargo.</p> <p>The Santa Cruz was at the Chicago Auto Show in February, when manufacturers judged the public's reaction to the prototype. That's another part of being a concept car &mdash; weighing the public's interest in its features. (Some may be too far ahead of their time or garner no interest at all.)</p> <h2>7. Large Touchscreens</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u11/Concept_GC_PHEV_21.jpg" width="605" height="403" alt="" /></p> <p>The Mitsubishi <a href="http://media.mitsubishicars.com/releases/mitsubishi-motors-concept-gc-phev-makes-north-american-debut-at-the-2015-chicago-auto-show">GC-PHEV</a> concept car has what Mitsubishi calls a &quot;Tactile Table&quot; that's a large flat touchscreen running from the center console all the way back to the second row of seats. The blue-lit screen looks like something you'd use to plan Death Star attacks. However, Mitsubishi has other uses in mind, including allowing passengers to put their smartphones on top of it and create, collect, exchange, and share information with others through the car's communication system. At least it <em>sounds</em> like fun.</p> <h2>8. No Steering Wheels</h2> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/1i4NnqrTMs4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>The <a href="http://www.toyota-global.com/tokyoms2013/fv2/">Toyota FV2</a> concept car is a single-person vehicle that doesn't use a steering wheel; instead, the driver shifts their body weight to intuitively move the vehicle and steer it. The car also uses &quot;voice and image recognition to determine the driver's mood, accumulated driving history to suggest destinations, and driving skill information to assist the user,&quot; according to Toyota. The carmaker compares it to &quot;the relationship of trust and understanding that a rider might have with his or her horse.&quot;</p> <p>If having trust in your car like you would a horse is too much to ask, then a <a href="http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/03/10/mercedes-benzs-self-driving-cars-took-to-the-streets-of-san-francisco-and-residents-were-mesmerized/">self-driving car</a> may be more to your liking. Those look to be a bit more realistic for the foreseeable future.</p> <p><em>What futuristic car features are you most excited about?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/aaron-crowe">Aaron Crowe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-crazy-things-tomorrows-cars-will-do">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-your-next-car-be-electric">Should Your Next Car Be Electric?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-this-the-best-search-engine-ever-for-new-used-cars">Is This the Best Search Engine Ever for New &amp; Used Cars?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-gasoline-pump-y2k-problem">The Gasoline Pump &quot;Y2K&quot; Problem</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/remove-car-dents-quickly-and-cheaply">Remove Car Dents Quickly and Cheaply</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-steps-you-must-take-if-youve-been-in-a-car-accident">10 Steps You Must Take If You&#039;ve Been in a Car Accident</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Technology auto shows concept cars flying cars future cars hybrids Wed, 25 Mar 2015 17:00:09 +0000 Aaron Crowe 1354153 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Important Reasons You Need to Cut Back on Screen Time http://www.wisebread.com/10-important-reasons-you-need-to-cut-back-on-screen-time <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-important-reasons-you-need-to-cut-back-on-screen-time" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girls_on_phones.jpg" alt="young girls on their cellphones" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Screen time. You know, all those hours you spend in front of your computer at work? Plus the time on your cell phone at lunch, and the TV you watch before you go to bed. It all adds up.</p> <p>Unfortunately, research seems to show some significant negative effects of all the time we spend in front of our screens. While this is still a nascent field of academic study &mdash; we simply haven't had access to these devices for long enough to know exactly how they affect us &mdash; there seem to be some compelling reasons to make the effort to look at something other than a screen.</p> <h2>1. It's Bad for Your Health</h2> <p>Being in front of a screen is almost always sedentary behavior (unless, I suppose, you're on the treadmill). Because of this, it correlates with things like lower fitness levels and undesirable body composition.</p> <p>Turn this around by choosing something active rather than watching TV or playing video games in your spare time. You don't have to kill yourself at the gym; you can take a walk, work on a project at home, or even garden.</p> <h2>2. It Hinders Your Brain's Performance</h2> <p>Kids do better in school when they have less screen time. Researchers aren't yet sure why this is true, but it probably has to do with the ways that technology teaches the brain to function. If you want to perform well in situations that involve memorization or problem solving (which are tasks that many kids perform in school), limit your screen time.</p> <h2>3. It Lowers Your Ability to Process Nonverbal Cues</h2> <p>When people are taken away from their screens, they seem to better <a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0747563214003227">process nonverbal cues</a>. It makes sense that when you are mostly interacting with actual people, you get better at understanding emotional things they're trying to communicate.</p> <p>Processing nonverbal cues well means that you're less likely to make awkward social mistakes, and also means that you might have more opportunities for social interaction and have an easier time making new friends.</p> <h2>4. It Messes Up Your Sleep</h2> <p>When teenagers have more than four hours of screen time per day, and especially when they use their screens in the hour before going to bed, they have trouble falling asleep. This can lead to a sleep deficit of up to two hours each night!</p> <p>If you're not sleeping well, you will not only feel tired the next day, but it can hinder your performance at work or in school. It's worth the effort to use your screen less and get a little more rest.</p> <h2>5. It Reduces Your Ability to Plan Ahead</h2> <p>People who spend a lot of time in front of screens, and especially those who play video games a lot, have a <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mental-wealth/201402/gray-matters-too-much-screen-time-damages-the-brain">loss of brain volume</a> in their frontal lobes. If this happens to you, it lowers your ability to do a lot of things, among them the ability to plan ahead.</p> <p>Most of us need to make plans in our daily lives. We plan everything from where to go to lunch tomorrow, to how much money we can spend this weekend, to what we want to do on vacation next year. It's important to have the healthiest frontal cortex that you can, in order to perform these tasks well.</p> <h2>6. It Makes Impulse Control Harder</h2> <p>If you spend so much time in front of a screen that you get addicted to being online, there are all sorts of negative effects. One of these is that you lose the ability to <a href="http://www.psyn-journal.com/article/S0925-4927%2812%2900029-7/abstract">control your impulses</a>. This means that you will be more likely to do things like spending money whenever you see something that you want, overeating on things that look good to you, and making hasty decisions that could negatively affect your future.</p> <h2>7. It Inhibits Communication Skills</h2> <p>People who spend more time online, especially young people, are more likely to <a href="http://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/health/article/1513555/beware-negative-effects-too-much-screen-time-children">struggle with communication</a>. It seems that people who learn how to interact with others in online contexts don't necessarily develop the skills to interact outside of those specific structures. If interpersonal communication is important to you or part of your job, you will likely reap rewards if you spend less time in front of your screen.</p> <h2>8. It Can Make You Depressed</h2> <p>People who spend a lot of time in front of screens, specifically while watching TV, have a higher <a href="http://fit.webmd.com/teen/recharge/article/teens-screen-time?page=2#2">incidence of depression</a> than those who choose to do other things with their time.</p> <p>There are likely multiple reasons for this. If you choose to watch TV rather than interact with people, loneliness could cause the depression. TV also gives an unrealistic portrayal of how life should be and what you should look like, and comparing that to your real life can bring you down. Finally, TV can be violent and scary (and that's just the news!), which can lead people to an overall negative view of the world.</p> <h2>9. It Leads to Antisocial Behavior</h2> <p>When kids watch a lot of TV, they are more likely to have problems with <a href="http://www.everydayhealth.com/kids-health/0219/too-much-tv-leads-to-antisocial-behavior-in-kids-study-finds-7591.aspx">antisocial behavior</a> at some time in their lives. Note that this doesn't mean that they are necessarily antisocial as kids, but that this behavior can manifest as they grow older. Researchers aren't sure how time in front of the television leads to this behavior, but the correlation is strong enough that it seems like good motivation for limiting screen time for anyone.</p> <h2>10. It Means You're Almost Always Multitasking</h2> <p>When you're in front of a screen, you're usually multitasking. This means that a lot of screen time can lead to some of the same <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fallacy-of-multitasking?ref=seealso">negative effects of multitasking</a>, like a lack of focus or an inability to remember things because your brain is overstimulated. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-way-to-make-multitasking-actually-work?ref=seealso">The Simple Way to Make Multitasking Actually Work</a>)</p> <p>If you must use a screen, try to do just that. Then, when you're done, move onto whatever you need to do next and leave the screen behind. Do one thing at a time so you can focus and remember.</p> <p><em>Do you choose to limit your screen time? What positive effects have you noticed?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-important-reasons-you-need-to-cut-back-on-screen-time">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-social-media-saved-someones-life">5 Ways Social Media Saved Someone&#039;s Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-a-new-smartphone-without-extending-your-contract">Buying a New Smartphone Without Extending Your Contract</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-digital-detox-how-and-why-to-do-it">The Digital Detox: How and Why to Do It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/more-free-television-online-hulu-com">More Free Television Online - Hulu.com - UPDATE: Invites Available for Wise Bread Readers!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-cycling-apps-for-5-or-less">The 10 Best Cycling Apps for $5 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Technology screen time smartphones television video games Thu, 19 Mar 2015 11:00:09 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1347472 at http://www.wisebread.com Can a Robot Called Digit Really Help You Save More? http://www.wisebread.com/can-a-robot-called-digit-really-help-you-save-more <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/can-a-robot-called-digit-really-help-you-save-more" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/momdaughter_saving_piggy_bank_000022124763.jpg" alt="Mom and daughter putting coins in a piggy bank " title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The frugal living world is full of exhortations to save more for emergencies, to save for important purchases, to save for big life goals. Along with that comes lots and lots of advice about how to trim costs, earn more, and to budget and plan. Despite all of that, Americans still don't save as much as they should &mdash; <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/business/personal-finance/62-percent-americans-cant-cover-unexpected-expenses-bankrate-n281796">&nbsp;60% of us don't have enough set aside</a> for even <em>minor </em>emergencies like a car repair or an emergency visit to the dentist.</p> <p>So why don't we save when we know we should? Because even though it seems easy, saving money actually isn't that simple.</p> <h2>Digit Is Designed to Make Saving Easy</h2> <p><a href="https://digit.co/">Digit</a> is a free smartphone app that analyzes a connected checking account and makes periodic withdrawals to a separate, Digit-controlled savings account. The algorithm monitors spending and income habits to determine the size and frequency of the transfers. They are generally small ($15 to $20) and occur once or twice a week. Individual transfers are capped at $150.</p> <p>Most interaction with the service is via mobile text. Every morning Digit sends an account update with details about recent transactions and current balance. Users can send texts to issue commands and check balances, too. There's also a clean and simple website interface.</p> <h2>I've Saved $58.75 in Two Weeks With Digit</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/Peterson_Digit_Screenshot.jpeg" width="605" height="330" alt="" /></p> <p>After I got over some squeamishness about letting a mysterious algorithm connect to my checking account and begin transferring funds, I signed up through the website (it's easy, of course) and waited for Digit to do its thing. The first transfer, for $6.50, came about a week later. A handful of transfers have followed since (they seem to come in pairs, about a week apart), and I've amassed a tidy little nest egg of $58.75. When it reaches $100, I'll transfer it back to my checking account and from there into my savings account. Woo-hoo! An extra hundred bucks in my vacation fund.</p> <h2>What I Like About Digit</h2> <p>Here's why I'll probably keep my Digit account live even after I've written this review.</p> <h3>It's Easy</h3> <p>Setting up an automatic transfer between a checking account and a savings account is easy. Digit is easier, and works alongside my current transfers to help me find extra money to put aside for whatever. Signup is quick and painless. The interface is simple, clear, and direct. The list of commands is short and to the point.</p> <h3>It Sends Me Daily Text Updates</h3> <p>I try to check in with my banking and credit accounts every couple of days to see where my money's going and to keep an eye out for mistakes or erroneous charges. Unfortunately, sometimes life happens, and I may not check in for a couple of weeks. Digit sends me an update every morning with account balance and transaction details. It doesn't seem like much, but it goes a long way toward keeping money and personal finance &quot;top-of-mind.&quot; I'm thinking more about my money, and that's good.</p> <h3>Digit's Designers Are Thinking About Psychology</h3> <p>Digit doesn't ask me how much money I would like to save &mdash; it just does it, based on my financial habits. Compare that with an automatic transfer between accounts. The user has to make the decision to save, the decision to set up the accounts, and finally the decision on the amount of money to withhold. Each of those decisions are &quot;opt-in&quot; moments, which are surprisingly difficult to overcome. The last one is especially difficult because in addition to opt-in, we have to overcome &quot;loss aversion,&quot; which is what psychologists call our reluctance to give up what we have in order to gain something else. When you set up an automatic transfer between checking and savings, you have to decide how much to give up from spending now in order to gain some savings later. That's hard.</p> <p>Digit doesn't eliminate all the &quot;opt-in&quot; obstacles (you still have to click a link and sign up, after all), but it does help us get over loss aversion. Once you're in, you're saving.</p> <h2>What I Dislike About Digit</h2> <p>Digit does a lot of things right, but not everything.</p> <h3>Digit Interacts With My Checking Account</h3> <p>It felt really weird at first to let a third-party service transfer money out of my checking account &mdash; automatically. Digit's designers have recognized that this is a tall hurdle for some people. They insist the algorithm will never cause a user's checking account to become overdrawn, and they offer an overdraft guarantee, just in case. So far, nobody's had to take them up on it.</p> <h3>My Money With Digit Doesn't Earn Any Interest</h3> <p>Funds transferred and held in Digit's savings account do not earn interest. Of course, funds in my checking account and regular bank savings account earn only paltry interest, so maybe that's a wash. In any case, this is how Digit keeps the service free and pays themselves &mdash; they are capturing the interest instead of passing it to users.</p> <p>Also, transferring money out of my Digit savings account and back to my checking account takes about a day. (Meanwhile, transfers out of my PayPal account can take up to <em>five</em>.)</p> <h3>Digit's Psychology Can Work Against Me, Too</h3> <p>Speaking of getting my money out of Digit, the process is more like transferring funds between checking and savings accounts. It's all manual, with some &quot;opt-ins&quot; and a big &quot;loss aversion&quot; moment to overcome at the end. Automatic withdrawals back to my checking account &mdash; or even my savings account &mdash; based on preset goals met would be a nice feature. Maybe they'll add that in the future.</p> <h2>A Few More Details About Digit</h2> <p>If you're considering trying out Digit, you should know a few more things. (There's lots more at<a href="https://digit.co/about/faq"> Digit's FAQ</a>.)</p> <h3>Funds Are FDIC Insured up to $250k</h3> <p>Digit holds users' money at Wells Fargo or BofI Federal Bank, both of which are FDIC insured.</p> <h3>It Works With Most US Banks and Credit Unions</h3> <p>Digit is United States only currently, and while most major banks and credit unions are covered, not all are.</p> <h3>Passwords Are Anonymized and Secure</h3> <p>Digit claims they adhere to industry standards with respect to password and user data security.</p> <h2>Signing Up for Digit</h2> <p>If you'd like to signup for Digit, you can do so, <a href="https://digit.co/">right here</a>, in just a few moments. Once you've spent some time with it come back and share your experience in comments.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lars-peterson">Lars Peterson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-a-robot-called-digit-really-help-you-save-more">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-free-or-almost-tools-and-resources-for-creating-a-new-2015-budget">10 Free (or Almost!) Tools and Resources for Creating a New 2015 Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-apps-can-fix-your-finances">These 5 Apps Can Fix Your Finances</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-easy-ways-to-save-100-this-month">16 Easy Ways to Save $100 This Month</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-26000-in-5-years-or-less">How to Save $26,000 in 5 Years or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-alternatives-to-cable-tv-that-will-keep-you-entertained">8 Alternatives to Cable TV That Will Keep You Entertained</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Technology apps behavioral economics digit reviews saving Wed, 18 Mar 2015 21:00:07 +0000 Lars Peterson 1345891 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Avoid Buying Electronics You'll Regret http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-avoid-buying-electronics-youll-regret <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-avoid-buying-electronics-youll-regret" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mp3-player-Dollarphotoclub_30124781.jpg" alt="mp3 player" title="mp3 player" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>They're shiny and new right out of the package, and too often, they cost a pretty penny. They are the gadgets we drool over when they first make an appearance in stores, sometimes after standing in line for hours to be among the first to get their hands on them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-as-seen-on-tv-kitchen-gadgets-that-are-actually-worth-the-money?ref=seealso">6 &quot;As Seen on TV&quot; Kitchen Gadgets That Are Actually Worth the Money</a>)</p> <p>While I've never considered myself enough of a fanatic to go to ridiculous lengths to buy a tech tool, I do love cutting edge features. I've loved them enough to get something based on hype and then have deep regrets afterward. Here are just a few of my most notable instances of gadget buyer's remorse.</p> <h2>1. Replacement &quot;Toys&quot;</h2> <p>Every holiday, the toy commercials blast the gospel of how great a toy that acts like a tablet will be for your baby/toddler/preschooler. And for a few weeks, the kids are always amazed that they can play games, take photos, and edit videos in a similar fashion to their adult counterparts.</p> <p>But then the magic ends; kids realize soon enough that their tablet is <em>not</em> the same as an iPad. The limitations are too obvious, and for the price of a typical toy tablet, you can easily get into an entry-level adult tablet with all the protective gear you need to keep it safe from spills and drops. It will last the child far longer than a gadget aimed at babies, and you'll avoid finding it unused in the bottom of the toybox. This rule goes for anything that has been &quot;kiddified&quot; for marketing purposes (such as toy phones, cameras, and music players).</p> <h2>2. Cheap Versions of Popular Products</h2> <p>That $35 MP3 player that looks like an iPod Touch &mdash; but isn't &mdash; is what we're talking about here.</p> <p>While there is no shortage of websites selling no-name versions of the product you really want, usually you are better off saving your money for the real thing. Not only is there an issue of quality to consider (can you even reach customer service for an unpronounceable tech company?), but compatibility is always a cause for concern. I remember getting three of my kids nifty music players that held just as many songs as an Apple product, but the file format turned out to be incompatible with most of the software we used for buying songs. The day-to-day implementation of these products was frustrating, and we ended up just giving them away.</p> <h2>3. Tech in the Midst of a Standards Battle</h2> <p>Remember Betamax? Laserdisc? HD-DVD?</p> <p>These were all technologies embroiled in a bitter war during a competitive early market. All lost to other technologies, leaving the owners of their products with pretty worthless gadgets (and libraries of obsolete media.) If you're on the fence about whether your tech of choice is actually <em>the</em> &quot;tech of choice,&quot; you may want to wait a bit before buying. I know no one who is proud of their investment in the losing competitor.</p> <h2>4. Printers With Expensive Refill Cartridges</h2> <p>Investing in tech can be a lot like playing the stock market: You really have to know your stuff to avoid making a significant investment in something that could tank hard down the road. If there is any technology more vulnerable to this than the printer, I don't know of it. Most mainstream printers (both inkjet and toner) start out at a rather high price point, only to become significantly cheaper in the months following their release.</p> <p>Their ink solutions, however, can come way down or stay very high, and this is what is baffling for many consumers. Another factor in how cheap the ink will get is whether knock-off cartridges will be made for that model. Those that accommodate &quot;remanufactured&quot; ink products can save 75% or more for the user, but it's impossible to tell when or if your model of printer will be one of the lucky ones upon it's original release to market. (We regret every printer purchase we've ever made with ink that costs more per cartridge than the actual printer can be bought for.)</p> <h2>5. Mini-Anything</h2> <p>Little blenders. Tiny food processors. Baby coffee machines. Unless you are a hardcore follower of the &quot;tiny house&quot; movement, there is almost no good reason to spend just as much on a small version of a powerful kitchen or DIY tool as its full-sized counterpart. For one, most smaller appliances are lacking in power or quality parts. I have a lazy Susan full of these baby gadgets that were given to me as gifts, picked up for a dime during Black Friday, or just found their way into my home from a yard sale. In a cook-off between them and my mega-powerful-father-of-all versions, they lose. Every single time. So keep your three cup coffee brewers and invest in a 10-cup machine. You don't have to fill it all the way if you don't want to.</p> <p><em>What tech gadgets do you regret buying?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-avoid-buying-electronics-youll-regret">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-advice-for-the-gadget-addicted">Frugal Advice for the Gadget Addicted</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tech-savvy-people-have-these-10-things-in-their-homes-do-you">Tech-Savvy People Have These 10 Things in Their Homes — Do You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-why-you-should-get-a-3d-printer">8 Reasons Why You Should Get a 3D Printer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-kitchen-gadgets-that-arent-worth-the-money">10 Kitchen Gadgets That Aren&#039;t Worth the Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-time-saving-tools-everyone-should-own">15 Time-Saving Tools Everyone Should Own</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Technology dumb buys gadgets tech wasted money Thu, 26 Feb 2015 16:00:11 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1308848 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways Social Media Saved Someone's Life http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-social-media-saved-someones-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-social-media-saved-someones-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/shocked-woman-laptop-Dollarphotoclub_75143222.jpg" alt="shocked woman laptop" title="shocked woman laptop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>This post is brought to you by&nbsp;<a href="http://r1.fmpub.net/?k1=cmx-metric&amp;k2=289%7C610%7C1592&amp;k3=disclaimer&amp;k4=&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fad.doubleclick.net%2Fddm%2Fclk%2F281939105%3B108256880%3Bl" rel="nofollow">Humana</a>. Click&nbsp;<a href="http://r1.fmpub.net/?k1=cmx-metric&amp;k2=289%7C610%7C1592&amp;k3=disclaimer&amp;k4=&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fclosethegap.humana.com%2Fdaily-healthy%2FDr-Metzl-Prescribes-Fitness%2F%3Fcm_mmc%3DArticles-Brand-_-WiseBread-_-Underwritten7-_-TextLink" rel="nofollow">here</a>&nbsp;to learn more.</em></p> <p>I was chugging coffee, trying to meet a deadline before my children got home from school, when I felt a strange sensation: My left eyelid began twitching uncontrollably, fluttering as rapidly as a butterfly's wings.</p> <p><em>Great!</em> I thought. The last thing I had time for at that moment was a trip to the doctor. Instead, I typed a quick Facebook post: &quot;My eyelid keeps twitching uncontrollably. Is that bad?&quot;</p> <p>Within minutes, several mom friends informed me that this had happened to them, too, and that doctors had diagnosed it as a <a href="http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/eye-twitching.htm">symptom of stress</a>. Well, that made sense. I made a mental note to see a doctor if it continued for long, but went on with my work, and once my deadline went away, so did the twitching.</p> <p>My story is not nearly as dramatic as those whose social networks helped point them toward life-saving diagnoses. But it illustrates a valuable point: The power of social networks to help us manage our health is much bigger than the occasional life-and-death story. Whether it's on Facebook, Reddit or any other platform, social media can be a valuable reality check to help us figure out when we or our children need <a href="https://closethegap.humana.com/daily-healthy/Dr-Metzl-Prescribes-Fitness/?cm_mmc=Articles-Brand-_-WiseBread-_-Underwritten7-_-TextLink">medical attention</a>, and when we need to just calm down and get on with things.</p> <p>The dramatic stories, though, are much more fun to read about. Enjoy these tales of ordinary people whose lives were saved when strangers or friends online let them know they needed intervention. Nearly every one was a tear jerker for me.</p> <h2>1. Kawasaki Disease</h2> <p>Doctors thought Deborah Kogan's 4-year-old son, Leo, had a strep infection, but when his <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2011/07/how_facebook_saved_my_sons_life.html">face swelled to &quot;Nutty Professor&quot; proportions</a>, Kogan was puzzled. Within 10 minutes of posting a photo of the sick child on Facebook, Kogan received a phone call from a contact, urging her to rush the boy to the hospital. The Facebook friend's son had had a rare autoimmune disorder called Kawasaki Disease, and she was convinced that Leo had the same thing.</p> <p>Kogan was tempted to ignore this warning and stay home &mdash; until two doctors in her social network contacted her with the same thought.</p> <p>At the hospital, Leo was diagnosed with Kawasaki Disease, and although he suffered liver and heart damage, his life was spared.</p> <h2>2. Mastoiditis</h2> <p>An Australian mother looked to a mother's Facebook group for help identifying a <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2708061/How-Facebook-saved-daughters-life-Woman-thanks-wonderful-mummies-helped-diagnose-toddlers-severe-illness-doctors-missed-it.htm">red lump on her toddler's head</a>. The photo the woman, identified only as Kerry, posted did not look alarming &mdash; just a little swelling behind the ear. Yet, her friends urged her to take 21-month-old Gracie to the hospital immediately. Some group members had correctly pegged the swelling as mastoiditis, an <a href="http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/ear-infection/mastoiditis-symptoms-causes-treatments">infection that can lead to hearing loss, meningitis or even a brain abscess</a>.</p> <p>At the hospital, Gracie had surgery, with doctors drilling into her skull to relieve swelling pressure. She made a full recovery.</p> <h2>3. Retinoblastoma</h2> <p>On the other side of the world, another toddler named Grace was also saved when her picture was posted on Facebook &mdash; but this time, her parents didn't even know she was sick. Michele Freeman uploaded an everyday snapshot of her daughter, and a friend who happens to be a pediatric nurse noticed <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1320423/Facebook-saves-girls-life-family-friend-spots-eye-cancer-mothers-photo.html">something odd about the child's eyes</a>: One reflected red light, as is common in flash photos, while the other eye looked white.</p> <p>Warned by her friend, Freeman had her daughter examined, and Grace was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a form of cancer. She lost her vision in the affected eye, but the cancer was treated before it could spread.</p> <h2>4. Obstructive Sleep Apnea</h2> <p>Mary Evelyn knew her son would have spina bifida before he was born. She joined some online groups for parents of such children, thinking that this would help her family adjust. Little did she know, her new online community would help save her child's life.</p> <p>After bringing the baby home from the hospital, Evelyn noticed that he took long pauses between breaths while he slept. Her pediatrician said it was normal, but she was not convinced.</p> <p>So Evelyn posted about the issue online, and was urged to take a video to show medical professionals. She did, and the video got the baby admitted to the hospital, where he was later diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea and eventually needed a tracheotomy.</p> <p>&quot;An online community of <a href="http://www.whatdoyoudodear.com/time-internet-saved-sons-life/">strangers saved my baby's life</a>,&quot; Evelyn writes on her blog. Now, she tells other families whose children are diagnosed with SB: &quot;Find your community.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Testicular Cancer</h2> <p>The preceding stories show that moms are very active online when it comes to their kids' health, but not all stories of social diagnosis are about small children. In fact, last year, a college student ended up getting lifesaving cancer surgery because he <a href="http://www.dailydot.com/lifestyle/guy-testicular-cancer-reddit-saved-life/">looked at a photo on Reddit</a> that was labeled as &quot;gross.&quot;</p> <p>The photo was posted by someone who had recently had a testical removed due to cancer. <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Health/reddit-saved-life-student-finds-testicular-cancer-post/story?id=22599100">Taylor &quot;Chase&quot; Tyree</a>, a computer science major at the Colorado School of Mines, realized he had the same symptoms that the poster described. Four days later, he was in surgery.</p> <p>&quot;I can tell my friends, 'Reddit saved my life!'&quot; Tyree <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/1xymrx/i_can_tell_my_friends_reddit_saved_my_life_thanks/">posted after the procedure</a>, along with a photo of himself in his hospital gown, thumbs up.</p> <p>It's important to note that all of these stories led the parents and patients to consult real doctors; it would be a terrible idea to rely <em>entirely</em> on the opinions of online friends to make diagnoses. Still, the common thread in all these stories is that the parents or patients would not have seen a doctor at that time, had they not been pushed to do so by their online networks.</p> <p>In the future, social media as a health resource might not be limited to advice from human connections. Researchers are experimenting with analyzing Twitter feeds for hints that the people behind them might be suffering from disorders, including postpartum depression. Others are using social media to <a href="http://healthmap.org/site/diseasedaily/article/digital-disease-detection-using-social-media-predict-flu-trends-31114">track infectious disease outbreaks</a>.</p> <p>Today, your social media connections might realize you are sick before you do. In the future, it could be the social network itself, or an app on the network, that suggests you get that lump checked out.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-social-media-saved-someones-life">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/healthcare-paperwork-that-doesnt-require-paper-or-work">Healthcare Paperwork That Doesn&#039;t Require Paper or Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-important-reasons-you-need-to-cut-back-on-screen-time">10 Important Reasons You Need to Cut Back on Screen Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-vital-things-to-remember-when-buying-health-insurance">5 Vital Things to Remember When Buying Health Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/going-without-health-insurance-in-2015-heres-what-itll-cost-you">Going Without Health Insurance in 2015? Here&#039;s What It&#039;ll Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-alarming-thing-i-didnt-know-about-my-mammogram">The Alarming Thing I Didn&#039;t Know About My Mammogram</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Technology health care Humana social media Mon, 19 Jan 2015 16:00:22 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1277995 at http://www.wisebread.com Healthcare Paperwork That Doesn't Require Paper or Work http://www.wisebread.com/healthcare-paperwork-that-doesnt-require-paper-or-work <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/healthcare-paperwork-that-doesnt-require-paper-or-work" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/166840579.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>This post is brought to you by <a href="http://r1.fmpub.net/?k1=cmx-metric&amp;k2=289%7C596%7C1532&amp;k3=disclaimer&amp;k4=&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fad.doubleclick.net%2Fddm%2Fclk%2F281939105%3B108256880%3Bl" rel="nofollow">Humana</a>. Click <a href="http://r1.fmpub.net/?k1=cmx-metric&amp;k2=289%7C596%7C1532&amp;k3=disclaimer&amp;k4=&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fclosethegap.humana.com%2Finnovations%2Freducing-paperwork%2F%3Fcm_mmc%3DArticles-Brand-_-WiseBread-_-Sponsored1-_-TextLink" rel="nofollow">here</a> to learn more.</em></p> <p>Insured Americans are more likely to face healthcare paperwork overload than any other industrialized nations, according to<a href="http://www.commonwealthfund.org/Publications/In-the-Literature/2013/Nov/Access-Affordability-and-Insurance.aspx"> a recent report by The Commonwealth Fund</a>, a private foundation whose mission includes various improvements to the U.S. healthcare system. In fact, a staggering one in three American adults reported spending &quot;a lot of time&quot; managing their insurance paperwork, where only 25 percent of Swiss, 19 percent of Dutch, and 17 percent of German respondents claimed the same.</p> <p>Healthcare giant Humana is making strides to tackle the healthcare industry's paperwork problem. The company recognizes the frustration that comes with filling out, figuring out, and following up on healthcare insurance forms. Through use of its online dashboard, <a href="https://closethegap.humana.com/innovations/reducing-paperwork/?cm_mmc=Articles-Brand-_-WiseBread-_-Sponsored1-_-TextLink"><em>My</em>Humana</a>, the company has created a secure, easy-to-use portal that makes it easy to navigate your health information from anywhere you are. All you have to do is log on through your computer, tablet, or smartphone. The online portal cuts the annoying paperwork right out of the equation.</p> <p>With <em>My</em>Humana, all your information is in the same place. There's no need to go back through your plan paperwork or check your personal medical history files to get answers to current healthcare questions. It's all available through the portal, just a mouse click away.</p> <h2>Check Your Deductibles</h2> <p>Know exactly what your deductibles are for medical, dental, vision, and prescription coverage. The portal also shows you how much money has gone toward each deductible during the plan year, including how much you have remaining before your annual deductible is met. If you're not sure of your member ID number, group ID, plan type, or start date, it's all right there, in the portal, for easy access.</p> <h2>Review Your Claims</h2> <p>If you're not sure if you owe money for a recent doctor's visit, you can easily log on and check it out. The portal displays each claim number, the date of the claim, the amount paid, and the amount due. You even see the original amount billed, any discounts applied, and how much was paid by your plan (versus by you). In the event you have a question that's not answered through the portal and are logged in from your smartphone app, there's an easy-to-use phone icon that can automatically connect you with a Humana associate.</p> <h2>Find a Doctor</h2> <p>You won't have to wonder whether a doctor is under your planned. The online search will help find one that's covered through your plan. Before you schedule your next office visit, you can quickly check the portal to find an in network provider. You can look for doctors, dentists, hospitals, pharmacies, and urgent care centers. You can choose to look a provider up by name. Or, if you don't have a specific specialist or other professional in mind, you can search for in network providers in your area. All contact information including phone, street address, and even distance from you are quick and easy to view. With just one click, your smartphone will automatically dial the provider of your choice.</p> <h2>Compare Prescription Costs</h2> <p>The portal can be used to find what your new prescription will cost or just to research cheaper, generic alternatives before you get to the pharmacy counter. &nbsp;Right from the portal you can input your drug and dosage. <em>My</em>Humana will automatically compare the cost of your prescription from both local and mail order pharmacies, highlighting the least expensive option. Once your prescription is in the system, you can set up a text alert to remind you when it's time to refill, if your benefits change, or if the prescription becomes available somewhere else for a lower cost. You can even set up clinical pharmacy alerts, which let you know if any potential problems arise with the medicine you're prescribed.</p> <h2>Access HumanaVitality</h2> <p>HumanVitality is a wellness app that allows you to seamlessly transfer your workouts from your heart rate monitor, pedometer, or other fitness tracking device. The program also allows participants to earn points for completing health-related tasks like getting a flu shot, completing an online health assessment, getting First Aid certified, or going for a bike ride. Accumulated points can be traded in for prizes like movie tickets, a heart rate monitor, or even a digital camera.</p> <p>Thanks to Humana's online portal, navigating your health and insurance information doesn't have to be complicated. Now Humana members can safely file their healthcare paperwork away, knowing that most of what they need can be found with the swipe of a finger. Good-bye paperwork. Hello <em>My</em>Humana.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alaina-tweddale">Alaina Tweddale</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/healthcare-paperwork-that-doesnt-require-paper-or-work">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-social-media-saved-someones-life">5 Ways Social Media Saved Someone&#039;s Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cost-comparison-emergency-rooms-vs-urgent-care">Cost Comparison: Emergency Rooms vs. Urgent Care Centers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-important-reasons-you-need-to-cut-back-on-screen-time">10 Important Reasons You Need to Cut Back on Screen Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-more-sleep-without-spending-more-time-in-bed">How to Get More Sleep Without Spending More Time in Bed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-individual-dental-insurance-online-my-experience">Buying Individual Dental Insurance Online: My Experience</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Technology healthcare Humana Thu, 25 Dec 2014 16:00:11 +0000 Alaina Tweddale 1258888 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Twitter Updates That Are Making You Look Dumb http://www.wisebread.com/6-twitter-updates-that-are-making-you-look-dumb <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-twitter-updates-that-are-making-you-look-dumb" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/twitter page.jpg" alt="twitter" title="twitter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://about.twitter.com/company">500 million tweets</a> are sent every day. Some of them are great, and some of them are doozies.</p> <p>And then there are those tweets that make you look dumb. Smarten up your Twitter feed by avoiding these six types of terrible Twitter updates. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-break-your-social-media-habit?ref=seealso">5 Ways to Break Your Social Media Habit</a>)</p> <h2>1. #AllHashtags #AllTheTime #OMG #EpicFail</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/57dzaMaouXA"></iframe></p> <p>Hashtags are a great way to tie your tweet to a trending topic (e.g. #HITsunami is used by Hawaii residents to tweet about hurricane warnings) or to curate a series of tweets around an event (e.g. #SDCC for San Diego Comic Con).</p> <p>Using a hashtag is a good idea because it extends the reach of your updates beyond your followers and makes you part of a bigger conversation.</p> <p>However, the key is moderation.</p> <p>Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake show in this skit how <a href="http://youtu.be/57dzaMaouXA">abusing hashtags makes you sound like a total doofus</a>.</p> <p>The folks at Twitter recommend using <a href="https://support.twitter.com/articles/49309-using-hashtags-on-twitter">no more than two hashtags per tweet</a>, because:</p> <ul> <li>While tweets with hashtags receive <a href="http://linchpinseo.com/infographic-twitter-tweet-cheat-sheet">two times more engagement</a> than those without hashtags, tweets that use more than two hashtags show a 17% drop in engagement.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Tweets with one or two hashtags have 21% higher engagement than those with three or more hashtags.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Tweets with one or more hashtags are <a href="http://danzarrella.com/new-data-use-quotes-and-hashtags-to-get-more-retweets.html">55% more likely to be retweeted</a>.</li> </ul> <h2>2. TV and Movie Spoilers</h2> <p>As a resident of Hawaii, I'm used to keeping away from the Internet on days that I want to catch a TV show in real time. For example, I'm a big fan of <a href="http://www.amctv.com/shows/the-pitch">AMC's The Pitch</a>, and I religiously tune in whenever a new episode airs. Since the show's fanbase is very social media savvy, I have to tune out from Twitter to prevent from knowing the episode's winner in advance.</p> <p>However, Hawaii residents are not the only ones that hate TV show and movie spoilers. <a href="http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2014/where-you-live-affects-how-you-watch.html">More than one-third of all primetime TV ratings are from time shifted viewers</a>, who view the content within seven days from airing, and another 10% comes from video on-demand viewers.</p> <p>This means that over 140 million Americans watch time shifted TV every day. And they're dreading the sight of a spoiler. For example, it's estimated that <a href="http://blog.spoilershield.com/post/87930245968/why-game-of-thrones-rules-over-social-media">170,000 spoilers</a> are posted on social media per episode of Game of Thrones. &quot;Spoiler alert&quot; is such a common term nowadays that the term was added to the <a href="http://www.zap2it.com/blogs/merriam-websters_dictionary_new_words_spoiler_alert_selfie_catfish_and_more_for_2014-2014-05">2014 edition of the Merriam-Webster dictionary</a>.</p> <p>So, be mindful of your followers and keep your Twitter feed spoiler-free. You'd be surprised at the great lengths some users go to <a href="http://gizmodo.com/5927427/how-to-avoid-spoilers-on-twitter">avoid spoilers on Twitter</a>. Heck, there's even an <a href="http://www.spoilershield.com">app to avoid spoilers on social media</a>! If you keep ruining somebody else's entertainment options, your follower count is likely to take a hit.</p> <h2>3. Twitter Feuds</h2> <p>Unlike feuds IRL, Twitter feuds have several disadvantages.</p> <ul> <li>They never remain between just two people. Fans of Lady Gaga are so well known for sending death threats to anybody that upsets the Mother Monster that the she had to <a href="http://tumblr.bornthiswayfoundation.org/post/58706449205/a-message-from-gaga#.UhKUWofp26E.facebook">ask them to stop</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Even after the parties involved make peace, somebody may keep a record of your bad behavior. TV host Jimmy Kimmel and rapper Kanye West went to great lengths to squash their Twitter feud. Even after West deleted his tweets against Kimmel, several publications still keep <a href="http://mashable.com/2013/09/27/jimmy-kimmel-kanye-west-twitter-feud/">screenshots of those tweets</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Losing your cool can mean losing your job, too. <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/conservative-activists-request-capital-drop-alec-baldwin-post-gay-bashing-tweets-article-1.1392378">Capital One dropped actor Alec Baldwin</a> as a spokesperson after Baldwin tweeted homophobic rants against a British reporter, George Stark.</li> </ul> <p>Keep your tweets classy and your feuds private.</p> <h2>4. ALL CAPS EVERYTHING</h2> <p>Even if you&hellip;</p> <ul> <li>Have an estimated net worth of $3 billion,</li> <li>Were awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom,</li> <li>Have been dubbed &quot;The Queen of All Media&quot;, or</li> <li>Have launched your own TV network</li> </ul> <p>&hellip;you will still be <a href="http://www.cnet.com/news/oprah-gets-pwned-by-shaq-on-twitter/">called out if you tweet in all caps</a>.</p> <p>Even the U.S. Navy bowed down to the &quot;no all caps&quot; maxim on Twitter. The U.S. Navy had been sending messages in all capital letters since the 1850s but switched to mixed case in <a href="http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=74740">June 2013 </a>for all platforms, including social media channels.</p> <p>Why? Because mixed case messages provide a more readable format and don't read like you're being shouted at.</p> <h2>5. Only Retweets</h2> <p>Cat got your tongue?</p> <p>Remember that Twitter is asking <em>you</em> &quot;what's happening?&quot; not &quot;what would you like to retweet today?&quot;</p> <p>Your followers are interested in your thoughts. A retweet every now and then is okay but don't let them fill up your feed. A good rule of thumb is to keep 80% of your tweets original, leaving 20% for retweets of interesting comments, links, or articles from somebody else.</p> <p>Also, try to add your two cents to the original tweet by using the &quot;Quote&quot; button on Twitter's smartphone app or editing the text of the tweet. Even a &quot;good tip!&quot; or &quot;what do you think?&quot; or &quot;+1&quot; adds value to a retweet because it generates a conversation.</p> <p>And please oh please, only retweet things that you have actually read. Don't assume what's actually said in an article just by the text of a tweet.</p> <h2>6. Too Many Third-Party Tweets</h2> <p>What do these tweets have in common?</p> <ul> <li>&quot;I just unlocked the 'Shutterbug' badge on @foursquare for adding photos to my check-ins. Say cheese!&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>&quot;How I did on Twitter this week: 48 New Followers, 1 Replies, 2 Retweets, 444 Retweet Reach. How'd your week go?&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>&quot;Having an awesome day! #fb&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>&quot;I gave @MrSuperMarketingGuy +K about Marketing on @klout!&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>&quot;Random Paper is out! paper.li/random-paper-12345&hellip; Stories via @abc @def @ghi&quot;</li> </ul> <p>All of them are automated tweets that add little to no value to your feed. More importantly, these type of tweets are lazy, impersonal, and irrelevant.</p> <p>Imagine a group of people having a great time sharing stories and interacting with each other. This involves listening, paying attention, and reacting. Now picture a stranger butting into the group to drop off a recorder that randomly plays any of the one-liners from above, and then leaves. What a total jerk!</p> <p>Twitter is a great place to interact with each other. Let's keep it that way.</p> <p><em>What are Twitter updates that drive you nuts? Please share in comments (and on Twitter)!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-twitter-updates-that-are-making-you-look-dumb">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/social-media-an-easy-source-of-coupons">Social Media: An Easy Source of Coupons</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-silly-internet-mistakes-you-need-to-stop-making-today">10 Silly Internet Mistakes You Need to Stop Making Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-facebook-updates-that-are-making-you-look-stupid">7 Facebook Updates That Are Making You Look Stupid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-money-tweeting-0">How to Make Money Tweeting</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/social-media-and-identity-theft-in-2010">Social Media and Identity Theft in 2010</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development Technology etiquette social media twitter Fri, 12 Dec 2014 12:00:15 +0000 Damian Davila 1267189 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Silly Internet Mistakes You Need to Stop Making Today http://www.wisebread.com/10-silly-internet-mistakes-you-need-to-stop-making-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-silly-internet-mistakes-you-need-to-stop-making-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-browsing-internet-tablet-Dollarphotoclub_72732966.jpg" alt="woman browsing tablet" title="woman browsing tablet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The Internet is a wonderful thing:</p> <ul> <li>It allows you to videochat with grandma in real time.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>It gives you free access to the <a href="http://archive.org/details/library_of_congress">Library of Congress</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>It empowers you to do financial transactions without visiting the bank.</li> </ul> <p>However, it can also make you spend three hours watching <a href="http://www.lolcats.com">LOLCats</a>. Make smart use of your web access and avoid these 10 little Internet mistakes.</p> <h2>1. Taking Notes on Your Computer</h2> <p>All computer makers are trying to convince us that their products are the &quot;next big thing.&quot; However, pen and paper still beat any digital device at <a href="http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/releases/take-notes-by-hand-for-better-long-term-comprehension.html">taking notes for better long-term comprehension</a>.</p> <p>Studies show that when people take notes on laptops, they tend to <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/05/to-remember-a-lecture-better-take-notes-by-hand/361478/">transcribe what they're hearing without thinking about the actual content</a>. Note takers that write longhand are better at remembering the content because they have to process the content.</p> <p>This doesn't mean that you have to give up on all digital devices. You can get the best of both worlds by using a tablet that allows you to write longhand and keep a digital copy of your notes.</p> <h2>2. Reading Too Much Email</h2> <p>Email is a major time thief. It steals around <a href="http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/high_tech_telecoms_internet/the_social_economy">13 hours from your week</a> every week. If you were to gain back just five hours out of those 13 spent on checking email and allocate them to every workday, you would be able to accomplish more every workday.</p> <p>Try one or more of these tricks to reduce your time spent on email.</p> <ul> <li>Gmail users, install the <a href="http://inboxpause.com/">Inbox Pause plugin</a> to pause new emails arriving to your inbox and avoid distractions.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Reduce the number of times you check email a day and use <a href="http://fourhourworkweek.com/2007/03/22/how-to-check-e-mail-twice-a-day-or-once-every-10-days/">smart autoresponders to ask people to accept your policy</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Avoid setting up meeting times over email. How many &quot;Re:re:re:re:fw:re:fw:re: Meeting time&quot; emails do you answer per day? Pick up the phone or walk over to your co-worker's cubicle, and get it done.</li> </ul> <h2>3. Not Keeping a List of Action Items</h2> <p>Don't be like <a href="http://youtu.be/yvbsJ8brtN4">Alice in Wonderland</a>: If you don't know where are you are going, it doesn't really matter which way you go. And that's how you end up stuck in Twitter, Instagram, or Words with Friends all day. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-time-saving-hacks-from-the-worlds-busiest-people?ref=seealso">11 Time Saving Hacks From the World's Busiest People)</a></p> <p>You need to be aware of what needs to get done <em>today</em>. The most productive people in the world, including Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and celebrity chef Bobby Flay, map out what they want to accomplish every day. This list forces you to focus and get stuff done.</p> <p>Keep your list in front of you throughout the day and you'll keep those Internet distractions in check.</p> <h2>4. Spending Too Much Time Online</h2> <p>Go out and play. Why?</p> <ul> <li>Turns out that <a href="http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-internet-habits-say-about-mental-health/">using the Internet in excess</a> is related to having depressive tendencies. <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Quickly switching between websites <em>decreases</em> your ability to experience emotions as you get used to chasing instant gratification.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Too much online chatting and emailing decreases your ability to pick up on verbal and body cues in real life conversations.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Rely too much on Google and you'll develop <a href="http://www.edudemic.com/google-memory/">decreased memory capabilities</a>.</li> </ul> <p>Take the time to unplug. Your body, mind, and social life will thank you.</p> <h2>5. Following an Ex Online</h2> <p>Let. It. Go.</p> <p>There's a good reason why you broke up with that person, even if you may have forgotten it! Social media provide us an &quot;opportunity&quot; to keep tabs on our exes, but there's nothing good that will come out of it.</p> <p>A study reveals that <a href="http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/cyber.2012.0125">Facebook-stalking your ex</a> leads to a variety of negative feelings, sexual desire, longing for your ex, and lower personal growth. The more that you check on your old flame online, the harder it is for your to move on.</p> <h2>6. Replacing Your Doctor With WebMD</h2> <p>Medical sites, such as WebMD.com and MDAdvice.com, are great for gathering information. However, those sites shouldn't replace your doctor.</p> <p><a href="http://jscms.jrn.columbia.edu/cns/2007-03-13/tracy-medicalparanoia.html">Doctors across the country</a> report that their patients are arriving at false diagnoses based on those sites and often taking the wrong course of action. Remember that the Internet is a tool and, as such, it can't make up for years and years of study and professional experience.</p> <p>It is okay to use medical advice sites as research tools &mdash; it's not ok to use those sites to self-diagnose. False diagnoses create unnecessary anxiety and may cause physical harm to your loved ones or yourself. Seek the advice of a certified health professional.</p> <h2>7. Making Private Information Public</h2> <p>If anybody can find online&hellip;</p> <ul> <li>Your birth date;</li> <li>The name of your first pet;</li> <li>The name of the street of your first home;</li> <li>Your mother's maiden name; or</li> <li>The make and model of your first car&hellip;</li> </ul> <p>&hellip;then you're increasing the chances of somebody hacking your online accounts.</p> <p>Software giant Microsoft found that strangers have a 13% chance of <a href="http://research.microsoft.com/pubs/79594/oakland09.pdf">guessing the answers to security questions</a> within five attempts. The more information about yourself that you make available online, the greater the chance strangers (not just rocket-scientist hackers!) will get a hold of your online accounts.</p> <h2>8. Using the Same Password for Everything</h2> <p>Up to <a href="https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2013/04/23/users-same-password-most-websites/">55% of Internet users the same password</a> for their most visited websites.</p> <p>The password to your Instagram account can't be the same as the one for your online banking. One leads to your pictures, the other one to your money. Your life savings deserve better protection than &quot;password123.&quot; It seems like common sense, but, unfortunately, the <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-25-most-common-passwords-of-2013/">top three passwords of 2013</a> were &quot;123456,&quot; &quot;password,&quot; and &quot;12345678.&quot;</p> <p>Create strong passwords by using at least eight characters, including numbers, applying CamelCase, and avoiding full words. Also, update your passwords on a regular basis.</p> <h2>9. Posting Inappropriate Things on Social Media</h2> <ul> <li>A <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/id/29796962/ns/technology_and_science-tech_and_gadgets/">job applicant lost a big job opportunity because of a dumb tweet</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>A <a href="http://www.georgianewsday.com/news/61845-teacher-ashley-payne-fired-for-posting-picture-of-herself-holding-beer-on-facebook.html">high school teacher was fired</a> for posting pics showing alcohol consumption on Facebook.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>An university professor was fired due to some <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/lara-logan-attacked-nir-rosen-twitter-2011-2">outlandish remarks on Twitter</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>A nurse was fired from a hospital for posting an <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Health/video/nurse-fired-instagram-post-24464137">ER photo on Instagram</a>.</li> </ul> <p>Think twice before you post anything on social media, it may cost you your job. Make sure to check your employer's policies on use of social media, even during non-work hours.</p> <h2>10. Not Updating Settings for In-App Purchases</h2> <p>Free is not always free. Some free apps may cost more than you think.</p> <ul> <li>A 15-year old boy spent <a href="http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/10/03/boy-spends-over-46000-in-free-to-play-game">over $46,000 in app-purchases in a game</a>.</li> <li>A 5-year old boy spent <a href="http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1550535">$2,550 in the game Zombies vs Ninja</a>.</li> <li>A free virtual game in the Amazon Appstore had <a href="http://www.pcworld.com/article/2452920/amazon-allowed-kids-to-spend-millions-on-inapp-purchases-ftc-says.html">one-time in-app purchases of up to $99.99</a>.</li> </ul> <p>There are so many in-app purchases out there that in 2014 Apple agreed to settle with the FTC charges for kid's in-app purchases without parental consent by paying a <a href="http://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2014/01/apple-inc-will-provide-full-consumer-refunds-least-325-million">minimum of $32.5 million</a> to those affected.</p> <p>Prevent any unintentional charges from your children (or yourself!) to your credit card from in-app purchases by updating these settings on your smartphone:</p> <ul> <li>Require a password for all in-app purchases;</li> <li>Create a strong password (see #8 in this list);</li> <li>Lock the screen of your phone with a password (if you have small children);</li> <li>Create a separate profile on your down device for your children (if available); and</li> <li>Educate your children about when it's ok to make in-app purchase.</li> </ul> <p><em>What are the worst Internet mistakes you've made? Share them in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-silly-internet-mistakes-you-need-to-stop-making-today">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-twitter-updates-that-are-making-you-look-dumb">6 Twitter Updates That Are Making You Look Dumb</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-social-media-saved-someones-life">5 Ways Social Media Saved Someone&#039;s Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-alternatives-to-cable-tv-that-will-keep-you-entertained">8 Alternatives to Cable TV That Will Keep You Entertained</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-the-nasty-secret-of-the-craigslist-free-section">Beware, The Nasty Secret Of The Craigslist Free Section</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/miracle-device-coin-rolls-all-your-credit-cards-into-one">Miracle Device Coin Rolls All Your Credit Cards Into One</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development Technology embarrassing Internet social media technology Wed, 10 Dec 2014 12:00:08 +0000 Damian Davila 1265969 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Pieces of Credit Card Tech That Will Blow Your Mind http://www.wisebread.com/6-pieces-of-credit-card-tech-that-will-blow-your-mind <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-pieces-of-credit-card-tech-that-will-blow-your-mind" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mobile-wallet-credit-card-478704511-small.jpg" alt="mobile wallet" title="mobile wallet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Credit cards are ubiquitous nowadays, but have you ever wondered what is going on inside those cards, or the machines that are in &quot;charge&quot; of making sure the purchases you make are credited to your account? We thought it might be an interesting series to explore the hidden technology that might impress you that's hiding in your wallet!</p> <h2>1. Chip + PIN Technology</h2> <p>This bit of technology is ubiquitous in Europe and South America, and until recently, nearly nonexistent in the United States. But, those of you that have recently applied for and received a credit card may have in your possession a credit card with a gold square in the middle of the card. This is called an <a href="https://www.chasepaymentech.com/faq_emv_chip_card_technology.html">EMV chip</a>, and it makes it nearly impossible for thieves to steal your credit card and use it for purchases. To use it, a PIN is required, like a debit card. Manufacturing a fake credit card in your name is nearly impossible, according to Andi Coleman, who is part of the committee that regulates standards for credit cards in the United States. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/will-new-chip-and-pin-credit-cards-stop-identity-theft?ref=seealso">Will New Chip and Pin Technology Stop Identity Theft?</a>)</p> <h2>2. Coin</h2> <p>This <a href="https://onlycoin.com/">&quot;all-in-one&quot; credit card </a>made quite a splash in 2013 with its flashy release of a card that can store all your credit cards in one piece of plastic, making some readers of this site very happy I am sure! You can take a look at this <a href="http://techcrunch.com/2014/05/05/coin-demoes-the-tech-that-scored-a-15-5m-round-led-by-red-point/">TechCrunch article</a> to see it in action, but we may be looking at the future of card technology (or at least until they are deemed useless by future tech).</p> <h2>3. &quot;Tap and Go&quot;</h2> <p>One piece of technology that I find cool in some credit cards is the &quot;tap and go&quot; feature. This works just as it sounds &mdash; simply tap your credit card on the reader at the register, and go on your merry way. It speeds up transactions, which is good for merchants like Starbucks with long lines. There is a computer chip and antenna embedded in each card, which adds to costs but is in the best interests of the merchant (who saves time) and the credit card company (which makes it easier for consumers to use their card, increasing usage).</p> <h2>4. Tokenization</h2> <p>Those that are worried about their individual data being stolen by hackers can be relieved that &quot;tokenization&quot; is catching on. Basically, your data is encrypted into a &quot;token&quot; that is essentially worthless if stolen en route from your card to the merchant. The merchant can then convert back the token into something that it can read, and ultimately charge you for. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-card-fraud-and-how-to-avoid-it?ref=seealso">How to Avoid Credit Card Fraud</a>)</p> <h2>5. Ondot</h2> <p><a href="http://www.ondotsystems.com/products">Ondot</a>, marketed as the remote control for your credit card, gives you control over when and where your cards can be used. Location based controls can be tied to zip code, so a thief won't get far, or a card can be synced to a smartphone GPS, which means if it wanders far from your phone, it won't work. Other features include the ability to block certain stores or types of stores. It's an unprecedented level of control for those who want to manage their own &mdash; or their children's or their employees' &mdash; credit card spending. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-secured-credit-cards?ref=seealso">Best Secured Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>6. Loop</h2> <p>The <em>smartphonification</em> of America continues apace, with several companies finding ways to put your cards into a &quot;wallet&quot; on your phone, which you then use to make payments. <a href="http://www.looppay.com/">Loop</a> stores your credit card data on your smartphone, and includes a special protector that wraps around your phone to communicate with payment machines. (They also offer a key fob that does the same.) Place your phone or key fob against the credit card reader, select a card on your iPhone or compatible Android phone, <a href="http://www.looppay.com/how-it-works/">press the Loop button</a>, and the transaction is complete.</p> <p>So, what do you think? Are you eyeing some of this new technology as a feature for your next credit card? Chip and PIN technology will be ubiquitous within the next two to three years here in the United States, but you'll want to secure a card with this feature if you plan on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-your-credit-card-on-the-road?ref=inarticle">traveling abroad</a> anytime soon. If not, you'll be stuck using your debit card or cash.</p> <p><em>Do you think any of these credit card advancements help you manage your spending more carefully? Or do you think they will make it too easy to charge another purchase? Please share in comments! </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mark-jackson">Mark Jackson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-pieces-of-credit-card-tech-that-will-blow-your-mind">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tricks-to-save-money-with-credit-cards">10 Tricks to Save Money with Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/miracle-device-coin-rolls-all-your-credit-cards-into-one">Miracle Device Coin Rolls All Your Credit Cards Into One</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-many-credit-cards-should-you-carry">How Many Credit Cards Should You Carry?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-why-i-prefer-credit-cards-over-cash">10 Reasons Why I Prefer Credit Cards Over Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-warning-signs-that-you-need-to-stop-using-your-credit-cards">6 Warning Signs That You Need to Stop Using Your Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Technology chip and pin credit credit cards gadgets spending Tue, 19 Aug 2014 13:00:04 +0000 Mark Jackson 1168782 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Terrifying Things That Can Happen When Someone Steals Your Phone (And How You Can Protect It) http://www.wisebread.com/11-terrifying-things-that-can-happen-when-someone-steals-your-phone-and-how-you-can-protect-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-terrifying-things-that-can-happen-when-someone-steals-your-phone-and-how-you-can-protect-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/smartphone-computer-187830664-small.jpg" alt="smartphone" title="smartphone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A phone used to be a phone. Now, many of us live our entire lives through our phones. It's how we check our bank balances, organize our schedules, send emails and texts, and pay our bills. Most of us have hundreds, if not thousands, of photos and videos on our phones. They also house sensitive personal information that an identity thief would just love to get his or her hands on. In short, it's no longer a phone&hellip; it's our life.</p> <p>So when a phone is lost, or worse, stolen, we have every reason to panic. Here are 10 horrible things that can happen if your phone is stolen.</p> <h2>1. Your Bank Accounts Could Be Wiped Out</h2> <p>In an experiment conducted by Symantec, 50 smartphones were intentionally &quot;lost.&quot; On <a href="http://www.symantec.com/content/en/us/about/presskits/b-symantec-smartphone-honey-stick-project.en-us.pdf" style="text-decoration:none;">43% of those phones</a>, attempts were made to open the online banking apps. If you have the &quot;save user name&quot; option engaged, the thief only needs to guess your password. For some that will be easy enough to do &mdash; your phone gives out a lot of clues and if you have a guessable password you're in real trouble. That money can be transferred to another account, and you're left with nothing. The bank covers misuse of credit and debit cards, but hacked accounts are another story entirely.</p> <h2>2. Your Personal Photos Could Be Leaked</h2> <p>There is no shame in having &quot;sensitive&quot; photos of yourself or other people you are intimate with, on your phone. But those photos are for your eyes only. If someone were to access those photos on your phone, they could be uploaded to the web in seconds. It happens to celebrities all the time, but you don't hear about it happening to the public because the press doesn't have a story in it. However, it's all too common for thieves to steal those photos and spread them far and wide, which could make for a very embarrassing situation, or worse, as the next point will dive into. They could also<a href="http://abc7.com/archive/9007115/" style="text-decoration:none;"> blackmail you for a lot of money.</a></p> <h2>3. You Could Lose Your Job</h2> <p>If inappropriate photos of you or your friends are leaked, it could quickly lead to a firing. It was obviously not your intention to let those photos get out, but that's nothing your employer will care about. If you have in any way sullied your reputation, you have also put a black mark against the company you work for. In some instances, the company won't care. But if you work in a business that requires its employees to be clean cut and professional at all times, you could see the dreaded pink slip. Even password-protected folders can be hacked.</p> <h2>4. You Could Lose Your Friends</h2> <p>Thieves are not exactly upstanding moral crusaders. They will have no problem messing with your life just for the sake of it, and that includes texting and calling people in your contacts list. There have been cases of thieves sending profane and rude texts to contacts, just for the fun of it. It's a laugh for them, but it could take more than a quick &quot;it wasn't me&quot; to mend those relationships.</p> <h2>5. Your Social Accounts Could Be Hacked</h2> <p>Your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram channels are usually logged in automatically. If a thief has access to them, he or she could easily make your life very difficult by posting on your behalf. Suddenly, you've gone from being a nice person with nice posts, to a lurid or vicious individual hell bent on offending as many people as possible. Soon, your friends and family are unfriending you quicker than they can hit send. Employers also have access to your social channels, and it could reflect very badly upon you. You may have no choice but to shut down your accounts and start from scratch. But you'll have a lot of explaining to do first.</p> <h2>6. Your Identity Can Be Stolen</h2> <p>You have a lot of personal information on your phone. Some people I have talked to even keep pictures of their driver's license and SS card in their phone, just in case they need the numbers. Well, that's not a great idea. Using just the information you have in emails, photos, and other files, a skilled identity thief could have bank accounts set up in your name before you know what's hit you.</p> <h2>7. Expensive Calls Could Be Made</h2> <p>How much does it cost you to dial international numbers on your phone? You probably don't have that information close at hand because you don't do it too often. Well, it can cost from just 1 cent per minute, and over $3 per minute, depending on the country you call. A 60-minute call to Afghanistan on AT&amp;T will set you back $183. You can see how that can soon add up to thousands if you don't take the time to act.</p> <h2>8. Thousands of Dollars of Purchases Can Be Racked Up</h2> <p>You likely have apps like eBay and Amazon on your phone, as well as other shopping sites. Usually, you are automatically logged in to those sites, and if you do a lot of purchasing, you may very well have one click purchases set up. Once the thief realizes this, they can start shopping to their heart's content. They can set up a new shipping address, probably to an address that can't be traced back to them, and can also do a lot of instant downloads. They could even be spiteful, and just start making massive purchases just to mess with you and your life.</p> <h2>9. You Could Be Charged for Overages</h2> <p>Not everyone is on an unlimited plan. If you have a set number of minutes, texts and data every month, the thief could quickly eat those up and start costing you money every time they make a call, send a text or surf the web. Those small charges can soon add up to <a href="http://www.planetfeedback.com/index.php?level2=blog_viewpost&amp;topic_id=310136&amp;reply_id=206383" style="text-decoration:none;">hundreds</a> of dollars.</p> <h2>10. You Could Go To Jail</h2> <p>Now, this is unlikely. But if you work for an employer that gives you access to some very confidential information, and that information is on your phone, you could get in big trouble. Despite the fact that you had no intention of leaking this information, if it gets out because of your stolen phone the consequences could be severe, especially if you work for the government. Even if you work for a private employer, you may have signed a Nondisclosure Agreement, and this could violate it. So if you have photographs of highly sensitive data or product designs on your phone, you might want to delete them, or transfer them to a very secure location.</p> <h2>11. You Could Help Commit a Crime</h2> <p>It's quite possible that the phone was stolen from you for a specific reason, and not just a random theft. The thief may know that you work at a certain place, a bank or jewelers, and would text the boss or owner from your phone asking for information. Even worse, it may be someone looking to abduct a friend or colleague of yours, using texts or social media apps. Most of us communicate by those methods these days, imagine receiving a text from a friend asking to meet them somewhere. What would happen if you turned up and it was not your friend waiting for you, but someone wanting to do you harm? Get the picture? Yes, it's not only possible, it's easy to do.</p> <h2>So, What Can You Do to Protect Yourself?</h2> <p>Quite simply, you should prepare for the worst right now by taking steps that can protect you if your phone is stolen, or at least minimize the damage.</p> <h3>Password Protect Your Phone</h3> <p>Yes, it's a hassle. The latest data says we check our phones over 100 times a day. Having to enter a PIN every time we want to check email or send a text may be annoying, but it takes only a second or two and makes it tough for an average thief to get past the unlock screen. By entering a PIN, you will probably make the thief do a hard reset on your phone to make it usable. In that case, you have simply lost a device, not the sensitive information it holds. And if you can, use a PIN or lock code that is not easily guessable. 0000 and 1234 are all too common.</p> <h3>Install &quot;Seek and Destroy&quot; Apps</h3> <p>In conjunction with a PIN, you should definitely invest in an app that will help you find your phone, or wipe the data remotely. There are way too many to list here, so check the ratings and the number of downloads (you want a high number for both). Once installed, it will not only help you find your phone if you misplace it, but it can also wipe the data on it with a few simple steps.</p> <h3>Set Up Two-Step Authorization</h3> <p>As so much is tied to Google, and your phone, it's a good idea to add an additional layer of security. Google's <a href="http://www.androidcentral.com/no-excuses-its-time-turn-two-step-authentication" style="text-decoration:none;">two-step authorization process</a> means that if one of your accounts is compromised, you need access to another to verify it.</p> <h3>Register With an Identity Theft Protection Service</h3> <p>There a several out there, including LifeLock and Protect My ID, but your own bank may very well offer a service just like those for less money. They aren't very expensive, usually around $6-$12 per month, and will alert you if anyone opens accounts in your name.</p> <h3>Call Your Cell Phone Provider Immediately</h3> <p>You should have their customer service number stored in a place other than your phone. As soon as you notice the phone is gone, call them and let them know. They can take steps to ensure that you are not charged for anything, and can also deactivate the account. Make sure you have the IMEI and device serial numbers stored in the same place as the customer service number.</p> <p><em>Have you lost a smartphone or had one stolen? Did any of these terrifying things happen to you?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-terrifying-things-that-can-happen-when-someone-steals-your-phone-and-how-you-can-protect-it">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-surprising-ways-your-smartphone-can-keep-you-and-your-family-safe">6 Surprising Ways Your Smartphone Can Keep You and Your Family Safe</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-minimize-cell-phone-charges-when-you-travel-abroad">How to Minimize Cell Phone Charges When You Travel Abroad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-slash-the-cost-of-wi-fi-when-you-travel">6 Ways to Slash the Cost of Wi-Fi When You Travel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cloud-computing-and-your-wallet">Cloud Computing and Your Wallet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-choose-a-better-password">How to Choose a Better Password</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Technology identity theft lost phone smartphone smartphone theft Tue, 29 Jul 2014 17:00:04 +0000 Paul Michael 1169308 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: The Technology Edition http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-the-technology-edition <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-the-technology-edition" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/office-technology-144110290-small.jpg" alt="office technology" title="office technology" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's Best Money Tips Roundup! Today we are featuring some of the best articles from around the web about technology, ranging from apps to smartphones to green tech and more!</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/2014/05/05/save-thousands-by-cutting-dying-tech-from-your-life/">Save Thousands by Cutting Dying Tech from Your Life</a> &mdash; Cutting your landline and ditching cable can help you save thousands. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://www.learnvest.com/2010/10/from-mobile-apps-to-online-storage-10-techy-ways-to-save-money/">From Mobile Apps To Online Storage: 10 Techy Ways to Save Money</a> &mdash; Using TextFree can save you money on text messages while Skype can save you money on VoIP. [Learnvest]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Online-Organization-Tools-11281762">12 Online Tools to Organize Your Life This Month</a> &mdash; Remember the Milk and Hootsuite can help you keep your life organized. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneycrashers.com/green-energy-technologies-solutions-home-improvement/">Top 10 Green Energy Technologies &amp; Solutions for Home Improvement</a> &mdash; If you want to update your home using green energy technologies, consider solar water heaters and double window panes. [Money Crashers]</p> <p><a href="http://livingonthecheap.com/5-surprising-ways-smart-phone-can-save-money/">5 Surprising Ways Your Smartphone Can Save You Money</a> &mdash; Have you ever used your smartphone to help you pay your bills on time? [Living on the Cheap]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/business/T059-S001-5-ways-technology-will-change-the-way-you-travel/">5 Ways Technology Will Change the Way You Travel</a> &mdash; Cars with wi-fi are now an option in certain brands of certain GMC, Cadillac, and Buick models. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="http://www.creditsesame.com/blog/15-helpful-apps-single-lady-without/">15 Helpful Apps No Single Lady Should Be Without</a> &mdash; AroundMe and Lumosity are a couple great apps every single lady should have. [Credit Sesame]</p> <p><a href="http://www.fatwallet.com/blog/10-technologies-invented-less-than-10-years-ago-we-cant-imagine-going-without/">10 Technologies Invented Less Than 10 Years Ago We Can't Imagine Going Without</a> &mdash; Can you imagine living without podcasts or Kindles? [FatWallet.com]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/top-10-tech-safety-tips-for-parents-of-tweens-and-teens">Top 10 Tech Safety Tips for Parents of Tweens and Teens</a> &mdash; To keep your kids safe around technology, be aware of ALL the technology they are using. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/done5-tips-mobile-coupons.html">5 Tips for Using Mobile Coupons</a> &mdash; When using mobile coupons, use an app that can apply multiple coupons at once. [Bargaineering]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-the-technology-edition">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-computer-last-almost-forever-with-some-simple-tricks">Make Your Computer Last (Almost) Forever With Some Simple Tricks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-how-to-be-a-geek-goddess-win-a-copy">Book Review: How to Be a Geek Goddess (Win a Copy!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-a-laptop-computer">How to Buy a Laptop Computer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-a-robot-called-digit-really-help-you-save-more">Can a Robot Called Digit Really Help You Save More?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-a-new-smartphone-without-extending-your-contract">Buying a New Smartphone Without Extending Your Contract</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Technology apps best money tips cell phones computers laptops technology Mon, 21 Jul 2014 19:00:07 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1147199 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Minimize Cell Phone Charges When You Travel Abroad http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-minimize-cell-phone-charges-when-you-travel-abroad <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-minimize-cell-phone-charges-when-you-travel-abroad" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/international-phone-call-200252062-001-small.jpg" alt="international phone call" title="international phone call" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="143" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You can use your cell phone as usual when you travel abroad, but cellular providers charge outrageous fees for this service &mdash; and you can expect to find a huge phone bill in the mail when you get home. Instead, here aere are some economical ways for you to stay connected with your loved ones at home while traveling abroad. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Know Your Roaming Fees</h2> <p>The simplest way to minimize your phone charges is to keep track of them. For a short trip, this is a great solution that doesn't require much time or effort.</p> <p>Every cell phone provider has a different set of roaming fees, so contact yours before the trip. They usually have different rates for calls, texts, and data. Additionally, the rates may vary from country to country. There may also be special roaming phone plans you can get to lower your international phone rates.</p> <p>Take note of all the rates that apply to every country in your itinerary, then keep track of your phone usage. You may have to use your phone less frequently to stay within your budget, but on the bright side, you can use the extra time to explore instead. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fantastic-phone-services-for-people-on-the-go?ref=seealso">Fantastic Phone Services for People on the Go</a>)</p> <h2>Turn Off Data Roaming</h2> <p>This is a quick and easy trick, but it can save you a lot of money during the trip. Your phone may be consuming data even when you're not actively using it, especially if you use push notifications.</p> <p>To completely stop data use while you're abroad, go to your phone settings and turn off data roaming. With data roaming off, you'll still be able to make phone calls and text. The phone will also retain the ability to connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi, which may be free at airports and hotels. When connected to a Wi-Fi network, you'll also be able to use a VoIP service like Skype to make calls over the Internet.</p> <p>Alternatively, you can choose to turn off push notifications only. This way, you'll be able to use data roaming services without having to pay for superfluous automated data use. You can then choose to use data-heavy apps only when you're connected to a Wi-Fi network.</p> <h2>Turn on Airplane Mode</h2> <p>While abroad, you'll have to pay roaming fees when you receive phone calls and text messages, regardless of who's contacting you. Even if the phone call is from your gas company, you'll have to pay for every minute the representative blabs about the new green energy program.</p> <p>To completely eliminate the risk of mounting roaming charges, turn on airplane mode. This shuts off data service, phone calls, and text messages. You can still turn on Wi-Fi and connect to the Internet, so your family and friends can contact you through chat apps, social media, and email.</p> <h2>Use a Local SIM Card</h2> <p>If you travel a lot, consider getting an unlocked phone. By placing a local SIM card in an unlocked phone, you'll be able to enjoy local rates. This is useful when you need to get online or call local contacts like hotels or airlines. You'll have to pay international call rates to ring home, though, so it's best to stick with VoIP services like Skype for that.</p> <h2>Use an International SIM Card</h2> <p>If there are multiple destinations in your itinerary, you can get an international SIM card like <a href="http://www.onesimcard.com/">OneSimCard</a> or <a href="http://www.telestial.com/">Telestial</a> instead of a country-specific SIM card. These global SIM cards are generally cheaper than if you were to use roaming services on your U.S. phone plan, but more expensive than if you were to buy a local SIM card every time you entered a different country.</p> <h2>Rent a Phone</h2> <p>If it seems like too much of a hassle to get your phone unlocked, you can rent a phone instead. Global cell phone providers often offer this service. You'll pay a daily or weekly rental fee, the company will deliver the rental phone to you, and you'll be able to return it by mail at the end of your trip.</p> <p>A global phone rental usually also comes with a global SIM card and a short-term phone plan, making it an easy option for short trips. However, the call, text, and data rates with a rental global phone are higher than they would be if you used a local SIM card in your own unlocked phone.</p> <p>If you'll be traveling to isolated areas with little cell phone coverage, you can rent a satellite phone instead of a regular phone. The rates will be higher, but you'll be able to use the phone in most open spaces.</p> <p>In both cases, you'll get a phone number that your loved ones at home can use to contact you, wherever you are in the world. If you set your American home and cell phones to forward calls to your global phone number, you won't miss a call at all.</p> <p><em>How do you use your cell phone or smartphone while traveling abroad &mdash; without incurring excessive fees? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/deia-b">Deia B</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-minimize-cell-phone-charges-when-you-travel-abroad">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-slash-the-cost-of-wi-fi-when-you-travel">6 Ways to Slash the Cost of Wi-Fi When You Travel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-terrifying-things-that-can-happen-when-someone-steals-your-phone-and-how-you-can-protect-it">11 Terrifying Things That Can Happen When Someone Steals Your Phone (And How You Can Protect It)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-surprising-ways-your-smartphone-can-keep-you-and-your-family-safe">6 Surprising Ways Your Smartphone Can Keep You and Your Family Safe</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-free-wi-fi-at-airports-that-charge-for-internet-connections">How to Get Free Wi-Fi at Airports That Charge for Internet Connections</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-keep-your-laptop-safe-when-traveling">10 Ways to Keep Your Laptop Safe When Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Technology Travel cell phone international calls roaming smartphone Thu, 10 Jul 2014 17:00:04 +0000 Deia B 1156615 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Surprising Ways Your Smartphone Can Keep You and Your Family Safe http://www.wisebread.com/6-surprising-ways-your-smartphone-can-keep-you-and-your-family-safe <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-surprising-ways-your-smartphone-can-keep-you-and-your-family-safe" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family-smartphone-458844997-small.jpg" alt="family smartphone" title="family smartphone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="147" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>They used to be a luxury, but now, almost every American home has at least one smartphone. With their ability to organize and simplify so many of our daily tasks, it's no surprise that today's iPhones, Androids, and Windows-based gadgets are allowing us to be safer than ever before. Here are some of my favorite ways to use my smartphone to keep me and my six kids secure! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-men-and-women-use-smartphones-differently?ref=seealso">How Men and Women Use Smartphones Differently</a>)</p> <h2>Weather Warnings</h2> <p>Last month, my property suffered damage from a tornado. Living out in the country, we have no warning sirens, so it's important that I have an alert system that stays with me and is updated in real time.</p> <p>In addition to the &quot;alert&quot; feature on my phone that is tied into my zip code and sets my phone off when a storm warning is issued for my area, I can use any number of apps to check radar and even follow the social media accounts for the meteorologists for my part of the state. This past storm, I was able to get the kids into the cellar just in time to avoid softball sized hail and an actual tornado touch-down that tore 100-year-old trees out by the roots. I was very thankful for technology!</p> <p><strong>Tip</strong>: Check your local TV station's website for a link to their specific weather app. Most will be tailored to the viewing area. The Red Cross also has an app for a <a href="http://www.redcross.org/prepare/mobile-apps">variety of environmental emergencies</a> unique to your climate and region.</p> <h2>Traffic Reports</h2> <p>I remember the days of sitting in my car at 5:01 p.m. and listening to my local AM radio station for the traffic report. While it was helpful, it was no match for the real-time reports you can get from phone apps and even the GPS service available on most phones. While using your cell phone is prohibited while driving in my jurisdictions, it's OK to have your traffic app or GPS mode running while your phone is in your seat or placed safely on the dash. Avoiding an accident isn't just a time-saver; it could be a life-saver!</p> <p><strong>Tip</strong>:The <a href="https://www.google.com/mobile/maps/">Google Maps app</a> does a pretty good job of alerting you to accidents on major highways and the interstate. If you don't have an Android phone, the <a href="http://www.mapquest.com/traffic/">Mapquest version</a> works well.</p> <h2>First Aid</h2> <p>If you are a parent, you know very well that some kids have an insane desire to put everything into their mouths. For those moments, a call to Poison Control may be advisable, and, if you plan ahead, you can program your phone to connect via a shortcut on smartphone screen.</p> <p>If the situation isn't life threatening, a quick reference to some basic first aid tips might be called for. The Red Cross makes first aid apps available for the<a href="http://www.redcross.org/mobile-apps/first-aid-app">people members</a> of your family, <a href="http://www.redcross.org/mobile-apps/pet-first-aid-app">as well as pets</a>!</p> <p><strong>Tip</strong>: While poison is serious business, sometimes a game is called for. The <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/choose-your-poison/id419949128">Name Your Poison app</a> teaches kids and parents that common poisons can easily be mistaken for safe materials &mdash; like candy.</p> <h2>Emergency Contact</h2> <p>Most of us don't carry around little cards in our wallet telling medical personnel or the police who to contact if they find us unconscious. Most of us do, however, carry around our smartphones.</p> <p>If you don't already have an &quot;emergency&quot; contact designated in your phone's contact list, do so right now. Otherwise, your phone might also have some unique features to help you in a life-threatening situation. My Samsung Galaxy, for example, will automatically connect me with my designated contact with three short pushes of the power button, and it will record sound, take photos, and send along GPS coordinates until I deactivate emergency mode. Other smartphone have similar features in their settings screen. (Consult your user's guide for more info.)</p> <p><strong>Tip</strong>: Medical professionals recommend an &quot;ICE&quot; (In Case of Emergency) contact clearly labeled on your phone, but many rumors claim that doing so leaves your phone open to viruses. <a href="http://www.snopes.com/crime/prevent/icephone.asp">Snopes clearly debunks this myth</a>.</p> <h2>Food Allergies</h2> <p>Not everyone is allergic to peanuts or pineapple, but if your kids are, it can seem like the whole world is against you. While it may be obvious to you that certain foods contain allergens, not all caregivers are savvy to the language of food labeling. Giving your kids access to information on food ingredients via a handy app empowers them to choose safe foods when they aren't obvious to everyone; <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/food-additives-2/id287917148?mt=8">Food Additives 2</a> gets good review from parents of allergy-sufferers.</p> <p><strong>Tip</strong>: Food allergies don't go away when you dine out. <a href="http://www.allergyeats.com/?gclid=CNTKvZSJ974CFSlgMgodTRYARQ">Allergy Eats mobile dining guide</a> helps you make safe decisions when on the road and at your favorite restaurant.</p> <h2>Child Location</h2> <p>If little Johnny wandered off without his phone, tracking him down may be difficult. Since most kids carry their phones with them at all times (even into the bathroom), there is a good chance you can find him with a good GPS location tool. <a href="http://www.securafone.com/subpages/securafone.php">Securafone</a> is a comprehensive tool that not only offers geographic location services, it alerts you when a child may be driving over the speed limit or texting while driving.</p> <p><strong>Tip</strong>: In the case that your child really does go missing, having a &quot;kit&quot; on hand with their info and identifying features can be the difference between finding them and not. The <a href="http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2011/august/child_080511/child-id-app-content">FBI offers</a> a high-tech version of the traditional &quot;ID Kit&quot; for most smartphones.</p> <p><em>Do you use any smartphone safety apps not mentioned here? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-surprising-ways-your-smartphone-can-keep-you-and-your-family-safe">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-a-robot-called-digit-really-help-you-save-more">Can a Robot Called Digit Really Help You Save More?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-ssn-can-now-be-accurately-guessed-using-date-and-place-of-birth">Your SSN Can Now Be Accurately Guessed Using Date and Place of Birth</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-photoshop-fixes-for-your-family-photos">7 Easy Photoshop Fixes for Your Family Photos</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-terrifying-things-that-can-happen-when-someone-steals-your-phone-and-how-you-can-protect-it">11 Terrifying Things That Can Happen When Someone Steals Your Phone (And How You Can Protect It)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-minimize-cell-phone-charges-when-you-travel-abroad">How to Minimize Cell Phone Charges When You Travel Abroad</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Technology apps first aid safety smartphone Mon, 07 Jul 2014 17:00:11 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1151053 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Slash the Cost of Wi-Fi When You Travel http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-slash-the-cost-of-wi-fi-when-you-travel <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-slash-the-cost-of-wi-fi-when-you-travel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/airport-laptop-177027865-small.jpg" alt="laptop airport" title="laptop airport" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you spend most of your time either at home or at the office, you probably take your Wi-Fi signal for granted. Then when you travel, suddenly connecting to a Wi-Fi network becomes a privilege. Sometimes you can enjoy it for free; at other times you have to pay high premiums for it. But with a little bit of planning, you can get free or cheap Wi-Fi almost anywhere. Here's how. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Look for Free Hotel Wi-Fi</h2> <p>Many hotels have wisened up to the fact that Wi-Fi is a necessity for many travelers. Some hotels choose to use this information to charge a fee for Wi-Fi use and earn a short-term profit; others choose to provide the service for free and get long-term business.</p> <p>When you book a hotel, pay attention to the amenities included. Some hotels charge for Wi-Fi access by the hour or by the night, so it can get expensive quickly. Even if you have to pay a higher nightly rate for a hotel with free Wi-Fi, it may be worth the price.</p> <h2>Join a Hotel Loyalty Program</h2> <p>Some hotel loyalty programs provide free Wi-Fi for members. Depending on the hotel chain, you may have to accumulate a minimum number of points, stay a minimum number of nights, or acquire a certain elite status to enjoy this perk. Some programs only require you to join for free to get free Wi-Fi. For example, Omni Resorts &amp; Hotels and InterContinental Hotels Group both charge Wi-Fi fees, but let even basic members of their loyalty programs enjoy it for free.</p> <h2>Download Before You Leave Home</h2> <p>Travel involves a lot of idle time, like when you're waiting for a boarding call or sitting on a plane. If you only need Wi-Fi for entertainment, you can avoid Wi-Fi fees at airports and on planes by downloading videos and reading materials ahead of time. You may even be able to get some work done offline using only Microsoft Office programs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-keep-your-laptop-safe-when-traveling?ref=seealso">10 Ways to Keep Your Laptop Safe While Traveling</a>)</p> <p>I personally like to use digital maps to find my way when I travel. Because I don't always have a data connection, Google Maps' offline features often come in handy. I simply load the part of the map I need when I have Wi-Fi connection, then have Google Maps save it on my smartphone.</p> <h2>Tether to Your Smartphone</h2> <p>If you travel to a domestic location where you're not charged any roaming fees, make full use of your smartphone data connection. Before you travel, check if your smartphone supports tethering, which allows other devices to connect to your phone's data network. It's a bit like having your own little Wi-Fi router.</p> <p>All you have to do is enable tethering on your phone, then use your other device to find and connect to the phone's Wi-Fi network. Don't forget to contact your phone provider before you travel to find out if there are any extra fees to use this feature.</p> <p>If you travel abroad, you may still be able to tether a device to your phone, but the roaming fees may make it so expensive that you'd be better off paying for the hotel Wi-Fi. Look into using a local SIM card in an unlocked phone to enjoy local tethering rates.</p> <h2>Get a USB Modem</h2> <p>If you travel a lot, you can consider getting a dedicated device to connect to the Internet. One option is a USB modem, which is a compact stick that plugs into your laptop or tablet. You usually have to install special software on your device to use a USB modem, but it's portable and easy to use after your first time connecting to the Internet with it.</p> <p>You also need a data plan to use a USB modem, but it could be cheaper than what hotels charge if you travel within the country. If you travel abroad, you may be able to save some money by getting a local data plan.</p> <h2>Get a Mobile Hotspot</h2> <p>A mobile hotspot works in a similar way as a USB modem. Known as &quot;Mi-Fi,&quot; this device is usually more robust than just a smartphone or a USB modem, with a longer-lasting battery and the ability to connect multiple devices at once. It's also not necessary to install special software to connect to the Internet with a Mi-Fi. You can probably get a Mi-Fi device for free or at a deep discount if you sign up for a data plan contract.</p> <h2>Find Free Public Wi-Fi</h2> <p>If none of the above options seem practical for you, there are often public Wi-Fi networks you can use.</p> <p>Coffee shops are your best bet, but more and more businesses are offering free Wi-Fi access. You may be able to get free Wi-Fi at fast food restaurants, grocery stores, bookstores, and even gas stations. Just look for a Wi-Fi sign at the entrance.</p> <p>Public spaces in big cities may also provide free Wi-Fi access. For example, Taipei has free public Wi-Fi at train stations, libraries, hospitals, malls, and even some commercial and residential areas. Research your travel destination beforehand to see if the local government provides this service and where.</p> <p><em>Where do you go for Wi-Fi access when you travel? Please share your connection in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/deia-b">Deia B</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-slash-the-cost-of-wi-fi-when-you-travel">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-minimize-cell-phone-charges-when-you-travel-abroad">How to Minimize Cell Phone Charges When You Travel Abroad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-free-wi-fi-at-airports-that-charge-for-internet-connections">How to Get Free Wi-Fi at Airports That Charge for Internet Connections</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-terrifying-things-that-can-happen-when-someone-steals-your-phone-and-how-you-can-protect-it">11 Terrifying Things That Can Happen When Someone Steals Your Phone (And How You Can Protect It)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-surprising-ways-your-smartphone-can-keep-you-and-your-family-safe">6 Surprising Ways Your Smartphone Can Keep You and Your Family Safe</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-alternatives-to-cable-tv-that-will-keep-you-entertained">8 Alternatives to Cable TV That Will Keep You Entertained</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Technology Travel free wi-fi Internet SIM card smartphone wi-fi Wed, 02 Jul 2014 11:00:05 +0000 Deia B 1151054 at http://www.wisebread.com These 5 Apps Can Fix Your Finances http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-apps-can-fix-your-finances <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/these-5-apps-can-fix-your-finances" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/finance-app-160888117-small.jpg" alt="finance app" title="finance app" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="137" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>They say money has wings and that it tends to fly away before we even realize it. That's a product of the time we're living in, unfortunately. The good news, however, is that some wasteful spending can be curtailed and prevented, and a great way to do that is to use something else that's a product of our time: Smartphone apps. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-i-knew-it-benefit-of-expense-tracking?ref=seealso">The &quot;I Knew It!&quot; Benefit of Expense Tracking</a>)</p> <p>Our phones do a lot of things that we don't really need on a regular basis, but one thing that they're capable of that we'd do well to take advantage of regularly is tracking our expenses. There are a lot of great apps (free and paid) that allow us to do this without having to sit down at a computer or write in a checkbook. These are the ones worth looking at.</p> <h2>1. Mint</h2> <p><a href="http://www.mint.com/how-it-works/"><img width="130" height="230" align="right" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/Mint.jpeg" alt="" /></a>Mint is one of the most popular and widely used apps available for tracking spending, and it's completely free.</p> <p>The data itself is stored in a cloud account where it can be accessed by a number of different supported devices. Either your phone, Internet browsers, and even a Linux application can be used to access your data and track your spending.</p> <p><a href="https://www.mint.com/how-it-works/">It works</a> by keeping all your transactions and balances in one spot and can even pull data from your respective financial institutions.</p> <h2>2. Quicken</h2> <p><a href="http://quicken.intuit.com/personal-finance-software/quicken-mobile-app.jsp"><img width="130" height="230" align="right" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/Quicken.jpeg" alt="" /></a>Originally one of the more popular desktop applications for tracking your spending, Intuit's Quicken provides a <a href="http://quicken.intuit.com/personal-finance-software/quicken-mobile-app.jsp">mobile version of their software</a> as well.</p> <p>Some of the more helpful features include the ability to snap and store receipts, syncing with the desktop application, graphical GUI with tablet versions, and secure password protection with encryption.</p> <p>The mobile app is perfect if you're already familiar with Quicken's software and would like to use your smartphone to manage it.</p> <h2>3. iSpending</h2> <p><a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ispending-expense-tracker/id484100875?mt=8"><img width="130" height="230" align="right" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/iSpending.jpeg" alt="" /></a>Graphical reports and a sleek UI give this <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ispending-expense-tracker/id484100875?mt=8">free app</a> a lot of appeal for the more casual user.</p> <p>Though it lacks some of the features that you'll find with other apps like receipt snapping or a desktop counterpart, iSpending is ideal for someone who primarily keeps data on their phone with no need to sync with other devices.</p> <p>It handles all the basic spending and expense tracking the average person needs, including custom spending categories, summaries and adding income/expense transactions.</p> <h2>4. Visual Budget Expense Tracking and Management</h2> <p><a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/visual-budget-expense-tracking/id458571562?mt=8"><img width="130" height="230" align="right" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/Visual%20Budget.jpeg" alt="" /></a>Assigning budgets to individual categories, managing multiple accounts, accessing overview tools, and taking advantage of easy-to-read pie graphs can all be done with the free version of <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/visual-budget-expense-tracking/id458571562?mt=8">this awkwardly named app</a>, though it does limit you to 10 transactions per account.</p> <p>Purchasing the unlimited version is $5, which lifts the transaction limit and gives you full use of the app.</p> <p>It's also compatible with iTunes file sharing if you want to import spreadsheets.</p> <h2>5. Spending Tracker</h2> <p><a href="http://www.mhriley.com/spendingtracker/"><img width="130" height="230" align="right" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/Spending%20Tracker.jpeg" alt="" />The interface</a> is pleasant, intuitive, and easy to use, offering all the essential features for tracking your spending.</p> <p>Budget mode, spending categories, and reports are all available to you without the pro upgrade, which is only $2.99 regardless.</p> <p>If you do upgrade, you'll have the app ad free and will be able to set up repeat transactions and export transactions. Otherwise, the app is completely functional without you having to pay any money.</p> <p>It's available for iOS, Android, and Windows phone.</p> <h2>Making It a Habit</h2> <p>Expense-tracking apps are valuable tools in your hand, but they'll only make a difference if you make a habit of using them. Work it into your daily routine to either download or manually input your income and expenses of the past 24 hours. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-sites-and-apps-to-help-you-track-your-spending-and-stick-to-your-budget?ref=seealso">10 Sites and Apps That Help You Track Spending</a>)</p> <p>If you keep it up, you'll eventually be able to use reports and graphs to get a clearer picture of how you're spending your money and where you need to cut back or where you could save. It's a time commitment, for sure, but it won't get much easier than being a few swipes away in your pocket. And, let's face it, it's still easier than writing everything down in your checkbook. All hail technology!</p> <p><em>Do you have an expense-tracking app that you like to use? Has it changed the way you handle your finances? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-apps-can-fix-your-finances">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-15"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-big-expenses-you-can-easily-get-rid-of">10 Big Expenses You Can Easily Get Rid Of</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-sites-and-apps-to-help-you-track-your-spending-and-stick-to-your-budget">10 Sites and Apps to Help You Track Your Spending and Stick to Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-a-robot-called-digit-really-help-you-save-more">Can a Robot Called Digit Really Help You Save More?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-have-an-above-average-life-for-below-average-prices">How to Have an Above-Average Life for Below-Average Prices</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-never-succumb-to-impulse-spending-again">How to Never Succumb to Impulse Spending Again</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Productivity Technology apps budgets expense tracker expenses spending Tue, 01 Jul 2014 13:00:03 +0000 Mikey Rox 1150925 at http://www.wisebread.com