Technology http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8130/all en-US 5 Times Buying the Extended Warranty Makes Sense http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-buying-the-extended-warranty-makes-sense <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-times-buying-the-extended-warranty-makes-sense" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-498187364.jpg" alt="sometimes the extended warranty makes sense" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Every time you make a big-ish purchase &mdash; like a TV, home appliance, or automobile &mdash; you're offered the extended warranty. The extended warranty covers repair beyond the manufacturer's warranty expiration date, usually by a couple years, but it requires an additional fee. Most of us turn down this option on TVs and appliances as these items rarely break down before we're ready to upgrade. But it's wise to consider opting for the extended warranty in certain situations. Take a look at these five times buying the extended warranty actually makes sense.</p> <h2>1. Lawn and Garden Equipment</h2> <p>If you've ever owned lawn equipment &mdash; like a mower or a weed whacker (especially a weed whacker!) &mdash; you know how sensitive these machines can be. After all, they're sucking up dirt, grass, leaves, and all kinds of debris, which not only dulls the parts faster than other machinery, but the debris can become lodged in places it shouldn't be, thus causing the need for repair. Another reason these machines are prone to breaking down after a year or two of use is because they burn combustive fuel &mdash; the process of which degrades the parts over time.</p> <p>Bryan Clayton, CEO of an on-demand lawn service called GreenPal, explains why an extended warranty for these types of products makes economic sense.</p> <p>&quot;When you take a $400 push mower to your local repair shop, the cost to repair it can exceed the cost of buying a new unit. The extended warranty for a new push mower usually runs about 10% to 15% of the cost of the unit, and if you plan on keeping it three to five years, it almost always pays off,&quot; he says. &quot;For instance, the self-propelled drive mechanism of most Honda push mowers will go out after a year and a half to two years of use, and to repair or replace the drive will cost in excess of $300 with parts and labor; an extended warranty will cover you when this occurs.&quot;</p> <p>As is the case with any extended warranty, be sure to keep all paperwork and receipts that pertain to the machinery. You'll get the work done faster without any pushback since you can readily prove it.</p> <h2>2. Cars</h2> <p>Two years ago, I purchased a used 2009 Volkswagen with about 75,000 miles on it. For the first year, everything was fine. This year, however, it seems like anything that could go wrong with this vehicle has gone wrong. Since August, I've had to replace all four tires, the mechanism that opens the driver's side door, the power-steering rack, and the serpentine belt. The car is in the shop every other week for something new it seems, and the repairs have cost me thousands of dollars.</p> <p>Of course, I opted out of the extended warranty when it was offered, because I'm an idiot and I didn't want to spend the extra money. But in hindsight, I should have loosened my wallet. It would have saved me a lot of stress and unexpected expense.</p> <p>Auto sales and leasing consultant Matt Tuers says, &quot;Extended warranties from car dealers are big profit centers, but in many cases these products can save consumers a lot of money. This is especially true as modern vehicles comprise more and more intricate and expensive components and electronics. If you are planning to keep your newly purchased vehicle for longer than is covered by the factory warranty &mdash; in terms of years or mileage &mdash; these extended warranties can pay for themselves.&quot;</p> <p>A typical manufacturer's warranty on a new vehicle covers the first three to four years, so if you plan to unload the car in less than four years, skip the extended option. If you plan to keep it until it decides it doesn't want to take you anywhere anymore, however, splurge for the additional coverage.</p> <p>Purchasing an extended warranty for my vehicle would have only cost a few hundred dollars more, and I'm definitely kicking myself now.</p> <h2>3. Your &quot;New&quot; Used Home</h2> <p>If you're moving into a house with existing appliances, a home warranty may be a good idea to cover what's already there, like refrigerators and water heaters. You don't know what kind of wear and tear the appliances went through before you arrived, and you may not know how old they are or receive any of the previous owner's warranty information. Everything should be up to par at inspection, but you'll feel like a sucker if something goes on the fritz right after you move in. Besides, you have plenty of other expenses when buying a new home. The last thing you need is to replace an appliance you thought was in good working condition.</p> <h2>4. Home Improvement Projects</h2> <p>Last year I had my home re-sided, and the company that completed the work offered a warranty that covered the length of time I plan to stay in this house, so I opted out of any extended coverage. If you're planning any home improvements projects &mdash; like replacing your windows &mdash; anytime soon, however, and you plan to stick around for awhile, you should absolutely inquire about extended or lifetime warranties. These warranties are often built into the cost of the products, which may make them a bit more expensive than their competitors, so do your due diligence when comparing brands and what's offered.</p> <h2>5. Computers and Laptops</h2> <p>For the most part, computers and laptops hold their own. They're reliable devices, but there's a chance you could get one that's just a little off or crashes before you expected it. Case in point: The hard drive of my Mac crashed a few years ago, costing me about $300 in repairs &mdash; and they couldn't recover my lost data! I couldn't afford to purchase a new laptop at that time, so I had to submit to the repairs. But if I had purchased an extended warranty, I could have rested a little easier knowing that I didn't have to pay out of pocket for what seemed to me like a manufacturing defect. If you plan to purchase the extended warranty on a computer, plan to spend about 10% to 20% of the price of the device. Anything higher than that and you're paying too much.</p> <h2>A Note About Extended Warranties on Credit Cards</h2> <p>Most credit cards offer <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-advantage-of-free-extended-warranty-from-your-credit-card-issuer?ref=internal">free extended warranties</a> on your purchases. Look at your card agreement or call up your issuer. Find the credit card that offers the best policy on extended warranties (some cards have a lower per-claim maximum dollar amount, or lower threshold for extending the warranty) and use that for your next big ticket item.</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/5-times-buying-the-extended-warranty-makes-sense">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/10-innovative-but-obscure-sites-that-put-money-in-your-pocket">10 Innovative But Obscure Sites That Put Money In Your Pocket</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-reasons-you-should-start-your-holiday-shopping-now">10 Reasons You Should Start Your Holiday Shopping Now</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-10-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</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-i-saved-3190-with-a-50-hdtv-antenna">How I Saved $3,190 With a $50 HDTV Antenna</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-5-best-bluetooth-trackers">The 5 Best Bluetooth Trackers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Technology big ticket item expired warranty extended warranty saving money Spending Money Warranty Mon, 23 Jan 2017 10:30:26 +0000 Mikey Rox 1877975 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Things You Can Do Online Besides Watch Cat GIFs http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-can-do-online-besides-watch-cat-gifs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-things-you-can-do-online-besides-watch-cat-gifs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-484720224.jpg" alt="smart ways to kill time on the computer" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>On the rare occasion that you have some free time, there are a variety of productive, frugal ways to browse the Internet &mdash; other than watching an endless stream of cat videos on YouTube. By taking advantage of your free time and getting the most out of your browsing, you can improve your life and achieve your goals more quickly. You can even save time and earn money along the way. Here are a few ways to wisely use your web time.</p> <h2>1. Review Your Finances</h2> <p>Check your online statements to balance your bank accounts and credit cards. This will help ensure that your budget is on track for the month. While you're at it, you can also pay your bills and check in on your investments. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tricks-to-consolidating-your-debt-and-saving-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Tricks to Consolidating Your Debt and Saving Money</a>)</p> <h2>2. Organize Your Computer</h2> <p>Organize the files on your computer so that you can be more productive at work. You can also run computer cleaners to clear away junk files, free up space, and even increase computer speed. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-computer-last-almost-forever-with-some-simple-tricks?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Make Your Computer Last (Almost) Forever With Some Simple Tricks</a>)</p> <h2>3. Take a Class</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-cheap-ways-to-increase-your-knowledge-and-earning-potential?ref=internal" target="_blank">Online classes</a> span an endless range of subjects. They can help you learn a new skill or explore a new hobby. You can even study for a certification in your field to advance your career and help you seek new employment. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-certifications-that-add-big-to-your-salary?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Certifications That Add Big to Your Salary</a>)</p> <p>Whether you want to learn something new or would like to improve your craft, anything can be accomplished with online courses. If you don't want to sign up for a course, consider finding an e-book that highlights your new skills. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-need-to-know-before-taking-online-classes?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Things You Must Know Before Taking an Online Class</a>)</p> <h2>4. Learn to Code</h2> <p>Not everybody can master coding, but if it's something that interests you, there are endless free resources to get you started. Spend some time on sites like <a href="https://www.codecademy.com/" target="_blank">Codecademy</a> during your free time if you'd like to build a website or learn to decipher code.</p> <h2>5. Learn a Language</h2> <p>Learn a new language with sites like <a href="https://www.duolingo.com" target="_blank">Duolingo</a>, which is free to use. Best of all, you'll feel like you're playing a game while you learn a new language. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-can-learn-a-new-language-just-use-one-of-these-3-apps?ref=seealso" target="_blank">You Can Learn a New Language</a>)</p> <h2>6. Learn to Speed Read</h2> <p>You can learn to speed read using free online apps like <a href="http://www.spreeder.com/" target="_blank">Spreeder</a>. This can save you time, help you read faster, and increase your productivity. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-cool-jobs-for-book-lovers?ref=seealso" target="_blank">17 Cool Jobs for Book Lovers</a>)</p> <h2>7. Network</h2> <p>Spend some time fixing up your LinkedIn page and reach out to colleagues and contacts. This can improve your working relationships and help you find a new job when you need one. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-minutes-to-a-linkedin-profile-that-gets-you-hired?ref=seealso" target="_blank">30 Minutes to a LinkedIn Profile That Gets You Hired</a>)</p> <h2>8. Write</h2> <p>Whether you are interested in writing articles, have a knack for poetry, or have considered starting your own blog, use your free time online to pursue your passion for prose. Best of all, you can even make some money in the process. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-websites-that-will-pay-you-to-write-for-them?ref=seealso" target="_blank">22 Websites That Will Pay You to Write for Them</a>)</p> <h2>9. Play Games and Watch Videos for Cash</h2> <p>While playing games on your computer might not seem productive, you can actually make money while doing so. Sites like <a href="http://swagbucks.7eer.net/c/27771/19503/799" target="_blank">Swagbucks</a> will give you points for playing games, watching videos, answering surveys, shopping online, and searching the Internet. You can later trade in your points for cash or gift cards. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-pays-more-online-surveys-or-the-gig-economy?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What Pays More: Online Surveys or the Gig Economy?</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-can-do-online-besides-watch-cat-gifs">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/life-without-tv">Life Without Television</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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-personal-things-you-should-never-text-or-email">9 Personal Things You Should Never Text or Email</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-off-the-grid-is-a-lot-harder-than-you-think">Going Off the Grid Is a Lot Harder Than You Think</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/heres-how-to-monetize-your-unwanted-gifts">Here&#039;s How to Monetize Your Unwanted Gifts</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Technology blogging coding computer computer games emails finances free time Internet online classes Thu, 19 Jan 2017 10:30:32 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1876779 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Bluetooth Trackers http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-bluetooth-trackers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-bluetooth-trackers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_happy_phone_506889560.jpg" alt="Woman using best bluetooth trackers" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you tend to lose things (like your keys, phone, or wallet), then you need a Bluetooth tracker. It can help you find lost or misplaced items using your Bluetooth connection. These tracking devices can quickly find your lost belongings, so you can get out the door more quickly.</p> <p>You can attach a tracker to your bike, electronics, keys, and anything else you tend to lose. You can even leave a tracker in your car, so you can always find your parking space when you&rsquo;re shopping or using street parking.</p> <h2>What Is a Bluetooth Tracker?</h2> <p>A Bluetooth tracker is a small gadget that you can attach to important items that you&rsquo;re worried about losing. Once you attach the tracker to your item, you can track it through the app. The tracker will emit an alarm so you can find your item in no time, or you can use a map on your device to find the item. It can save you time and frustration, making your life easier and less stressful.</p> <h2>Top 5 Bluetooth Trackers</h2> <h3>Tile Mate</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2jX6nCq"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/tile%20mate.jpg" width="153" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2jX6nCq">Tile Mate</a> is an updated version of the original Tile. It is now 25% smaller and has a hole in the corner, allowing you to easily hook it onto your keys or bag. It also now comes with four preset ringtones so you can customize the alarm sound.</p> <p>You can easily track an item with the free Tile app. The app automatically records the last known location of your item on a map, so you can quickly find it. You can also make it ring when you get close. The small tracker can also find your phone by making it ring, even on silent. The durable, reliable, sealed, waterproof tracker has a sleek design and very good range. The best part is that if your item is stolen, you can mark it as such on the app. Then, any Tile that is within range of your item can alert the network of your item&rsquo;s location so you can get it back in no time.</p> <p>The non-replaceable battery lasts at least one year from activation. The Tile Mate works with Android and iOS devices, as well as electronics with Bluetooth 4.0. It is an Amazon best-seller and is recommended by Wired, PC Advisor, PCMag, The Wirecutter, TechCrunch, BuzzFeed, and USA Today. It also has outstanding online reviews, including nearly 1,000 five-star reviews on Amazon. The <a href="http://amzn.to/2izhIwo">Tile Slim</a> is another option that is a bit slimmer, so you can more easily carry it in your wallet.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2jX6nCq"><em>Currently $24.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>TrackR bravo Generation 2</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2k2MnCI"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/trackr.jpg" width="201" height="220" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2k2MnCI">TrackR bravo Generation 2</a> has a sleek, simple design. The coin-sized device has two-way tracking capabilities and a distance indicator to let you know when you&rsquo;re getting close to your item. It can quickly find your phone by making it ring, even on silent, or you can login to the website to see its location on a map. Thanks to custom separation alerts, if you leave your item behind, both your phone and TrackR device will ring to notify you.</p> <p>The durable, effective tracking device has a one-year replaceable battery. You can also share important items with friends or family, so everyone can locate your items. The best part is that if your item is stolen, you can mark it as such on the app. Then, any TrackR that is within range of your item can alert the network of your item&rsquo;s location so you can get it back in no time. In fact, TrackR claims to help find one million items every day.</p> <p>This is available in a range of colors. It works with iOS and Android devices with Bluetooth 4.0 and has Alexa integration. It is frequently recommended online by publications like The Wall Street Journal and Tom&rsquo;s Guide.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2k2MnCI"><em>Currently $22.50 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>PROTAG Duet Bluetooth Tracker</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2iMXEoR"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/protag.jpg" width="245" height="152" align="right" alt="" /></a>With the <a href="http://amzn.to/2iMXEoR">PROTAG Duet Bluetooth Tracker</a>, you can manage multiple valuables at once. It has two-way tracking for valuables attached to your Duet and your phone. The compact tracker features a Smart Alert to alert your phone when items are left behind, a Smart Locator to record the last GPS location, and a Smart Radar to scan an area of 30 meters to find valuables. It also has mobile protection, which allows it to capture a photo of the thief and record the SIM number. The replaceable battery should last about eight months.</p> <p>This works with iOS and Android devices with Bluetooth 4.0. It is available in a range of colors. It is frequently recommended online by publications like The Wall Street Journal and Tom&rsquo;s Guide. Some reviewers find the device to be faulty, but it is one of the most popular on the market.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2iMXEoR"><em>Currently $29.90 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>XY3 3rd Gen Item Finder</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2jX4nu7"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/xy3.jpg" width="219" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>This started as a Kickstarter campaign and the <a href="http://amzn.to/2jX4nu7">XY3 3rd Gen Item Finder</a> is now one of the most popular Bluetooth trackers on the market. The new XY3 is water-resistant and five times louder than before. The exclusive KeepNear notifications let you know when your item is out of range, so you&rsquo;ll know if you&rsquo;re leaving something behind. It can quickly find your phone by making it ring, even on silent, or you can login to the website to see its location on a map. The best part is that if your item is stolen, you can mark it as such on the app. Then, any XY3 that is within range of your item can alert the network of your item&rsquo;s location so you can get it back in no time. The small, lightweight device uses a standard, easily replaceable CR2032 battery.</p> <p>This is available in eight different colors. It works with iOS and Android devices via a Bluetooth Low Energy signal. It has great reviews and is frequently recommended online.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2jX4nu7"><em>Currently $25.43 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>CUBE</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2jWQNH5" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/cube.jpg" width="217" height="245" align="right" alt="" />The CUBE</a> uses a simple app to find your valuables in no time. It features the last known location on a map and uses Bluetooth to tell if you&rsquo;re near your item, with up to 100-feet range. It also has a separation alarm to alert you if you left something behind. It can locate your phone with ring, vibrate, and flash, even if the app is not running. The waterproof tracker also works as a shutter button for your phone&rsquo;s camera. It includes an extra battery, which should last you a year and can be replaced.</p> <p>This works with Android and iOS devices, as well as most Bluetooth devices. It has great reviews and is frequently recommended online.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2jWQNH5"><em>Currently $25.00 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best Bluetooth trackers. As always, be sure to check <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar">Wise Bread's Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-bluetooth-trackers">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/the-5-best-instant-cameras">The 5 Best Instant Cameras</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/the-5-best-pet-cameras">The 5 Best Pet Cameras</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-5-best-selfie-sticks">The 5 Best Selfie Sticks</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/the-5-best-gaming-mice">The 5 Best Gaming Mice</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-5-best-4k-televisions">The 5 Best 4K Televisions</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Technology 5 best bluetooth bluetooth accessories bluetooth trackers product reviews shopping smartphone Wed, 18 Jan 2017 10:00:08 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1868195 at http://www.wisebread.com Earn Extra Income With Your Smartphone Camera http://www.wisebread.com/earn-extra-income-with-your-smartphone-camera <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/earn-extra-income-with-your-smartphone-camera" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-491752390.jpg" alt="use your smartphone to make extra money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You no longer need to carry around a digital camera to capture in-the-moment photos. Today's smartphones feature fantastic cameras with surprising quality and clarity. For example, the latest iPhone 7 boasts a groundbreaking new camera, including the ability to take RAW photos and capture images in low light.</p> <p>The new camera quality in smartphones means they can be a tool to create a small photography side business. If you love taking photos and have a great eye, you can turn your artistic vision into cash, right from your phone.</p> <p>These three sites will pay cash for your smartphone photos. Here's how to get started.</p> <h2>EyeEm</h2> <p><a href="https://www.eyeem.com/" target="_blank">EyeEm</a> is one of the largest smartphone-picture platforms, with over 18 million creators. Available to both iPhone and Android users, you can sell photos for anywhere from $20 to $250, depending on the license.</p> <p>EyeEm also allows you to upload photos from your computer, so you can edit photos from your smartphone before posting them for sale.</p> <h2>Foap</h2> <p><a href="https://www.foap.com/" target="_blank">Foap</a> is a free app for iPhones that allows you to sell your photos. Once you sign up for an account, you upload your photos. To use any of your photos, a customer must purchase a photo license for $10; Foap keeps $5, and you get $5 as the artist.</p> <p>The great thing about Foap is that you are not limited in how many times you sell a photo. If that one adorable picture of your dog appeals to customers, you can sell it 100 times or more.</p> <h2>Fotolia Instant</h2> <p>With the <a href="https://blog.fotolia.com/us/category/instant/" target="_blank">Fotolia Instant app</a>, you can upload images from your Android or iPhone directly to Fotolia Instant Collection, which is a subset of the site dedicated solely to smartphone images for brands looking for stock images.</p> <p>Fotolia Instant allows you to include a model release, add keyword information, and manage every aspect of the sales process. You get a 33% commission for every photo you sell. Once you reach $50 in sales, you can request your payout via PayPal or Skrill.</p> <h2>Tips for Selling Your Photos</h2> <p>While you can turn your smartphone into a money-earner, the stock photo market can be crowded with other sellers. To increase your chances of customers buying your pictures, try to think from their point of view and what they need. Most shoppers are small business owners and bloggers looking for stock photos.</p> <p>They likely will need your photos for various purposes, so:</p> <ul> <li>Make sure your photos are large enough that they can be resized without getting blurry or grainy. <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Take advantage of your location. If your city has well-known landmarks or shopping districts, those areas can translate to very popular photos. <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You can also get inspiration by checking out blogs and looking at the stock photos they use for ideas for what shots sell.</li> </ul> <h2>Turning Your Phone Into Cash</h2> <p>Instead of just snapping selfies and paying for an expensive data plan, turn your smartphone camera into a cash-earning machine. If you love taking photos and have a unique point of view, you can turn your camera into a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-unexpected-side-benefits-of-your-side-hustle" target="_blank">decent side hustle</a>. Post photos on various sites to maximize your chances of earning extra money, and keep adding fresh content to keep customers coming back.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kat-tretina">Kat Tretina</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/earn-extra-income-with-your-smartphone-camera">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/prizes-and-freebies-from-coupsmart-for-the-iphone">Prizes and Freebies from CoupSmart for the iPhone</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/the-cell-phone-app-thats-saving-me-a-smal-fortune">The Cell Phone App That&#039;s Saving Me A Small Fortune</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-things-you-must-immediately-do-after-losing-your-smartphone">8 Things You Must Immediately Do After Losing Your Smartphone</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/5-social-media-stars-who-earn-way-more-than-you">5 Social Media Stars Who Earn Way More Than 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/5-sites-that-will-pay-for-your-old-iphone">5 Sites That Will Pay for Your Old iPhone</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income Technology Android camera cash instagram iPhone photography photos side gig smartphone Tue, 17 Jan 2017 10:30:31 +0000 Kat Tretina 1873579 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Cool Tech Products to Check Out in 2017 http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-cool-tech-products-to-check-out-in-2017 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-cool-tech-products-to-check-out-in-2017" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_tech_gadget_461155579.jpg" alt="Man checking out cool tech gadgets in 2017" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found articles on innovative products that will hit stores this year, how to save on airline baggage fees, and ways to get your spouse to save more money.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2017/0112/Vegan-leather-jackets-personal-translator-and-8-more-cool-tech-products">Vegan leather jackets, personal translator, and 8 more cool tech products</a> &mdash; You'll want to keep an eye out for these new, innovative products set to hit stores this year. [The Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Save-Baggage-Fees-42015883">6 Ways to Save Money on Airline Baggage Fees</a> &mdash; Many airline rewards programs allow their members to check at least one bag for free. This is a good option for people who travel often. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/how-get-your-spouse-board-with-saving-money/">6 Ways to Get Your Spouse to Save More Money</a> &mdash; If your spouse shuts down at the mere mention of money, consider bringing in a third party who can mediate the discussion. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://www.experian.com/blogs/news/about/paycheck-to-paycheck/">Budgeting 101: Steps to Stop Living Paycheck-to-Paycheck</a> &mdash; Join Experian's #CreditChat tomorrow at 3 p.m. ET for a discussion on the steps we need to take to stop living paycheck to paycheck. [Experian]</p> <p><a href="http://www.dumblittleman.com/bad-food-habits/">8 Bad Food Habits That are Sabotaging Your Weight Loss Goals</a> &mdash; Processed sugar is usually one of the first things that dieters cut, but you should also pay attention to sodium intake. [Dumb Little Man]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.shebudgets.com/personal-finance/how-to-save-money/five-ways-being-a-safe-driver-can-save-you-money/71950">Five Ways Being A Safe Driver Can Save You Money</a> &mdash; Bad driving habits like driving too fast and slamming your brakes can be damaging to your car, resulting in expensive repairs or replacements. [SheBudgets]</p> <p><a href="http://funny-about-money.com/5-tips-for-making-your-rental-property-more-profitable/">5 Tips for Making your Rental Property More Profitable</a> &mdash; Tenants are more willing to pay more in rent if you offer extra services like a gardener or access to a washer and dryer. [Funny About Money]</p> <p><a href="http://www.lifehack.org/520465/3-gadgets-get-you-through-the-cold-and-flu-season">3 Gadgets to Get You Through the Cold and Flu Season</a> &mdash; During the cold and flu season, it's crucial for families to wash their hands often and thoroughly. A touchless soap dispenser can reduce the spread of germs from one person to the next. [Lifehack]</p> <p><a href="http://www.positivityblog.com/index.php/2017/01/12/start-year-off-on-the-right-foot/">10 Simple Ways to Start Your 2017 Off on the Right Foot</a> &mdash; Take stock of the things that influence you during the day and replace one negative influence with a positive one. [The Positivity Blog]</p> <p><a href="https://timemanagementninja.com/2017/01/7-secrets-to-ending-meetings-on-time/">7 Secrets to Ending Meetings on Time</a> &mdash; Commit to starting your meetings on time, even if people are late or still messing around. [Time Management Ninja]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-cool-tech-products-to-check-out-in-2017">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-fitness-gadgets-actually-worth-the-money">5 Fitness Gadgets Actually Worth the Money</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/the-5-best-bluetooth-trackers">The 5 Best Bluetooth Trackers</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/9-things-you-can-do-online-besides-watch-cat-gifs">9 Things You Can Do Online Besides Watch Cat GIFs</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/7-apps-that-make-budgeting-fun-no-really">7 Apps That Make Budgeting Fun — No Really!</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/what-you-need-to-start-flipping-items-for-cash-online">What You Need to Start Flipping Items for Cash Online</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Technology best money tips tech products Tue, 17 Jan 2017 10:00:13 +0000 Amy Lu 1873811 at http://www.wisebread.com What You Need to Start Flipping Items for Cash Online http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-start-flipping-items-for-cash-online <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-you-need-to-start-flipping-items-for-cash-online" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-628153006.jpg" alt="make money from home flipping your clutter" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Over the past few months, I've shared my love of flipping by sharing <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easiest-items-to-flip-for-cash?ref=internal" target="_blank">easy items to flip for cash</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-old-knick-knacks-you-can-flip-for-easy-cash?ref=internal" target="_blank">&quot;flippable&quot; knickknacks</a> that can bring in the highest profit. But knowing <em>what </em>to sell is far different from knowing <em>how </em>to sell. With that in mind, let's explore the essentials for getting started in the flipping game. Here are the only nine things you need to make money flipping your stuff.</p> <h2>1. A Smartphone</h2> <p>Even if you're equipped with decades' worth of knowledge about a wide range of items, immediate access to information is crucial. Though I've spent most of my life immersed in the world of antiques, I still rely on my smartphone nearly every time I go picking. Researching recent online sales helps me confirm hunches, learn more about obscure items, decide what's worth buying, and determine the maximum price I can pay. And I can do all of it on the go with my smartphone in hand.</p> <h2>2. A Quality Camera</h2> <p>Though written descriptions are important, great photographs sell products. Invest in a high-quality digital camera and work to develop basic photo-editing skills. Just a few minutes' worth of cropping, adjusting brightness levels, and tweaking contrast ratios can turn so-so snapshots in fabulous photos.</p> <h2>3. An Account With an Online Auction Site</h2> <p>An account or storefront on eBay, Etsy, Amazon, or similar site is the virtual front door of your flipping business &mdash; a door that millions of potential buyers can walk through 24/7. While selling locally on Craigslist is convenient for large items, many people are understandably put off by the risks associated with meeting buyers in person. Also, depending on your area, a Craigslist ad may simply not get the same level of attention as a listing on a major auction or retail site. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-secrets-of-highly-successful-craigslist-sellers?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 9 Secrets of Highly Successful Craigslist Sellers</a>)</p> <h2>4. A PayPal Account</h2> <p>Though there are competing payment methods, PayPal is the standard for most online transactions. As much as you may want to support the underdog or minimize your transaction fees, make your life (and your buyers' lives) easier by setting up a PayPal account and getting verified. Verified status on PayPal boosts your credibility as both a buyer and a seller, allows you to send and receive money as often as you like, and provides certain seller protections.</p> <h2>5. A Dedicated Space</h2> <p>While not a requirement, a dedicated space for inventory can help serious flippers keep track of what needs to be photographed and listed, what's listed but unsold, and what's waiting to be shipped. Find a walk-in closet or basement corner that you can devote to stock, packing supplies, and other business essentials.</p> <h2>6. Packing and Shipping Supplies</h2> <p>If you're selling primarily online, you'll need a steady supply of boxes, Bubble Wrap, and packing peanuts. To keep my overhead low, I try to source most of this material free from local retailers. Department and grocery stores usually restock shelves in the evening and are more than happy to offload empty boxes that would be destined for the dumpster or recycling bin anyway.</p> <h2>7. A Shipping Account</h2> <p>As an active flipper, you'll likely be shipping packages all week long. Avoid schlepping all those parcels to the post office by setting up a USPS account, paying for and printing your postage at home, and having packages picked up at your doorstep. FedEx Ship Manager and UPS Internet Shipping are similar services that allow you to do the same thing. Whatever option you choose, be transparent. Communicate your shipping charges clearly and make sure buyers understand their options and have accurate tracking information.</p> <h2>8. Basic Customer Service Skills</h2> <p>Just as in the brick-and-mortar world, selling successfully online takes a bit of hand-holding. Inevitably, prospective buyers will have questions, request additional details or photos, and try to get a better deal by throwing lowball offers your way. Channel your inner customer service representative and respond to inquiries quickly and respectfully. Your buyers will appreciate it and remember you when it's time to buy again.</p> <h2>9. An Eye for Trends</h2> <p>Since tastes and styles change quickly, flippers need to stay on top of trends. Particularly if you're selling clothing, antiques, or home décor items, become a student of the world around you. What items are people just beginning to appreciate and collect? What clothing trends are fading away? What parts of the resale market are oversaturated? Once you've tuned into evolving trends, you'll begin to anticipate what's next and discover whole new categories of items you can flip for easy cash.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-start-flipping-items-for-cash-online">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/craigslist-vs-ebay-where-to-sell-10-common-items">Craigslist vs. eBay: Where to Sell 10 Common Items</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/turn-old-clothes-into-money-with-these-4-tools-and-apps">Turn Old Clothes Into Money With These 4 Tools and Apps</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/make-money-and-declutter-by-selling-these-5-unlikely-treasures">Make Money and Declutter by Selling These 5 Unlikely Treasures</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/the-awesome-art-of-getting-great-deals-online">The Awesome Art of Getting Great Deals Online</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-sell-your-crap-a-book-review-and-tips">How to Sell Your Crap: A Book Review and Tips</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income Shopping Technology Amazon clothes clutter craigslist de-clutter eBay etsy flipping flipping items paypal sell your stuff Wed, 11 Jan 2017 11:00:09 +0000 Kentin Waits 1871894 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Personal Things You Should Never Text or Email http://www.wisebread.com/9-personal-things-you-should-never-text-or-email <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-personal-things-you-should-never-text-or-email" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-500176856.jpg" alt="never put these things in a text or email" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Rule #1 of email and text etiquette? Don't send anything that you wouldn't post publicly for the world to see. If your messages are even the slightest bit questionable, aggressive, provocative, or sexy, they <em>will</em> make it to someone else other than the intended recipient. And when the narrative is out of your hands, you have no way to control it &mdash; which could result in unexpected consequences.</p> <p>Avoid certain disasters by minding these nine things you should never text or email. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-embarrassing-mistakes-everyone-makes-but-doesnt-talk-about?ref=seealso">13 Embarrassing Mistakes Everyone Makes But Doesn't Talk About</a>)</p> <h2>1. Anger Toward Your Partner</h2> <p>My soon-to-be ex-husband and I are on good terms now, but for a few years leading up to our separation, it was tough getting along with one another. One of the contributing factors to us never being on the same page was that we were always fighting via text or email. He preferred it because he said he couldn't get a word in edgewise if we had a verbal argument (which I don't disagree with), but texting and emailing our issues to one another only seemed to exacerbate our problems. Our &quot;tones&quot; were often taken out of context when written, and we weren't handling our marriage like adults. As such, avoid making the same mistakes that I did with your partner.</p> <p>Also keep in mind that &quot;anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of law.&quot; While our marriage is ending amicably, not all relationships do &mdash; and if there's a paper trail of indecency toward one another, it can certainly be used as evidence against you.</p> <h2>2. A Relationship Break-Up</h2> <p>Listen, if you've been in a relationship with someone for more than a few weeks, especially if you've consummated that relationship, you owe it to the other individual to break it off in person. It's common decency. Personally, I'd rather get dumped over coffee than wake up to a text message that says, &quot;It's over.&quot; Because then I'll be like, &quot;The hell it is,&quot; and show up at your office a few hours later with a rabbit in a pot.</p> <h2>3. Firing an Employee</h2> <p>Firing an employee is just like a breakup, and it should be handled with the same amount of sensitivity. Sending a text or email to tell someone they're fired is cowardly and disrespectful, no matter how old they are or what length of time they've spent at the company. Call the employee into your office, tell them point-blank that they're being let go, provide reasons for the dismissal, and discuss the professional uncoupling procedure.</p> <p>This also provides you an opportunity to manage the removal of the employee's personal property, whereas telling them by text or email will give them plenty of time to pilfer company information since they'll still need to physically come back to the office to claim their belongings. Things can go off the rails very quickly in these situations, which plenty of corporate security guards can attest to.</p> <h2>4. Your Nude Photos</h2> <p>Listen, you're an adult and you can do what you want, but you can't start boo-hooing when your boss or your mother discovers the nude pics and videos you've been sending to strangers on Tinder. Not everyone out there is a nice person &mdash; and the sooner you recognize that, the less apt you'll be to put all your goodies on the Internet.</p> <p>If you want to engage in this type of activity, at least do it with someone you trust. Otherwise, keep identifying physical aspects of yourself out of the shots, including your face and tattoos. I'm doling out this advice as someone with experience in how awry these heat-of-the-moment decisions can go... and it won't end the way you want it to.</p> <h2>5. Personal and Financial Information</h2> <p>If someone asks for your Social Security number or credit card information via text or email &mdash; even if you trust them implicitly &mdash; politely decline. If you send the information over unencrypted or unsecure networks, hackers and identity thieves may snatch it. Instead, pick up the phone to have the recipient of the information manually take it down. Ask that they destroy the evidence in many pieces afterward, too.</p> <h2>6. Messages That Make You Look Illiterate</h2> <p>Sometimes I read emails from professional people with high-paying jobs and I think to myself, how did you graduate high school? You know what I'm talking about. There's this scourge of society who can't compose a proper sentence or place punctuation appropriately. Some people write a whole paragraph with nary a comma or period. Drives me crazy, and it makes me question their literacy.</p> <p>Home-school mom and counselor Nicole Dean is on my side.</p> <p>&quot;Sending incomplete emails or emails that are not proofread is the worst &mdash; especially to potential employers or professional/business contacts,&quot; she says. &quot;When composing an email to a professional or when composing an angry email (complaining about something, offering criticism), do not put in the person's email address until you have typed the entire email. Then, read through the whole email. I also find it helpful, as a habit, to attach any files to the mail before writing the text. Never reply all. If you have several email addresses, always check which one you are using before you start typing. Some people have sent mass replies or single emails using a second or third 'throwaway' email address that is either unprofessional or inappropriate.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Apologies and Confessions</h2> <p>Apologize in person for whatever you did wrong. Likewise, if you have something to confess, sit down, tell the truth, and move on with your life.</p> <p>&quot;Whatever bad thing you did to warrant a heartfelt apology or remorseful confession requires more than just a 146 character, black-and-white response,&quot; adds author Mark Babbitt, founder of a social resource for young professionals. &quot;Sure, it's easier to deliver bad news while hiding behind your device, but this is the time to be a real human being &mdash; which means an abundant amount of eye contact, positive body language, and a reassuring touch.&quot;</p> <p>Unless they don't want your grubby hands touching them anymore. Keep your devil-paws to yourself if that's the case.</p> <h2>8. Inappropriate Questions</h2> <p>If a question seems invasive, awkward, or weird, and you're having second thoughts about whether or not you should send a message containing that question, don't do it. Trust your gut. It usually does a good job of letting you know when you're about to act foolish.</p> <h2>9. Resumes From Your Work Email</h2> <p>Let me break this down for you right quick: If you send your resume to a potential employer from your current employer's email, you deserve to be fired. You're using company time and resources to look for a different job? Get it together!</p> <p>Send your resumes when you're not at work on your work computer, please. The IT department can see everything you send, remember, and some of them are looking for faux pas just like this to forward to HR. You'll really kick yourself when you start feeling unhireable because nobody has responded to your applications while also being unemployed.</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/9-personal-things-you-should-never-text-or-email">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-17"> <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/9-things-you-can-do-online-besides-watch-cat-gifs">9 Things You Can Do Online Besides Watch Cat GIFs</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-reasons-not-to-delete-your-emails">5 Reasons Not to Delete Your Emails</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/productivity-tips-to-carry-you-through-2012">Productivity Tips to Carry You Through 2012</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/hang-up-the-phone-why-video-is-the-best-way-to-connect-with-people">Hang Up the Phone: Why Video Is the Best Way to Connect With People</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-technologies-we-wish-were-never-invented">8 Technologies We Wish Were Never Invented</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Technology emails leak personal information private information text etiquette texting work emails Thu, 05 Jan 2017 10:30:26 +0000 Mikey Rox 1868725 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Ways to Prevent Your Smartphone From Wasting Data http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-prevent-your-smartphone-from-wasting-data <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-ways-to-prevent-your-smartphone-from-wasting-data" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-502896132.jpg" alt="prevent your smartphone from wasting data" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you burn through your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-your-smartphone-saves-you-money">smartphone data</a> in the first week of the billing month? Are you constantly paying overage charges for additional data? We've got some tips to help prevent your smartphone from unnecessarily wasting data. This will save you money every billing cycle and ensure that you have the data you need to get you through the month.</p> <p>Unlimited data plans would be the ideal solution for many of us, but most phone companies just don't offer those types of plans anymore, unless you're willing to start a family plan. Even if your phone carrier does offer such a plan, they are usually very expensive. Instead, try some of the tips below to see if they can help you get the data you need, without going over your allowance.</p> <h2>1. Make Sure Your Wi-Fi Is On</h2> <p>Usually, the biggest problem is that a person has turned off their Wi-Fi and has just forgotten about it. Before we begin talking about ways to save data, make sure your Wi-Fi is turned on in the first place. Once your Wi-Fi is turned on, you should try leaving it on at all times, if possible.</p> <h2>2. Turn Off Cellular Data</h2> <p>Cellular data is used when there is no Wi-Fi connection. This will allow you to use the Internet wirelessly, but will eat into your monthly data allotment. Consider turning off your cellular data whenever you aren't using your phone.</p> <h2>3. Find Data-Hungry Apps and Services</h2> <p>While turning off cellular data is the best way to prevent unexpected data usage, it is usually a last resort for most people. That's because when cellular data is turned off, you can't use your personal hotspot or send and receive MMS text messages.</p> <p>Instead, you may want to disable cellular data only for certain apps and services. On an iOS device, visit Settings &gt; Cellular to determine which apps are using the most data, so you can turn off cellular data for those specific apps.</p> <h2>4. Turn Off Automatic Downloads</h2> <p>Your data may also be used for automatic downloads or for services like iBooks and Safari's reading list. On an iOS device, you can turn this off with Settings &gt; iTunes &amp; App Store &gt; Use Cellular Data for automatic downloads, Settings &gt; Safari &gt; Use Cellular Data for Safari's reading list, and Settings &gt; iBooks &gt; Use Cellular Data for iBooks.</p> <h2>5. Turn Off Wi-Fi Assist</h2> <p>Consider turning off your Wi-Fi assist whenever you aren't using your phone. Wi-Fi Assist automatically uses cellular data when the Wi-Fi connectivity is poor, which could be using up your data when you aren't expecting it.</p> <h2>6. Turn Off Background App Refresh</h2> <p>Your apps are automatically refreshing their content in the background. By turning off the refresh, you can preserve battery life and data. On an iOS device, you can do this under Settings &gt; General &gt; Background App Refresh.</p> <h2>7. Turn Off iCloud Drive</h2> <p>iCloud Drive can automatically upload backups of your apps, which can use up data when you're least expecting it. Consider turning off your iCloud drive altogether.</p> <h2>8. Turn Off iCloud Photos</h2> <p>When your iCloud photo library is turned on, your phone will automatically upload and store your entire photo library and iCloud. This can quickly eat away at your data, so consider turning it off.</p> <h2>9. Turn Off Data Roaming</h2> <p>To restrict all data to Wi-Fi, including email, web browsing, and push notifications while you're traveling, turn off data roaming. You can do this on an iOS device with Settings &gt; Cellular &gt; Data Roaming.</p> <h2>10. Use Low-Power Mode</h2> <p>If your phone offers a low power mode, it is best to leave this on whenever possible. This mode temporarily reduces power consumption until you have fully recharged your phone. When it is on, your phone won't refresh apps, fetch mail, or automatically download updates, which can save your battery and data.</p> <h2>11. Turn Off High-Quality Music Streaming</h2> <p>If you are listening to music without a Wi-Fi connection, you may be using up your data. With higher-quality music, more data is needed to stream it. You can shut off cellular data for your music altogether through Settings &gt; Music &gt; Use Cellular Data. This will only allow you to listen to music when Wi-Fi is available. You can also simply disable high-quality music.</p> <h2>12. Use Lower-Quality Video Streaming</h2> <p>When you're watching a YouTube video and don't have access to Wi-Fi, consider viewing the video at a lower resolution. Click on the three dots on the video and select a lower resolution, like 144p.</p> <h2>13. Listen to Spotify Offline</h2> <p>If you prefer to use Spotify, consider setting your favorite playlists to &quot;Available Offline.&quot; This will allow you to play your favorite songs without streaming.</p> <h2>14. Adjust Your App Settings</h2> <p>If you frequent social media apps, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, consider adjusting the settings on these apps. For instance, on all three social media apps, you can set it to auto-play videos only when you're connected to Wi-Fi (or not at all). Usually, these apps are set to auto-play videos using both Wi-Fi and data, which can use up your data to download the video, even if you weren't planning on playing it. On each of your social media pages, visit Settings to make the adjustments.</p> <h2>15. Call Your Cellular Provider</h2> <p>When all else fails, you can simply call your cellular provider for advice. There may be an error, which is no fault of yours. Otherwise, your provider can usually track down where most of your data was used, so you have an idea of which apps or services are draining your data. Sprint, AT&amp;T, and Verizon also offer a rough estimate of your data usage online.</p> <h2>How to Turn Off Apps and Services</h2> <p>If you aren't sure how to turn off cellular data, iCloud, or background app refresh, look under Settings. They are usually all under the General or iCloud sections. However, every phone is different, so if you are having trouble, ask your phone service provider or phone manufacturer for help.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-prevent-your-smartphone-from-wasting-data">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/the-smart-way-to-pay-for-cell-phone-service">The Smart Way to Pay for Cell Phone Service</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-sites-that-will-pay-for-your-old-iphone">5 Sites That Will Pay for Your Old iPhone</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-apps-for-the-tech-challenged-traveler">7 Apps for the Tech-Challenged Traveler</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/8-ways-to-save-on-smartphone-costs-while-traveling">8 Ways to Save on Smartphone Costs While Traveling</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/9-things-you-can-do-online-besides-watch-cat-gifs">9 Things You Can Do Online Besides Watch Cat GIFs</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Technology bills data plan phone bill phone plan smartphone technology wasting data Mon, 19 Dec 2016 11:00:09 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1855929 at http://www.wisebread.com Going Off the Grid Is a Lot Harder Than You Think http://www.wisebread.com/going-off-the-grid-is-a-lot-harder-than-you-think <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/going-off-the-grid-is-a-lot-harder-than-you-think" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_farm_carrots_519737980.jpg" alt="Woman learning going off the grid is hard" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The term &quot;off the grid&quot; has taken on an expanded meaning of late. It used to be used in a literal fashion, to refer to disconnection from the grids supplying power, gas, water, and telephone services. Lately it's come to mean something broader: disconnecting from what whatever parts of &quot;the system&quot; seem objectionable to you.</p> <p>Some people want to disconnect from the financial system. Some people want to disconnect from the surveillance state. Some people want to disconnect from the globalized economy or industrial agriculture or consumerism. Any of these choices have both costs and benefits.</p> <p>Take a look at some of your options.</p> <h2>Off the Grid on the Low-Tech Path</h2> <p>To go fully off the grid is to become self-sufficient &mdash; to produce all the things you need for daily living. This is only sort-of possible. That is, the technology to produce everything you need to live is very low-tech indeed &mdash; pretty much everybody lived that way for the past 100,000 years &mdash; but there are two problems, one of which is insurmountable.</p> <h3>The Surmountable Problem: It's a Hard Way to Live</h3> <p>There are two historical routes along the low-tech path. The more recent is subsistence farmer.</p> <p>You can't just decide &quot;I'm going to be a subsistence farmer&quot; and expect to succeed at it. It takes capital (in the form of land and tools). It takes skills (that your grandfather may have had, but that you probably don't). And if you can acquire both of those things, it then takes long hours of year-round backbreaking work to eke out a meager existence.</p> <p>You can live at a much higher standard of living if you work for money (whether at a job or at your own small business) and then use that money to buy the things you need. Even if you don't make much money at all &mdash; part-time work at minimum wage, or whatever you can make as a freelancer at this or that &mdash; you're still going to be able to live as well as a subsistence farmer.</p> <p>Oh, the subsistence farmer will get better food. It doesn't get any fresher, more local, free-range, or organic than the stuff you grow yourself. The subsistence farmer also gets the huge satisfaction that comes from supplying your own needs with your own two hands. But if you really want to produce everything yourself, you're going to have to do without a lot.</p> <p>You have to make a lot of choices about how pure you want to be. Each thing you want to learn how to make yourself &mdash; nails, let's say &mdash; means another big investment in tools (forge, anvil) and skills, and another huge amount of work that you have to do to produce enough nails for a project. And each thing you decide not to make for yourself &mdash; cellphones, let's say &mdash; draws you into the money economy, meaning that you need to produce a surplus, so you have something to sell beyond what you need to live on.</p> <p>Although it would have been a lot easier in your grandfather's time (his parents had and could teach many of the skills that you're going to have to learn from YouTube videos), it's probably easier now than it was in the 1960s, when a lot of hippie types gave subsistence farming a serious try. At least you've got the YouTube videos.</p> <p>There is a lot of stuff out there to help, if you're serious about giving something like this a try. You might start with my review of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-the-self-sufficient-life-and-how-to-live-it">The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It</a> here on Wise Bread from a few years ago.</p> <p>Just for completeness, I should mention the even older low-tech path: The lifestyle of the hunter-gatherer.</p> <p>As a practical option, this one probably doesn't even exist. Virtually all the land that is suitable to support hunter-gatherers is more valuable for some other use, and so it has been taken for that use. (Hunter-gatherers couldn't win fights with farmers even before firearms were invented.)</p> <p>I suppose a wealthy person could buy a hunting preserve on a tract of land big enough to provide enough fish, game, and plants to support himself. If he did his hunting with primitive weapons and processed the carcasses with primitive tools (and kept to himself), he could probably get away with violating the rules on hunting seasons, fishing licenses, and the like. But it would just be a fantasy of living as a hunter-gatherer. As a landowner, he'd still be on the grid. (As a rich person, he'd no doubt be on the grid in all sorts of ways.)</p> <p>Having said all that, hunting and gathering are both useful as ways to improve whatever lifestyle choice you end up with. Anything you can take from the wild is something that you neither need to grow nor buy. I talk about that in my post <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/foraging-not-insane-useless-or-impossible">Foraging: Not Insane, Useless, or Impossible</a> and Andrea Karim has posts looking at <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hunt-fish-money-food">hunting and fishing for food</a> and at <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-food-in-your-yard-edible-weeds">gathering edible weeds</a>. (Of course those barely scratch the surface of what hunting and gathering can do to supplement your diet in modern times.)</p> <h3>The Insurmountable Problem: You're Still on the Grid</h3> <p>A farmer needs to own land, and all kinds of grid attachments come along with that. You have to pay your property taxes, so you have to earn some money, so you're probably going to have to file an income tax return as well. If you need to earn money you're probably going to have to be able to market your products, so you need a truck, which means even more money, and even more grid attachments (license, plates, safety inspections, dependence on foreign oil).</p> <p>There are other ways you can't get off the grid. The state is going to check and make sure your kids are getting a proper education. You can teach them yourself, but you need to be on-the-grid enough to do the paperwork. You need to have health insurance even if you don't want to avail yourself of modern medical care. Zoning regulations will affect how you can use your land. Federal marketing orders and agreements affect what crops you can grow, and the EPA regulates what you can do with wetlands on your property.</p> <p>Because of these issues (and a hundred more like them), I've become enamored of late by the possibility of a different sort of path to off-the-grid living.</p> <h2>Off the Grid on the High-Tech Path</h2> <p>If you accept the fact that there simply is no way to live completely off the grid &mdash; if you abandon the purity aspect of the notion &mdash; another option opens up: You can go off the grid <em>a la carte</em>, picking and choosing where connecting to the grid is worth the cost, and where disconnecting is the bigger win.</p> <p>The question you need to ask is &quot;<em>Why</em> do you want to live off the grid?&quot; If you understand the answer to that question, you can decide where to put your effort.</p> <h3>The Satisfaction of Providing for Your Own Needs</h3> <p>If this is what moves you, you can start right away. Think about what you need and start producing it.</p> <p>Food? An intensively worked suburban plot can provide a large fraction of all the food a family needs, but you can start with just a garden. If you can have chickens where you live, you can easily be <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/real-eggs">self-sufficient in eggs</a>. You can certainly raise a few rabbits and substantially augment your household meat supply.</p> <p>Clothing? Learn to sew. Learn to knit. Learn to weave. Learn to spin.</p> <p>Shelter? Look into the &quot;tiny house&quot; movement. (There are several <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-tiny-house-living-actually-save-you-money">tiny house articles</a> on Wise Bread.)</p> <p>Producing your own stuff is only sometimes cheaper than buying it, but stuff you produce yourself can also be better than what you can buy (once you get good at producing it).</p> <h3>The Safety and Security of Providing for Your Own Needs</h3> <p>One downside of &quot;the grid&quot; is that you're so terribly dependent on it. If the power goes out, you're sitting in the dark. If a backhoe takes out the wrong cable, you've got no landline (or no Internet, or no cable). If the water company starts piping in water that's contaminated with lead, you're drinking from bottles until they clean the system.</p> <p>You can replace most of these things in a grid-free fashion, although it often takes capital.</p> <p>You can put solar panels on your roof and produce your own electricity. If you live out in the country, you can drill your own well and pump up your own water. You can even set up a biodigester and produce your own methane gas (although it might be simpler to harvest the occasional tree and burn wood rather than gas).</p> <p>There's really no way to go grid-free for telephone and Internet, because the connection is the essence of the thing. But if you wanted to do it, the technical chops required to set up your own local network &mdash; one that covered your home or your neighborhood (or your walled compound) &mdash; is not beyond the capability of an ordinary person. Throw in some access points capable of establishing a meshing network and a server with ample disk space and you could offer folks very local networking that was completely independent of the larger grid, providing voice access to everyone within your local network and offering whatever you wanted to spin up on your server. (A local copy of Wikipedia wouldn't take up much room at all.)</p> <h3>The Morality of Providing for Your Own Needs</h3> <p>Things that you produce yourself can be produced in accordance with your own values.</p> <p>You can be confident that no produce from your own garden was harvested by poorly treated migrant labor. You can be confident that no garment that you sew yourself was made by slaves or prisoners. Eggs from your chickens can be cruelty-free, cage-free, free-range, and organic to exactly the extent that you choose &mdash; and will certainly be extremely local.</p> <p>Using power produced by your solar panels funds no overseas terrorist organization, drains no cash to money-center corporations, nor does it enrich the shareholders of the firms endangering our air and water with fracking, offshore drilling, or poorly maintained pipelines.</p> <p>Where morality is not implicated, you can choose to stay on the grid. I don't live in a tiny house: I live in a town house &mdash; but it's a town house owned by a cooperative that I'm a member of. In essence, I rent it from myself. It's on the grid, but it's very much in accordance with my values.</p> <p>Living large on a small budget makes it easy to live light on the planet, and that often goes hand-in-hand with high-tech, off-grid living.</p> <h3>The Flexibility of Providing for Your Own Needs</h3> <p>The technology of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/three-paths-to-being-a-digital-nomad">digital nomad</a> makes it possible to go off the grid in a very different way.</p> <p>On the one hand, the digital nomad needs regular (although not necessarily constant) access to the Internet. That's as grid-connected as can be.</p> <p>On the other hand, once you've arranged your life to allow you to be location-independent, you can be pretty indifferent to exactly which bits of the grid you choose to depend on, and you can shift around based on the circumstances of the moment.</p> <p>You can live out of a suitcase and laptop bag, using the power and Internet available wherever you happen to be.</p> <p>You can outfit an RV (or a van) with some solar panels and some batteries, add a few gigabytes of data to your cellular plan, and live and work anywhere you choose.</p> <p>You can connect to the grid, work for as long as seems appropriate, and then disconnect whenever you want.</p> <p>Being able to make these choices &mdash; and then make different choices when the circumstance (or your thinking) changes &mdash; is what I mean by the high-tech path to off-grid living.</p> <h2>High-tech or Low-tech, Capital Makes a Difference</h2> <p>There's a big trade off between <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/self-sufficiency-self-reliance-and-freedom">self-sufficiency and self-reliance</a>, and the more of what you need you can produce for yourself, the more options you have.</p> <p>The grid is part of this. Replacing it requires a lot of capital. Doing without means taking a hit to your standard of living. This means a lot of hard choices, but each additional chunk of capital can turn one more hard choice into an easy choice.</p> <p>I mentioned at the beginning that a subsistence farmer needs capital for land or tools. Many of the other strategies I've mentioned &mdash; such as getting your power from a solar array &mdash; involve substituting capital up front for monthly bills (and a reliance on the grid).</p> <p>There is the option of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-farewell-my-subaru">going big on capital</a>. If you've got enough money, you can be as local and off-grid as you want in sourcing your food, power, water, and so on.</p> <p>If you lack capital, you're going to have to pick and choose which aspects of grid you chose to unhook from. Or else, you're going to have to accept a very low standard of living indeed.</p> <p>In the end, it comes down to your values. Why do you want to live off the grid? What lifestyle choices support those reasons?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/going-off-the-grid-is-a-lot-harder-than-you-think">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/life-without-tv">Life Without Television</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/9-things-you-can-do-online-besides-watch-cat-gifs">9 Things You Can Do Online Besides Watch Cat GIFs</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/4-ways-millennials-are-changing-marriage">4 Ways Millennials Are Changing Marriage</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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-sneaky-ways-identity-thieves-can-access-your-data">3 Sneaky Ways Identity Thieves Can Access Your Data</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Technology alternative living disconnecting Economy farming independence Internet off the grid self sufficient sustainability Thu, 15 Dec 2016 11:30:12 +0000 Philip Brewer 1850791 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Easy Ways to Pay With Your Smartphone http://www.wisebread.com/9-easy-ways-to-pay-with-your-smartphone <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-easy-ways-to-pay-with-your-smartphone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/paying_with_smartphone_537499455.jpg" alt="Learning easy ways to pay with a smartphone" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Mobile wallets carry the promise of simplifying your life, by enabling you to, for example, quickly pay for groceries without digging out a credit card from your wallet. Or, they can help you swiftly locate the right loyalty card without fumbling through a stack of cards in the checkout line, or immediately reimburse a coworker who picked up your lunch.</p> <p>But how do mobile wallets work?</p> <h2>Payment Apps</h2> <p>A payment app stores your credit card info so you can use your phone instead of a physical card to pay at a checkout counter. Simply bring up your app, then place your phone toward the contactless payment system scanner.</p> <p>In addition, you may be able to use the app for online purchases &mdash; without entering card or shipping information &mdash; if specific payment methods are available at checkout.</p> <h3>1. Apple Pay</h3> <p><a href="http://www.apple.com/apple-pay/">Apple Pay</a> is available on the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and more recent versions of the iPhone. There are&nbsp;<a href="http://www.apple.com/apple-pay/where-to-use/">millions of stores</a> that accept Apple Pay, including national chains such as Staples, Trader Joe's, and Walgreens.</p> <p>In addition, you may be able to use Apple Pay to complete online purchases made within the Safari browser and certain apps. Online stores that accept this method of payment display the Apple Pay logo at checkout. Apple Pay is available in the United States and several other countries.</p> <p>For security purposes, transactions require authentication with a pass code or Touch ID. Card numbers aren't stored on your device or Apple servers and they're not shared with merchants.</p> <p>Anonymous transaction information is collected but not tied to an individual and doesn't include what you buy.</p> <h3>2. Android Pay</h3> <p>Available for Android devices,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.android.com/pay/">Android Pay</a> is accepted at millions of U.S. stores and restaurants including the likes of Babies &quot;R&quot; Us, Jamba Juice, and Fuddruckers. At certain merchants, loyalty points and special offers are applied automatically, saving you from pulling out rewards cards.</p> <p>The app may help you make online purchases when you use Chrome as your browser or initiate certain in-app transactions. When available at checkout, Android Pay conveys your payment and shipping data, allowing you to skip the process of entering this information manually.</p> <p>For security purposes, you'll need to unlock your phone to pay via Android Pay. The app uses a virtual account number to complete transactions, and doesn't send your actual card number with payment. If your phone is lost or stolen, you can use the&nbsp;<a href="https://support.google.com/androidpay/answer/6289376?hl=en&amp;ref_topic=6289350">Android Device Manager</a> to lock your device, change the password, and erase personal information.</p> <h3>3. PayPal</h3> <p>Additional payment apps include&nbsp;<a href="https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/pay-in-stores">the PayPal</a> mobile app, which is accepted at a limited number of stores (in my area, AutoZone, Dollar General, and Macy's). Some restaurants accept payment via PayPal. Find them within the app, where you can also view menus and place orders through its link to yelp Eat 24. It's available on iOS, Windows, and Android devices.</p> <p>Certain retailers also have their own payment apps. For example, load money into your Starbucks app and use it to pay for your purchases. You can even order online and pick up without standing in line.</p> <h2>Money Transfer Apps</h2> <p>Money transfer apps allow you to send money to friends or family members, or collect money from them. Some may also allow you to pay businesses.</p> <h3>4. Google Wallet</h3> <p>Available on Android and iOS devices,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.google.com/wallet/">Google Wallet</a> allows you to send, request, and receive payments from individuals, as long as they live in the United States and have an email address or phone number. Transfers are made using your debit card registered with the app. There are no fees for this service.</p> <p>Money received can be moved to your bank account, where you'll get access within minutes of its receipt.</p> <p>Access to the app is restricted through the use of a Payments PIN. In addition, you can remove access to your account at myaccount.google.com if you lose your phone or it's stolen.</p> <p>Your financial data is stored on secured servers and encrypted with industry-standard SSL technology. Activity is monitored for fraud and Google covers 100% of verified unauthorized transactions.</p> <p>Google may collect information about your location and your use of its products. Learn more by reviewing its&nbsp;<a href="https://www.google.com/intl/en/policies/privacy/">privacy policy</a>.</p> <h3>5. Venmo</h3> <p><a href="https://venmo.com/" target="_blank">Venmo</a>, the free money-transfer app from PayPal, allows users to quickly and securely send or request money from one another at the touch of a button. The app, which is available for both Android and iOS, requires you to sign up for an account through your email or Facebook. Once set up, you simply link and verify your bank account, credit, or debit card, and you're off and running. Money in your Venmo account can be transfered to your bank in as little as one day. Just be aware that a 3% processing fee applies to credit and some debit cards.</p> <p>Venmo also adds a social element to money transfers, letting users include little notes and emojis to their friends and families. It's a fun way to keep track of what a transfer was for.&nbsp;</p> <h3>6. Square Cash</h3> <p><a href="https://cash.me/" target="_blank">Square Cash</a>&nbsp;operates in a similar method, and is also available for Android and iOS devices. At sign up, Square Cash asks for either an email or phone number, and gives users the option to decide between a free personal account (for friends and family), or a business account, which charges a 2.75% processing fee for payments received. Once you're setup to send or receive payments, you'll create a unique $Cashtag &mdash; the username you'll share with friends or family. Like Venmo, Square Cash also allows you to link a credit card, but applies 3% processing fees for money sent. However, they waive this fee for payments made to a Square Cash business account.</p> <h2>Loyalty Card Storage Apps</h2> <p>By storing digital renderings of your loyalty cards, these apps may lighten a formerly bulky wallet. In addition, you may be able to travel through the checkout line faster by providing prompt access to your loyalty card information &mdash; instead of rifling through a pile of cards to locate the right one.</p> <h3>7. Stocard</h3> <p>Available as an Android or iPhone app,&nbsp;<a href="http://stocardapp.com/">Stocard</a> allows you to store and access digital versions of loyalty cards.</p> <p>The app is free of charge and ad-free, except for the offers associated with various loyalty program brands. For example, you can view weekly sales promotions at Staples by tapping the &quot;Offers&quot; tab in the app's interface.</p> <p>Scanning technology and methods at stores can affect the usefulness of the Stocard app. You may be able to scan cards yourself. But you might have to hand your phone to a cashier for scanning or enter account numbers manually.</p> <p>Loyalty cards with a payment or proof of identity function can't be uploaded. The company says <a href="http://stocardapp.com/privacy">aggregated usage statistics</a> may be collected and reported but information about individual purchases is not, except for legal obligations.</p> <h3>8. Passes in Apple Wallet</h3> <p>The&nbsp;<a href="https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204003">Passes section</a> of Apple Wallet allows you to keep digital versions of boarding passes, movie tickets, retail coupons, and rewards cards. Only passes can be scanned.</p> <p>Only certain rewards cards are eligible for inclusion in Wallet. For example, you can add a Staples rewards card via its app but not an Ikea loyalty card. Adding a digital loyalty card requires you to add the app associated with the brand first and then place the item inside the Passes section.</p> <h3>9. Key Ring/CardStar</h3> <p>Other loyalty card apps include&nbsp;<a href="https://keyringapp.com/">Key Ring</a> and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cardstar.com/">CardStar</a>, which store cards digitally and alert you to special offers. Both are available in iPhone and Android versions.</p> <p>Some mobile wallet apps serve more than one purpose. For example, Apple Wallet contains both payment and loyalty card apps. PayPal has a feature that allows you to pay at brick-and-mortar stores but also has peer-to-peer money transfer capabilities.</p> <p>You might consider installing apps for which you'll have an ongoing use. For example, I love the Apple Pay app because it gets me through checkout lines fast; my young adult son likes Dwolla because he and his friends can easily split bills from group outings. Both unburden us from carrying and searching for cards, cash, and coins in our regular wallets.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-easy-ways-to-pay-with-your-smartphone">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/the-cell-phone-app-thats-saving-me-a-smal-fortune">The Cell Phone App That&#039;s Saving Me A Small Fortune</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/earn-extra-income-with-your-smartphone-camera">Earn Extra Income With Your Smartphone Camera</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-fitness-gadgets-actually-worth-the-money">5 Fitness Gadgets Actually Worth the Money</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/7-apps-that-make-budgeting-fun-no-really">7 Apps That Make Budgeting Fun — No Really!</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/what-you-need-to-start-flipping-items-for-cash-online">What You Need to Start Flipping Items for Cash Online</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Technology Android apple pay apps dwolla google wallet loyalty cards mobile wallets money transfers paypal Tue, 13 Dec 2016 11:00:10 +0000 Julie Rains 1849995 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Instant Cameras http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-instant-cameras <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-instant-cameras" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_instant_camera_510565206.jpg" alt="Woman using the best instant cameras" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Instant cameras seem to be all the rage right now. They combine old-school Polaroid cameras with new-world technology. They can print out photos that you want to share instantly with friends and family, so they&rsquo;re a must-have for any special occasion.</p> <h2>What Is an Instant Camera?</h2> <p>An instant camera uses self-developing film, which takes photos like a traditional camera and instantly prints out the photograph. It is easy to use; simply snap, print, and share your photos. Some photographers use them regularly, while others find these to be fun novelty items. Regardless, you&rsquo;ll love being able to print photos out on-the-spot at weddings, birthdays, and other special events.</p> <h2>Top 5 Instant Cameras</h2> <h3>Fujifilm INSTAX Mini 8 Instant Camera</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2h9503v"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/fujufilm.jpg" width="194" height="200" align="right" alt="" /></a>Amazon&rsquo;s #1 best-seller in cameras and photos, the <a href="http://amzn.to/2h9503v">Fujifilm INSTAX Mini 8 Instant Camera</a> produces superior credit card-sized photos. The new slimmer, lighter body is complemented by new features and enhancements, such as automatic exposure measurement and improved viewfinder for enhanced clarity, visibility, and subject viewing. The new High-Key mode allows you to take brighter pictures with a soft look. The camera also has an automatic light sensor and signals the recommended aperture setting with a flashing LED light.</p> <p>This comes in a variety of colors. It is one of the &ldquo;Most Wished For&rdquo; items on Amazon and has outstanding online reviews, including nearly 6,200 five-star reviews on Amazon. It is also recommended by The Wall Street Journal, The Independent, and Digital Trends. If you want to buy a camera set to complement your new camera, consider the <a href="http://amzn.to/2h995oh">Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Film Camera With Fujifilm Instax Mini Instant Film Twin Pack</a>.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2h9503v"><em>Currently $59.89 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Polaroid PIC-300 Instant Film Camera</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2gelWZ4"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/polaroid_0.jpg" width="169" height="200" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2gelWZ4">Polaroid PIC-300 Instant Film Camera</a> produces vivid, high-quality business card-size full-color, glossy photos. It features manual exposure compensation, auto flash in low light, auto adjust, and 1/60 sec electronic shutter. It also enters an energy saving state after five minutes of inactivity. It uses ZINK zero ink technology, so the photo is dry-to-the-touch, without the use of ink cartridges or ribbons. It also features an adhesive back, so you can stick it to any surface. It has four scene settings, so you can get a bright, sharp shot in any light. It counts down like a disposable camera, so you know how many pictures are left before you need to change the film. It also includes a wrist strap and the batteries you need to get started.</p> <p>This is available in a range of colors. It is recommended by CNET, The Telegraph, and The Wirecutter. It also has outstanding online reviews, including nearly 600 five-star reviews on Amazon.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2gelWZ4"><em>Currently $69.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Fujifilm Instax Wide 300 Instant Film Camera</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2h8HdDk"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/fujifilm_1.jpg" width="245" height="162" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2h8HdDk">Fujifilm Instax Wide 300 Instant Film Camera</a> prints larger photos, closer to the size of old Polaroids, so it&rsquo;s ideal if you want to photograph a wider scene. The new contemporary design has improved features like tripod socket, real image finder, and lens ring dial with focus zone setting. It features two lens settings, a detachable close-up lens, optical viewfinder, and a mirror for self-portraits. The light and dark control can also add high and low-key effects to the picture.</p> <p>This has great online reviews and is recommended by The Wall Street Journal, The Independent, PCMag, The Wirecutter, and Mashable.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2h8HdDk"><em>Currently $93.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Polaroid Snap Instant Digital Camera</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2gYE20n"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/polaroid%20snap.jpg" width="245" height="149" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2gYE20n">Polaroid Snap Instant Digital Camera</a> has various capture modes, including color, black and white, sepia, and Polaroid Classic Border Logo formats. It also has a photo booth option with four pictures on each page. The compact 10-megapixel digital camera has a modern, minimalist design and features a self-timer, a battery low indicator, a no paper indicator, and auto-adjust. The Zink inkiness printing technology ensures that you won&rsquo;t need ink cartridges, ribbons, or toner, so there&rsquo;s less waste. It produces high-quality, borderless, smudge-proof, water-resistant, tear-resistant 2x3&rdquo; prints in under a minute.</p> <p>The improved color balance produces brighter, sharper images with vivid, high-res colors. It prints dry-to-the-touch and the adhesive backing makes it easy to post. You can share the photos, and your images will also be saved on the memory card, so it&rsquo;s ready to upload onto your computer and social media. It has a built-in lithium ion battery and a micro SD card slot that holds up to 32GB.</p> <p>This is available in a range of colors. It has great online reviews and is recommended by CNET, The Wall Street Journal, and The Independent.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2gYE20n"><em>Currently $89.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Lomography Lomo Instant Camera</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2gep9Ip"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/lomography.jpg" width="177" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2gep9Ip">Lomography Lomo Instant Camera</a> features a number of advanced accessories and features, such as lens splitters, flash filters, manual control options, multiple exposure capabilities, and support for off-camera lighting. The lens cap also doubles up as a remote, so you can take self-portraits. The ultra-advanced lens system has a variety of shooting options including wide angle and portrait options and a setting for daytime shots and night shots with a flash. The smooth leather surface looks nice, but is prone to scratches, so you may want to buy a case.</p> <p>This is available in two colors. It has great reviews and is recommended by The Wall Street Journal, The Independent, PCMag, and Mashable. It is also backed by a 30-day no-hassle return policy.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2gep9Ip"><em>Currently $99.00 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best instant cameras. As always, be sure to check <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar">Wise Bread's Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-instant-cameras">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/the-5-best-selfie-sticks">The 5 Best Selfie Sticks</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/the-5-best-bluetooth-trackers">The 5 Best Bluetooth Trackers</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-5-best-pet-cameras">The 5 Best Pet Cameras</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/the-5-best-gaming-mice">The 5 Best Gaming Mice</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-5-best-4k-televisions">The 5 Best 4K Televisions</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Technology 5 best best cameras camera instant cameras product reviews shopping technology Thu, 08 Dec 2016 11:30:07 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1850091 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Apps That Monitor Your Credit for You http://www.wisebread.com/7-apps-that-monitor-your-credit-for-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-apps-that-monitor-your-credit-for-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-512432890.jpg" alt="use these free apps to monitor your credit" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The <a href="http://www.fico.com/en/blogs/risk-compliance/us-credit-quality-continues-climb-will-level/">average FICO credit score</a> of U.S. consumers is 695, according to the latest data from the FICO company. If you think this number is encouraging, you'll also be glad to hear that 54.7% of Americans are able to score at least a 700!</p> <p>This data proves that it's very possible to improve your credit score. There's no excuse these days for not monitoring your credit. Credit score monitoring? There are apps for that! Let's review some of the best free and easy to use apps available for giving your credit score a boost.</p> <h2>1. Credit Karma</h2> <p>Claiming that you can sign up for a new account within two minutes, <a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-10817209-1462225929000">Credit Karma</a>'s app offers free credit score tracking. Your score and list of reports are updated weekly. Credit Karma offers a credit report card, which breaks down every factor contributing to your credit score health, such as open credit utilization rate and average age of open credit lines, and helps you understand how your actions affect your credit score.</p> <p>Keep in mind that Credit Karma shows you a <a href="https://www.creditkarma.com/credit-scores">Vantage 3.0 credit score</a>, which isn't the same as a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fico-vs-fakes-are-you-getting-the-wrong-credit-score">FICO credit score</a>. The app allows you to track your credit score from TransUnion and Equifax (two of three main credit reporting bureaus, the third one is Experian). To learn more details about Credit Karma, take a look at <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-free-credit-score-monitoring-with-credit-karma">our review</a>.</p> <h2>2. Mint: Money Manager, Budget and Personal Finance</h2> <p>Besides being a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-free-debt-management-tools">free debt management tool</a>, Mint offers a free credit monitoring app that provides an easy-to-understand summary of how you can improve your credit score. The credit score provided under any of these apps is the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax.</p> <p>By connecting your bank accounts, credit cards, and investments accounts to your Mint account, you'll have a comprehensive picture of all of your finances, too.</p> <h2>3. Credit Sesame</h2> <p><a href="http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2822544-12336153-1455123184000">Credit Sesame</a>'s app offers you a peek into your Experian National Equivalency Score (ENES). While the FICO credit score ranges from 300 to 850, the ENES ranges from 360 to 840.</p> <p>By using this alternate credit scoring model, Credit Sesame is able to perform a &quot;soft&quot; pull on your credit history and show you how much you owe, what your current interest rates are, and what your credit score is.</p> <p>Additionally, Credit Sesame offers you some refinancing options in partnership with Lending Club to pay off higher-interest debt. To help you understand whether or not this would be a good fit for you, Wise Bread took a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lower-interest-rates-with-credit-sesame-and-lending-club">closer look at Credit Sesame' services</a> and the steps of the loan process application process through Lending Club.</p> <h2>4. Credit.com</h2> <p>Credit.com is another option to access your Experian National Equivalency Score and Vantage 3.0 credit score at no cost. You'll receive a grade, ranging from A+ to F, for each one of the five factors affecting your credit score: payment history, debt usage, credit age, account mix, and number of inquiries.</p> <p>Through its visual aids and specific action items, this app allow you to spot credit blunders and understand how to fix them.</p> <h2>5. Experian</h2> <p>Since so many of these apps use the credit rating model from <a href="http://www.experian.com/consumer-products/credit-monitoring.html">Experian</a>, you may be wondering if you can just go straight to the source. Yes, you can! Through the app you'll monitor changes to your Experian credit profile and have the option to sign up for push notifications directly on your device whenever a change takes place. Your free Experian credit report is updated every 30 days.</p> <h2>6. TransUnion</h2> <p>The credit reporting bureau allows you to <a href="https://www.transunion.com/credit-monitoring">check your TransUnion credit report</a> from your smartphone. Similar to the FICO credit score, the <a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-12771108-1480442728000">TransUnion</a> credit score ranges from 300 to 850. Still, remember that the FICO and TransUnion credit score aren't the same.</p> <h2>7. CreditWise</h2> <p>CreditWise offers free credit monitoring services from Capital One. You don't need to be a Capital One customer to sign up for a new account. If you're an existing user of the Capital One CreditTracker service, you can use your existing username and password that you use at the CapitalOne.com site. Every week, this app will provide your TransUnion credit score. A differentiating factor of CreditWise is its credit simulator, which allows you to simulate ways to improve your TransUnion credit score.</p> <h2>The Bottom Line: Know Your Score!</h2> <p>FICO maintains a total of 28 different FICO scores, which are widely used by issuers of home, auto, and credit card loans. Remember that each one of these apps offers a free snapshot of a credit score based on a separate model and that snapshot is only for educational purposes. If you want to get the actual FICO credit score, you'll have to pay <a href="http://www.myfico.com/products/credit-score-monitoring-products/">at least $19.95 per month</a>.</p> <p>While the advice provided by any of these services can be valuable to improve your credit score, your potential lender may be working with a very different score than the one gleaned from an app. If you're working toward meeting the requirements for a mortgage or auto loan, ask your lender what credit score she's using. That way, you'll choose the app that can provide a more accurate estimate.</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/7-apps-that-monitor-your-credit-for-you">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/once-bitten-twice-shy-what-is-credit-security-worth-to-you">Once Bitten Twice Shy: What is Credit Security Worth to You?</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/what-the-new-credit-card-formula-means-for-your-wallet">What the New Credit Card Formula Means for Your Wallet</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-apps-that-actually-pay-you-to-shop">8 Apps That Actually Pay You to Shop</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-money-moves-you-can-make-while-stuck-in-an-endless-tsa-line">6 Money Moves You Can Make While Stuck in an Endless TSA Line</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/get-free-credit-score-monitoring-with-credit-karma">Get Your Free Credit Score from Credit Karma</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Technology apps credit karma credit monitoring credit score Equifax Experian fico mint smartphones TransUnion Tue, 06 Dec 2016 12:00:17 +0000 Damian Davila 1848172 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Pet Cameras http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pet-cameras <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-pet-cameras" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/puppy_camera_465470720.jpg" alt="Puppy using the best pet cameras" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you feel bad about leaving your pet alone, then a pet camera can ease the separation anxiety. It will allow you to keep an eye on your pet at all times, and you may even be able to play with them or give them treats while you&rsquo;re away (depending on the camera you choose).</p> <h2>What Is a Pet Camera?</h2> <p>A pet camera offers a fun, easy way to interact with your furry friend anywhere, anytime. The remote camera can turn your smartphone, tablet, or computer into a comprehensive video monitor. It can provide peace of mind for both you and your pet. It&rsquo;s an absolute must-have for any worried pet owner.</p> <h2>Top 5 Pet Cameras</h2> <h3>Petzi Treat Cam: Wi-Fi Pet Camera</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2fA3olW"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/petzi.jpg" width="169" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>If your pet doesn&rsquo;t like to be left alone, then the <a href="http://amzn.to/2fA3olW">Petzi Treat Cam: Wi-Fi Pet Camera &amp; Treat Dispenser</a> can help ease their anxiety. The high-quality audio and video allow you to see and speak to your pet using your smart device. The interactive wide-angle camera features night vision. It can also snap a picture, which you can share on social media. You can even treat your pet anytime with the treat launcher.</p> <p>This was crowdfunded on Indiegogo and is easy to use. It has multiple mounting options, so you can place it on the floor or secure it to a wall. It has great online reviews and is recommended by Digital Trends, Safewise, and Heavy. Gizmodo only recommends purchasing this for easily amused pets.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2fA3olW"><em>Currently $149.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Petcube Camera</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2gh3mhO"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/petcube.jpg" width="245" height="201" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2gh3mhO">Petcube Camera</a> will allow you to see and chat with your pet using two-way audio. The high-quality interactive WiFi camera features a 138-degree wide-angle lens and motion- and sound-detection capabilities. You can also capture and share photos and video clips. The compact camera features a sleek, elegant design with brushed aluminum and curved corners. The built-in laser toy allows you to play with your pet anytime, or you can set the autoplay mode for extra playtime. You can even share access with family and friends, in case you don&rsquo;t have time to check on your pet while you&rsquo;re away.</p> <p>If you sign up for a subscription, you can review up to 30 days of video history (a free month trial is included). This was crowdfunded on Kickstarter and is easy to use. It has great online reviews and is recommended by Safewise, Heavy, and Safety.com.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2gh3mhO"><em>Currently $139.60 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Motorola Pet Scout66 Wi-Fi HD Pet Monitoring Camera</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2gh9U08"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/pet%20scout.jpg" width="245" height="214" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2gh9U08">Motorola Pet Scout66 Wi-Fi HD Pet Monitoring Camera</a> allows you to monitor your pet and home at the same time. The cloud-based monitoring camera offers remote HD quality real-time video streaming and two-way audio communication with a high sensitivity microphone. You can also receive motion- and sound-triggered notifications to put your mind at ease thanks to the motion-triggered recording and image snapshots. It also features a temperature monitor and infrared night vision mode, so that you can better monitor your home while you&rsquo;re away.</p> <p>With a subscription, you can sign up for motion-triggered recorded video, which logs up to 30 days of activity. This offers a quick and easy setup, so you can begin using it within seconds. It has great online results and is recommended by Safewise, Heavy, and Safety.com.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2gh9U08"><em>Currently $77.67 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Pawbo Wi-Fi Pet Camera</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2fJetwk"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/pawbo.jpg" width="132" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>The interactive <a href="http://amzn.to/2fJetwk">Pawbo Wi-Fi Pet Camera Wireless Pet Treat Cam and Treat Dispenser</a> allows you to video chat with your pet, no matter where you may be. The interactive camera features a 110-degree ultra-wide camera lens, snap shot function, video recording capabilities, and two-way communication. It has multiple sound effects and a built-in interactive laser pointer with manual and automatic modes, so you can play with your pet while you&rsquo;re away. The treat dispensing system also allows you to treat your pet anytime. It also allows you to post pictures directly to your social media accounts.</p> <p>This has a modern, minimalist design and a quick, simple setup. It is recommended by Safewise and has outstanding online reviews. It is also backed by a 12-month warranty for your added peace of mind.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2fJetwk"><em>Currently $199.00 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>PetChatz HD Pet Camera</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2gGHue2"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/petchatz.jpg" width="245" height="174" align="right" alt="" /></a>If you want to call your pet while you&rsquo;re away, then the <a href="http://amzn.to/2gGHue2">PetChatz HD Pet Camera</a> is perfect for you. With the advanced interactive capabilities, you can call your pet using two-way audio and video. The quality interactive camera is built to last and offers clear sound and image. You can watch your pet from your computer, tablet, or smartphone, and the sound and motion detection will alert you of any activity. It also dispenses treats and releases a soothing scent to diffuse separation anxiety. Over time, your pet should associate the treats and scent with your video chat.</p> <p>The pet-safe design has no corners, edges, or cords. It is easy to setup and has helpful customer service if you have any trouble. It attaches securely to your wall as a fully contained unit. It has great online reviews and is recommended by Safewise and Heavy.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2gGHue2"><em>Currently $369.00 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best pet cameras. As always, be sure to check <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar">Wise Bread's Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pet-cameras">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/the-5-best-gaming-mice">The 5 Best Gaming Mice</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/the-5-best-pet-nail-clippers">The 5 Best Pet Nail Clippers</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-5-best-bluetooth-trackers">The 5 Best Bluetooth Trackers</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/the-5-best-pet-collars">The 5 Best Pet Collars</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-5-best-instant-cameras">The 5 Best Instant Cameras</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Shopping Technology 5 best cameras pet camera product reviews shopping tech tech gadgets Wed, 30 Nov 2016 11:30:07 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1844374 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Earn Extra Income With Twitter http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-earn-extra-income-with-twitter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-earn-extra-income-with-twitter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_73433583_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="make extra money with twitter" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you spend time on Twitter, you have likely seen promoted posts from celebrities hawking products. Kim Kardashian, the queen of social media, reportedly makes $10,000 a tweet. But even if you are not a celebrity, you can still make plenty of money from social media. If you have a strong following on Twitter, you can turn it into an income stream. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-social-media-can-save-you-money?ref=seealso">6 Ways Social Media Can Save You Money</a>)</p> <h2>What You Need to Make Money</h2> <p>To make money off of Twitter, you need to have an account with a following. The money you can charge is based on a variety of factors. If you have a smaller fan base, but your followers are very engaged with your posts, you can charge more than someone with a large but disconnected following.</p> <p>To be able to charge clients for tweets, you should build an audience of several thousand followers. Build your following by regularly posting content throughout the day. But most importantly, be social. Reply and tweet to other people to start conversations. Participate in Twitter chats to meet new people and get your name out there.</p> <h2>How to Get Connected to Advertisers</h2> <p>There are many different ways to get connected to advertisers, including sites that act as the middleman.</p> <h3>Use PaidPerTweet</h3> <p><a href="http://www.paidpertweet.com">PaidPerTweet </a>connects advertisers with millions of users, from celebrities to bloggers and everyday people. For a fee, advertisers can select a user to issue a tweet from their account. Fees range from $1 a post to $5,000 a post. For example, comedian George Lopez charges $2,000 a tweet. &quot;Camibeth33,&quot; a self-described social media junkie, charges just $1 a tweet to reach her 9,000 followers.</p> <h3>Reach Out to Brands Directly</h3> <p>While PaidPerTweet can connect you to advertisers, there is no guarantee anyone will select you out of the millions of users. That's why it makes sense to skip the intermediary and reach out to brands yourself. For example, if you tweet often about beauty products and style trends, connect with growing brands to see if they'd want to get their products in front of your followers. Many times, a groundswell of normal people can launch a brand more successfully than hiring a celebrity spokesperson, as the regular person has more credibility and authenticity.</p> <h3>Post Great Content and Sit Back</h3> <p>If you post great content regularly and build your audience, chances are, brands will come to you. List in your profile that you are PR friendly, and you will likely receive messages from companies asking you to post reviews of their products in return for free trials or a fee.</p> <h2>Other Ways to Make Money on Twitter</h2> <p>Besides getting paid to tweet, there is another way to make income from your Twitter account. Sign up for affiliate accounts and tweet links to your favorite products.</p> <p>Some sites, like <a href="http://about.shopstyle.com/">Shopstyle</a>, pay you per click. Every time someone clicks on a link you tweet, you get a few cents. On other platforms, like <a href="http://www.amazon.com">Amazon's</a> affiliate program, you get a percentage of whatever purchase users make. If they click on your item, but buy other things as well, you also get a percentage of those sales.</p> <p>When using affiliate links, it's best to focus in on a specific niche, such as fashion, beauty, pet care, or technology. The products you feature should fit the theme of other content you post regularly. So if you post a lot of dog pictures, tweeting out links to kibble brands or grooming tools will be a natural fit.</p> <p>Use affiliate links sparingly so it doesn't become spammy, and post products you have actually used and like. That will be more appealing to your followers and encourage more clicks and purchases.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kat-tretina">Kat Tretina</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-earn-extra-income-with-twitter">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/how-to-make-money-tweeting-0">How to Make Money Tweeting</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-make-more-money-as-an-uber-driver">How to Get a High Rating and Make More Money as an Uber Driver</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-social-media-can-save-you-money">6 Ways Social Media Can Save You Money</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-you-can-earn-18-to-25-an-hour-with-amazon-flex">How You Can Earn $18 to $25 an Hour With Amazon Flex</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/17-part-time-jobs-to-do-while-your-kids-are-at-school">17 Part-Time Jobs to Do While Your Kids Are at School</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income Technology advertising paid tweets side hustle side job social media tweets twitter Wed, 02 Nov 2016 09:30:31 +0000 Kat Tretina 1825231 at http://www.wisebread.com Shoveling Snow and 5 Other Things Robots Can Do for You http://www.wisebread.com/shoveling-snow-and-5-other-things-robots-can-do-for-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/shoveling-snow-and-5-other-things-robots-can-do-for-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/robot_household_chores_76328353.jpg" alt="Robot vacuuming the floor and doing other things for you" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Robots have both fascinated and frightened us since inventor <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/08/unimate-the-story-of-george-devol-and-the-first-robotic-arm/243716/">George Devol created the first artificial agent</a> capable of automatic mechanical action in 1954. (In other words, a robotic arm.) Since then, subcultures have emerged that simultaneously revere and revile robots, resulting in countless books, movies, TV shows, and more, that focus on non-sentient machines. Because love them or loathe them, robots are here to stay. In fact, the presence of robots will continue to permeate our culture indefinitely (until their eventual takeover), and if you can't beat 'em (your resistance is futile, actually), join 'em.</p> <p>As such, here are a few reasons to embrace the benefits that our future overlords provide us while we still can.</p> <h2>1. Help With Yard Work</h2> <p>It's one thing to rake the yard when leaves start to fall &mdash; it can even be enjoyable if you're the kind of person who can create fun out of almost anything &mdash; but nobody looks forward to the backbreaking work of shoveling snow. For me, it's near the top of the list of things I hate most, right up there with those spider-cricket hybrid insects.</p> <p>So if you despise shoveling snow as much as I do, the Kobi Company has designed something with you in mind. Its eponymous robot, Kobi, will&nbsp;<a href="http://money.cnn.com/2016/10/13/technology/robot-yardwork-kobi/index.html">cut grass, collect leaves and, yes, make all that white stuff disappear</a>. Much like a vacuum, Kobi comes with attachments to tackle each task, which are accomplished without human interference by first wheeling the robot around your yard to establish perimeters around obstacles like trees and bushes. Once set, Kobi gets to work clearing your yard and sidewalks of all natural debris while you sit inside celebrating your discovery of a whole new level of laziness.</p> <h2>2. Provide Companionship</h2> <p>Feeling lonely? Trade in all that nonsense human interaction for artificial companionship.</p> <p>Humanoid robot Pepper, from Japanese telecommunications company Softbank, is&nbsp;<a href="https://www.cnet.com/au/news/pepper-the-popular-humanoid-robot-debuts-in-france/">programmed to communicate with users, follow voice commands, and read human emotions and react accordingly</a>. Which basically means that five years from now it's totally going to bring up the past when you two get into an argument. Pepper costs about $1,650 &mdash; slightly less than one month of supporting your current live-in boyfriend or girlfriend.</p> <p>If the lifelike Pepper freaks you out, try <a href="http://mjirobotics.co.jp/en/">MJI Robotics' MJI</a> (More Joy Innovation) Communication Robot, an egg-shaped tabletop bot that features a five-inch display screen with emotive eyes that allows tech-impaired people to access photos, weather, news, and other information with voice activation.</p> <h2>3. Tackle the Household Chores</h2> <p>Vacuuming robot Roomba has been around for years, and it perhaps single-handedly paved the way for other household bots to help with your chores.</p> <p>Scooba takes the original Roomba concept one step further by&nbsp;<a href="http://archive.boston.com/business/technology/gallery/consumerrobots?pg=3">vacuuming and washing floors</a>, while Looj handles another dreaded task of most homeowners:&nbsp;<a href="http://archive.boston.com/business/technology/gallery/consumerrobots?pg=4">cleaning the gutters</a>.</p> <h2>4. Annoy You Until You Get Out of Bed</h2> <p>Are you often late for work because you hit the snooze button on your alarm 19 times? <a href="http://www.nandahome.com/">Nanda Clocky</a> will have you rising and shining in no time. It's sole purpose is to get you out of bed by giving you one chance to snooze before it rolls away, forcing you to chase it down to shut it up. Obvi, hilarity will ensue at your house at 6 a.m.</p> <h2>5. Clean Up After Your Pets</h2> <p>I don't like cats for several reasons, which are: they're not dogs; they poop inside; and they're generally just plain evil. But if you have a soft spot in your heart for felines, the&nbsp;<a href="http://archive.boston.com/business/technology/gallery/consumerrobots?pg=13">Litter-Robot can help you keep your home from smelling like a porta potty</a> by sifting through the litter to removes clumps and storing them in a bag that will stifle the scent.</p> <h2>6. Satiate Your Weird Predilection For Destruction</h2> <p>Because we can't live in harmony with <em>anything</em>, we've already turned robots violent &mdash; a character trait that will probably make us regret some of our decisions in the near future. Robot combat is totally a thing, the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.megabots.com/">MegaBots website declares the hobby &quot;The Future of Sports</a>,&quot; and it seems best suited to those who like to instigate and witness destruction. It's certainly not the best part of our own humanity, but it exists nonetheless. Ya know, until they turn on us.</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/shoveling-snow-and-5-other-things-robots-can-do-for-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. 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