Technology http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8130/all en-US Best Money Tips: Hacks to Speed Up Your Browser http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-hacks-to-speed-up-your-browser <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-hacks-to-speed-up-your-browser" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_slow_internet_000054555610.jpg" alt="Woman learning hacks to speed up her browser" 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 some great articles on hacks to speed up your browser, simple ways to build a life you enjoy, and how to become more confident.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.lazymanandmoney.com/10-hacks-to-speed-up-your-browser/">10 Hacks to Speed Up Your Browser</a> &mdash; Many websites have moved away from Adobe Flash; disabling Flash when you don't need it will speed up your browser immensely. Use an add-on to turn Flash on and off with a click of a button. [Lazy Man and Money]</p> <p><a href="http://www.adaringadventure.com/life-coaching/3-simple-ways-to-build-a-life-you-enjoy">3 Simple Ways To Build A Life You Enjoy</a> &mdash; Narrowing down your options will help you make smart decisions that increase your enjoyment and eliminate what isn't important to you. [A Daring Adventure]</p> <p><a href="http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/20-secret-ways-build-confidence/">20 Secret Ways to Build Your Confidence</a> &mdash; Avoid people who make you feel small or unworthy. You don't need them in your life! [Pick The Brain]</p> <p><a href="http://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/blog/3-counterintuitive-secrets-about-earning-more/">3 counterintuitive secrets about earning more</a> &mdash; The customers you attract from lowering your prices tend to be more work and are harder to please. [I Will Teach You To Be Rich]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Child-Safe-All-Purpose-Cleaner-34882330">Pet- and Child-Safe All-Purpose Cleaner</a> &mdash; Tea-tree oil + water = a safe and powerful eco-friendly cleaner! [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://money.cnn.com/2015/05/20/retirement/safe-retirement-savings/index.html">3 steps to a safer retirement stash</a> &mdash; Start with a portfolio so you can see exactly what you own. [CNN Money]</p> <p><a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2015/05/19/the-tax-mistake-that-could-hurt-you-now-or-next-year/">The tax mistake that could hurt you now or next year</a> &mdash; You can adjust your withholding at any time of the year, but the sooner you get it done, the more of an impact it'll have on your taxes. [Get Rich Slowly]</p> <p><a href="http://www.mydollarplan.com/tips-for-a-great-summer-vacation/">4 Tips for a Great Summer Vacation</a> &mdash; Give the hotel or resort a call to see if they have any specials that aren't advertised on the website, and to see what their customer service is like. [My Dollar Plan]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thecentsiblelife.com/2015/05/7-frugal-easy-non-food-party-favor-ideas/">7 Frugal + Easy Non-Food Party Favor Ideas</a> &mdash; You can find bubbles in affordable party packs. Print your own labels to customize this fun party favor! [The Centsible Life]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/10-signs-you-could-be-pregnant">10 Signs You Could Be Pregnant</a> &mdash; Early signs of pregnancy can look like cold symptoms, stress, or PMS, but if you experience multiple items on this list, it may be time for a doctor's visit. [Parenting Squad]</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-hacks-to-speed-up-your-browser">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/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-2 views-row-even"> <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-3 views-row-odd"> <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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-net-neutrality-means-for-your-wallet">What Net Neutrality Means For Your Wallet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-sopa-and-how-will-it-affect-you-0">What Is SOPA, and How Will It Affect You?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Technology best money tips Internet Fri, 22 May 2015 18:00:08 +0000 Amy Lu 1432465 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Easy Ways to Improve Your Online Reputation http://www.wisebread.com/6-easy-ways-to-improve-your-online-reputation <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-easy-ways-to-improve-your-online-reputation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/two_friends_computer_000062076912.jpg" alt="Two woman managing their online reputations" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Searching for another person's online profile is common practice these days. Employers routinely use search engines to screen potential candidates. We even Google ourselves. It's totally expected and normal!</p> <p>Knowing that bits and pieces of information about your identity are floating around cyberspace should compel you to ensure your online reputation is in tip-top shape. And it's easy with these <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-improve-your-work-reputation">reputation management</a> tools.</p> <h2>1. Get <em>YourName.com</em></h2> <p>The number one way to control your search results is by purchasing your own domain name. If you have a name that is unique (like mine), this will be cut and dry. For people with more common names, you'll have to be a bit more creative. If the name Kim Smith is taken, incorporate your professional title. For example, Kim Smith, MBA could try <a href="http://www.kimsmithmba.com" title="www.kimsmithmba.com">www.kimsmithmba.com</a>, or <a href="http://www.kimsmith-mba.com" title="www.kimsmith-mba.com">www.kimsmith-mba.com</a>.</p> <h2>2. Get on LinkedIn</h2> <p>Adding your profile to popular social media sites is a surefire way to ensure the real you (that you wish to portray) shows up at the top of search results. LinkedIn is the largest social networking platform, with over 347 million users, and has great SEO power.</p> <p>Creating a profile provides the unique advantage of getting your very own, customizable vanity URL. For example, if your name is Jane Smith, your personal LinkedIn page would look something like <a href="http://www.linkedin.com/en/janesmith" title="www.linkedin.com/en/janesmith">www.linkedin.com/en/janesmith</a>. Because the LinkedIn network spans more than 200 countries worldwide, the letters preceding your name will represent your country's code.</p> <h2>3. Get on Google+</h2> <p>If you don't already have a Google account, it's time you get one to start taking advantage of the super searchable features of <a href="https://plus.google.com/">Google+</a>. It allows you to &quot;share and [be] discover[ed], all across Google.&quot; In many ways, it combines the features of popular social media networks. Users can create circles, add updates, and share posts and photos similar to Twitter and Facebook. And when someone searches for your name, your Google+ profile will be one on the first results to appear in search.</p> <h2>4. Setup Google Alerts</h2> <p>The <a href="https://www.google.com/alerts">Google Alerts</a> tool allow you to monitor content on the web by inputting the search terms you want to track. Input your name to detect any new information that appears about you. You'll be notified via e-mail with a link to the source whenever something new is found. If you're unhappy about the content, you can use tools like the ones below to bury it in search rank.</p> <h2>5. Use Brand Yourself</h2> <p>With <a href="https://brandyourself.com/">Brand Yourself</a>, users can sign-up and personally manage their online profiles or receive the guided support of a reputation management expert. The free account has limited features that allow you to control your search results by &quot;boosting&quot; three URLs you want to appear at the top of search results. Paid accounts come with more boosts and additional features. You also get instructions on how to improve the rank of certain URLs, which you can apply to all of your reputation management efforts.</p> <h2>6. Use ReputationDefender</h2> <p><a href="http://www.reputationdefendertestimonials.com/images/en/logo_reputationDefender.png">ReputationDefender</a> is a company dedicated to helping its clients improve their online reputation. Though it's a paid service, it can help you remove or minimize unwanted search results and boost positive search items. If you have serious online reputation concerns, this may be one of your best bets.</p> <p><em>What online reputation management tools have you used, and why?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/qiana-chavaia">Qiana Chavaia</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-easy-ways-to-improve-your-online-reputation">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/15-career-advice-sites-you-should-know-about">15 Career Advice Sites You Should Know About</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-social-media-saved-someones-life">5 Ways Social Media Saved Someone&#039;s Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-web-presence-will-soon-be-more-valuable-than-your-credit-rating">Your Web Presence Will Soon Be More Valuable Than Your Credit Rating</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-make-facebook-productive">10 Ways to Make Facebook Productive</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/phishing-scams-continue-to-plague-social-media-sites">Phishing Scams Continue to Plague Social Media Sites</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Technology branding Google online reputation social media Thu, 14 May 2015 21:00:13 +0000 Qiana Chavaia 1420555 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Gadgets Every IT Professional Should Own http://www.wisebread.com/8-gadgets-every-it-professional-should-own <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-gadgets-every-it-professional-should-own" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000040902748_Large.jpg" alt="Two professionals watching 3D printing" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>This post is brought to you by <a href="http://r1.fmpub.net/?k1=cmx-metric&amp;k2=289%7C671%7C1997&amp;k3=disclaimer&amp;k4=&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fad.doubleclick.net%2Fddm%2Fclk%2F289950907%3B116588121%3Br" rel="nofollow">Comcast Business.</a>  Follow us <a href="http://r1.fmpub.net/?k1=cmx-metric&amp;k2=289%7C671%7C1997&amp;k3=disclaimer&amp;k4=&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Ftwitter.com%2Fcomcastbusiness" rel="nofollow">@comcastbusiness</a>.</em></p> <p>If you didn&rsquo;t love technology, you probably wouldn&rsquo;t have gone into IT. But how to separate the gadgets that can truly help you with your job from those that would just be really, really cool to own? Here are eight purchases that you can totally justify as workday-enhancing &mdash; if not directly work-related.</p> <h2>1. A Smartwatch</h2> <p>Aaron Gross, Milwaukee IT pro with marketing firm Bader Rutter, never goes to work without his<a href="https://getpebble.com/"> Pebble Smartwatch</a>. He likes being able to check his notifications without pulling out his phone. It also helps him stay on schedule at work. &ldquo;Even if my phone&rsquo;s in my office and I'm in the server room, my wrist goes off and I make my meeting,&rdquo; Gross said. Of course, there are other smart watches on the market (you may have heard of a certain Apple product). If your company issued you an iPhone, you might appreciate the way the Apple Watch works as &ldquo;a symbiotic iPhone companion,&rdquo; as<a href="http://www.cnet.com/products/apple-watch/"> <em>CNET</em> put it</a>. But Gross said that at $99, his Pebble has been going strong for a year and he&rsquo;s still pleased with it.</p> <h2>2. A Great Pair of Headphones</h2> <p>Work in a noisy environment? Find yourself away from your desk too often to be tethered by a headphone cable? Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Wireless headphones are equipped with noise-canceling, and pair with your phone or iPod via bluetooth. <a href="http://www.digitaltrends.com/headphone-reviews/sennheiser-momentum-wireless-2-0-review/"><em>Digital Trends</em></a> likes it for its &ldquo;near-flawless wireless performance&rdquo; with an &ldquo;impressive battery life,&rdquo; perfect for powering you through long work days.</p> <h2>3. A Customized Desk</h2> <p>As an IT pro, your workstation is like your home. Or at least you may spend just as much time there. Would you put a standard-issue couch in your living room? Then why use the company-issued keyboard? If you use your handheld devices so much that you&rsquo;re more comfortable with screen typing than push-button typing, it&rsquo;s time to try the<a href="http://gearnova.com/glass-computer-keyboard/"> Bastron glass keyboard</a>, a smooth piece of glass with keys displayed in blue or pink lighting. More old school? The<a href="http://www.qwerkywriter.com/"> $309 Qwerkywriter USB keyboard</a> looks and feels like a real typewriter and is available for pre-order after a successful Kickstarter campaign. &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <h2>4. A Portable&nbsp;Mobile Charger</h2> <p>The best gadgets on earth are nothing but diving weights if you&rsquo;re on the road and can&rsquo;t charge them. Need to power up your phone while you bike to work? Make your laptop last through a flight? Bring a mobile-first charger. <em>Digital Trends</em> lists the<a href="http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/best-portable-battery-chargers/"> 25 best external batteries</a> which range in price from $15 to $100 depending on weight, capacity and looks. Does your team expect you to respond on weekends and vacations, even if you&rsquo;re camping? Better pack a solar charger like the &nbsp;RAVPower 15W Dual-Port Solar Charger &mdash; <a href="http://www.engadget.com/2015/01/23/ravpower-15w-solar-charger-savior-battery-pack-keep-your-gadget/">recommended by <em>Engadget</em></a> &mdash; which you can use to charge a device or external battery pack.</p> <h2>5. A High-Tech Coffee Maker</h2> <p>You could always get a coffee maker for your cube with a timer on it so your first pot is fresh and waiting when you walk into the office. But what if you get to work at different times? Wouldn&rsquo;t it be great if you could schedule your brew from your phone on your way to work? Or from the middle of a particularly tiring meeting? The new<a href="http://www.cnet.com/products/smarter-wi-fi-coffee-machine/"> Smarter Wi-Fi Coffee Machine</a> promises just that, allowing you to dictate the number of cups and the strength of the brew you want waiting for you.</p> <h2>6. A Hybrid Laptop</h2> <p>IT project consultant Brad T. likes to use a laptop that can convert to a tablet, like the<a href="http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/Surface-Pro-3/productID.300190600"> Surface Pro 3</a>, for field work, because it enables him to complete documentation as he walks through company facilities. "I could do it more fluidly because I didn't have to find a place to either sit or a work surface before I did my paperwork,&rdquo; he said.</p> <h2>7. A Fitness Tracker&nbsp;</h2> <p>If you spend long hours in front of your computer, it&rsquo;s easy to forget to get up and move around. A high-tech way to remind yourself is by wearing a fitness tracker. <em>The</em><a href="http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-fitness-tracker/"> <em>Wirecutter</em> just spent 10 days</a> testing trackers and deemed the<a href="https://www.fitbit.com/chargehr"> Fitbit Charge HR</a> the best of the pack. Wearing one of these, you can track not just your workouts but floors climbed and server rooms traversed. You can even use the alarm feature to remind yourself to get up and move after a certain amount of time at your computer.</p> <h2>8. An Unlosable Umbrella</h2> <p>If you tend to move from one facility to another during the workday, you may find yourself leaving important items at far-flung work sites. And no one wants all the gear you carry from the office to the parking lot to get soaked. Enter the <a href="https://www.bluntumbrellas.com/xsmetro-tile">Blunt + Tile</a>, a rugged umbrella that comes equipped with a <a href="https://www.thetileapp.com/">Tile tracker</a>, which you can locate using your smartphone. It&rsquo;s the first smart umbrella that will &ldquo;make sure you&rsquo;re never caught unprepared again,&rdquo; explains <a href="http://www.gizmag.com/blunt-tile-bluetooth-trackable-smart-umbrella/34328/">gizmag</a>.</p> <script type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8" src="http://vc.cdn.fm/video_conversationalist/system/published/opportunity/89730671/289_1997.js"></script><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-gadgets-every-it-professional-should-own">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/how-to-get-netflix-and-hulu-to-play-on-your-tv">How to Get Netflix and Hulu to Play on Your TV</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/want-free-hbo-or-showtime-just-ask">Want Free HBO or Showtime? Just Ask.</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-easy-ways-to-improve-your-online-reputation">6 Easy Ways to Improve Your Online Reputation</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-power-banks">The 5 Best Power Banks</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/build-a-cable-to-control-your-android-phone-while-you-drive">Build a Cable to Control Your Android Phone While You Drive</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Technology Comcast Wed, 13 May 2015 12:00:07 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1422222 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: Which Websites Have the Best Designs? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-which-websites-have-the-best-designs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-which-websites-have-the-best-designs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/website_designers_000055522386.jpg" alt="Two coworkers admiring best website designs" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-which-websites-have-the-best-designs#comment-771896">Karen</a>, Mary, and Emily for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>Exciting news! Wise Bread is gearing up for a redesign, and we would love to know which websites you think are especially pretty and user-friendly. Since there are a <em>ton</em> of innovative and otherwise spiffy sites out there, please limit your top picks to sites that, like Wise Bread, feature a bunch of articles &mdash; but unlike Wise Bread, they don't have to be all about personal finance!</p> <p><strong>Which websites have the best designs?</strong> What do you like about them? What changes would you like to see in Wise Bread's redesign?</p> <p>Tell us which websites have the best designs and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; here's how you can win!</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will be randomly selected to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</li> </ul> <h3>For Extra Entries:</h3> <ul> <li>You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:</li> </ul> <p><a class="rcptr" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857dfa182/" rel="nofollow" data-raflid="79857dfa182" data-theme="classic" data-template="" id="rcwidget_2z004skf">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a> </p> <script src="//widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script></p> <p>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, May 11th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after May 11th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us which websites have the best designs and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-which-websites-have-the-best-designs">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/ask-the-readers-200-giveaway-what-does-corporate-social-responsibility-mean-to-you">Ask the Readers $200 Giveaway: What Does Corporate Social Responsibility Mean 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/ask-the-readers-should-kids-get-paid-for-doing-chores">Ask The Readers: Should Kids Get Paid For Doing Chores?</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/ask-the-readers-how-did-you-spend-your-first-paycheck">Ask the Readers: How Did You Spend Your First Paycheck?</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/ask-the-readers-do-gift-cards-make-a-good-gift">Ask the Readers: Do Gift Cards Make a Good Gift?</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/ask-the-readers-is-valentines-day-too-commercial-chance-to-win-20">Ask the Readers: Is Valentine&#039;s Day Too Commercial? (Chance to win $20!)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Giveaways Technology Ask the Readers website design Tue, 05 May 2015 15:00:23 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1410072 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Power Banks http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-power-banks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-power-banks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_tablet_phone_000035376192.jpg" alt="Woman happy she used her power bank to recharge her tablet" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A portable power bank can save your phone when you&rsquo;re down to your last bit of battery. And let&rsquo;s face it, nobody wants to be stranded without their cell phone. Fortunately, power banks are small, affordable, and easy to use, so you won&rsquo;t ever have to panic when your phone or tablet is running low on battery juice ever again. With the small external chargers, you won&rsquo;t ever have to worry about your battery running out in the middle of a call. You can talk to your friends, play games, listen to music, or surf the internet for as long as you want, without having to worry about finding a nearby charging station.</p> <p>In fact, some power banks can charge your smartphone more than four times under one full charge. To get the most from your investment, it&rsquo;s important to choose a power bank that best fits your lifestyle and budget.</p> <h2>What is a Power Bank?</h2> <p>A power bank is a portable battery charger that can recharge your battery whenever you&rsquo;re running low on power. This will make it more convenient to use your phone or tablet whenever you need to, without having to search for an available wall charger. All you need to do is plug your phone into the portable charger and continue on your day. The phone will charge with enough power to get you through your day and you can easily recharge the power bank from any USB port once you get home. These are ideal for when you are traveling, on business, or just to keep in your car or bag for a quick emergency charge. At some point in time, you&rsquo;ll find yourself on low battery power, and will be glad you have the portable power you need.</p> <h2>Top 5 Power Banks</h2> <h3>EasyAcc 10000mAh Brilliant Ultra Slim Dual USB Portable Power Bank External Battery Charger</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00H9BEC8E/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00H9BEC8E&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=AEKPXOLHVQOT446S"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/EasyAcc%20Classic%2010000mAh%20Power%20Bank.jpg" width="250" height="171" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00H9BEC8E/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00H9BEC8E&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=AEKPXOLHVQOT446S">EasyAcc Brilliant Ultra Slim Dual USB Portable Power Bank</a> is one of the bestselling battery chargers in the world. With dual USB output, you can simultaneously charge two devices to save even more time. While it is compact, ultra slim, and super portable, it is powered with an impressive 10000mAh rechargeable power capacity (USB Output 1: 5V 2.1A, USB Output 2: 5V 1.5A), providing enough power for 5-6 full charges to your iPhone 5 or 2.5-3.5 charges for Samsung Galaxy S4, S3. The reliable charger has a matte surface, is fingerprint-resistant, and available in black and orange, black and green, black and purple, black and silver, white and green, white and orange, and white and purple, so you can find the perfect colorful power bank to express your style.</p> <p>You can use it everyday, or in emergency situations only, and with standby time of up to six months once fully charged, you won&rsquo;t have to worry about it losing power anytime soon. Your purchase will include an EasyAcc power bank, a Micro USB Charging Cable (20 CM), a Micro USB Charging Cable (60 CM), and a User Manual.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00H9BEC8E/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00H9BEC8E&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=AEKPXOLHVQOT446S"><em>Currently $21.49 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>RAVPower Luster 3000mAh Mini Portable Charger (2nd Gen External Power Bank With iSmart Technology)</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MNAWMHE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00MNAWMHE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=DRLM4ZOB3336AF5B"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/RAVPower%20Luster%203000mAh%20Mini%20Portable%20Charger%20.jpg" width="250" height="248" align="right" alt="" /></a>As the #1 Best Seller of all Amazon&rsquo;s MP3 battery packs, the lipstick-shaped, lightweight <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MNAWMHE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00MNAWMHE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=DRLM4ZOB3336AF5B">RAVPower Luster Mini Portable Charger</a> can fit into any pocket or bag. With 3000 mAh of juice (Input: DC 5V / 1A Output: DC 5V / 1A), it&rsquo;s powerful enough to provide nine hours of additional talk time or 90 hours of music playback from your cell phone. Equipped with iSmart technology to charge your device smarter and faster than standard USB, it automatically detects and delivers the optimal charging current for the fastest charge possible. The external power bank provides enough power for a full charge for iPhone 6, 5, 4, and most smartphones.</p> <p>Built with premium grade A+ battery cells, you can enjoy over 500 recharge cycles with this mini charger. Available in black, silver, gold, pink, and blue, and no larger than a pack of mints, you can choose what best suits your personal style. Your purchase will include a RAVPower power bank, a USB Charging Cable, and a User Manual.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MNAWMHE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00MNAWMHE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=DRLM4ZOB3336AF5B"><em>Currently $12.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Anker&reg; 2nd Gen Astro E3 Ultra Compact 10000mAh Portable Charger External Battery Power Bank With PowerIQ Technology</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009USAJCC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B009USAJCC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=VIWVJUTNDIDVT2WU"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/Anker%C2%AE%202nd%20Gen%20Astro%20E3%20Ultra%20Compact%2010000mAh%20Portable%20Charger.jpg" width="250" height="235" align="right" alt="" /></a>As the #1 Best Seller of all Amazon&rsquo;s portable power banks, the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009USAJCC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B009USAJCC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=VIWVJUTNDIDVT2WU">Anker 2nd Gen Astro E3 Ultra Compact Portable Charger</a> has the highest average review rating of any charging brand, resulting in 10 million+ satisfied customers. One in three chargers sold on Amazon is an Anker charger, making them Amazon&rsquo;s #1 charging brand. With 10000 mAh of juice, this ultra compact portable charger can charge your phone, tablet, and more, whenever you need it most. It charges most tablets almost once, the Galaxy S5 two and a half times, the iPhone 5s four and a half times and other smartphones multiple times, all on just one charge of the portable power bank. Available in black and white, this reliable compact charger has the size and feel of a smartphone. It is made of industry grade materials, premium circuitry and a 92% efficient battery cell (up to 10% above the industry average).</p> <p>It is unobtrusive, lightweight, and equipped with PowerIQ technology, which detects your device to deliver the fastest charge possible. Your purchase will include the Anker Astro E3 Portable Charger External Battery Power Bank, Micro USB cable, travel pouch, welcome guide, and their world famous 18-month warranty.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009USAJCC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B009USAJCC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=VIWVJUTNDIDVT2WU"><em>Currently $22.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>ZILU Smart Battery 13000mAh Backup Power Bank</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00K64WR9C/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00K64WR9C&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=DHWW7IP5NEWSG3GN"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/ZILU%20Smart%20Battery%2013000mAh%20Portable%20Charger%20.jpg" width="250" height="163" align="right" alt="" /></a>ZILU is the trusted brand that created the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00K64WR9C/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00K64WR9C&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=DHWW7IP5NEWSG3GN">ZILU Smart Battery</a> and the only supplier on Amazon that offers 1,000 Cycles (double the market standard). Made of high quality Samsung 18650 Lithium Lion Battery Cells, the ZILU smart battery is durable, reliable, and small enough to fit in your pocket or bag, but powerful enough to contain 13000mAh energy. It is compatible with most of the smartphones and tablets on the market and equipped with SmartSwitch technology, allowing it to charge any of your mobile devices in the correct way. With 3A output and 2A input, the charging speed is 50% faster than most battery packs on the market and boasts up to 93% energy conversion rate.</p> <p>The small, compact charger offers nine levels of protection and passed the most strict safety certification, UL 1624. With two outlets, it can simultaneously charge two devices at the same time. It can charge the iPhone eight times, Samsung Galaxy S5 four times, Galaxy Note III nearly three imes, and iPad more than one time. It is also equipped with a flashlight function for emergency situations and four LED lights to show the battery capacity. Your purchase will also include an impressive 2-Year Limited Warranty.</p> <p><em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00K64WR9C/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00K64WR9C&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=DHWW7IP5NEWSG3GN">Currently $27.90 on Amazon</a></em></p> <h3>K2R-803 Cell Phone Portable Charger With Flashlight</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LADNVB6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00LADNVB6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=QGOSHEJIIGCT5AM6"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/K2R-803%20Cell%20Phone%20Portable%20Charger.jpg" width="250" height="185" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LADNVB6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00LADNVB6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=QGOSHEJIIGCT5AM6">K2R-803 Cell Phone Portable Charger</a>, or &ldquo;As Seen On TV&rdquo; item, really does hold up to its word and can quickly charge your iPhone, iPad, Samsung, smartphones, and tablets. It is beautiful, lightweight, and holds an incredible 7,800mAh, enough to fully charge your iPhone Battery almost four times. Only top grade Lithium Ion Battery Cells are used and multiple levels of protection are built into the charger to keep your phone battery healthy. You can also rely on the intelligent K2R monitoring system with overcharge, over-discharge, over-current, over-voltage, short-circuit and over-load safety protections. With two USB ports, you can simultaneously charge two devices to save even more time.</p> <p>The charger is equipped with a flashlight for emergency situations, as well as four LED light indicators to show the remaining charge. Your purchase includes a K2R-803 Portable Charger, a user manual, an Intelligent LED Micro USB Cable, an Intelligent LED iPhone 5 Lightning USB Cable (the LED on the cables displays a red light when the device is charging and a blue light once it is charged), and an exclusive Battery Boost Bonus Guide Ebook. You can take comfort in the 100% customer satisfaction guarantee and incredible 3-year warranty.</p> <p><em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LADNVB6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00LADNVB6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=QGOSHEJIIGCT5AM6">Currently $29.99 on Amazon</a></em></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best power banks. 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-power-banks">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/the-5-best-computer-keyboards">The 5 Best Computer Keyboards</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-home-theater-projectors">The 5 Best Home Theater Projectors</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-led-monitors">The 5 Best LED Monitors</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-smartphones">The 5 Best Smartphones</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-blu-ray-players">The 5 Best Blu-ray Players</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Technology electronics portable chargers power banks product reviews Fri, 01 May 2015 09:00:25 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1386471 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Modern Life Skills Everyone Should Master http://www.wisebread.com/15-modern-life-skills-everyone-should-master <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-modern-life-skills-everyone-should-master" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_tech_skills_000042638902.jpg" alt="Woman with basic tech skills needed for everyday life" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's 2015, people! That means there's no excuse not to learn these 15 basic tech skills that will save you money, time, and embarrassment when talking to more tech-savvy know-it-alls.</p> <h2>1. Use Uber and Lyft</h2> <p>Taxis are expensive, and not every city has a fast and expansive public transit system. That's why <a href="https://www.uber.com/">Uber</a> and <a href="https://www.lyft.com/">Lyft</a> are great alternatives, especially when you plan to drink.</p> <h2>2. Make a Basic Website</h2> <p>You never know when you might need to have your own website, and if you're a freelancer, it's a must. With platforms like <a href="http://squarespace.com/">Squarespace</a> and <a href="http://wix.com/">Wix</a>, it's never been easier (or cheaper) to make your own website.</p> <h2>3. Set-Up Online Banking</h2> <p>Are you still going to the bank to check balances and move money around? That's insane. It's about time you enrolled in online banking at your institution. It's as easy as going to your bank's website, clicking on &quot;online banking,&quot; and following the instructions.</p> <h2>4. Update Your Facebook Privacy Settings</h2> <p>Don't want just anyone to see your private posts? It's time to learn how to <a href="https://www.facebook.com/help/325807937506242/">edit your privacy settings</a> on social networks, especially Facebook.</p> <h2>5. Transfer Money Instantly</h2> <p>At this point, Western Union and other traditional money wire companies are useless. Every bank offers transfers within their banking app, and it's instant when transferring within the same bank. Failing that, <a href="https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/mobile-apps">PayPal's new app</a> is simpler than ever.</p> <h2>6. Operate Bluetooth Accessories</h2> <p>Want to use all the cool new speakers, keyboards, mouses, headphones, and more? You will need to master the Bluetooth connection. Here's how to do it for <a href="http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/add-a-bluetooth-enabled-device-to-your-computer">Windows</a>, <a href="https://support.apple.com/kb/PH13704?locale=en_US">Mac</a>, <a href="http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/smartphones/get-the-most-out-of-bluetooth-on-an-android-device/">Android</a>, and <a href="https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201205">iPhone</a>.</p> <h2>7. Edit a Smartphone Photo</h2> <p>Are you one of those people who uploads your photos sideways or too dark? There's no excuse! Most mobile phones allow for you to crop, rotate, adjust brightness or contrast, and more, all with a couple finger taps. Want to get creative? Try some cool photo editing apps.</p> <h2>8. Comparison Shop With Barcodes</h2> <p>Out shopping and want to check prices elsewhere? A great cheat is to use the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&amp;docId=1000645111">Amazon app</a>, which uses your phone's camera to scan barcodes. It will show you the same product and its Amazon price. <a href="http://www.google.com/shopping">Google Shopping</a> is also helpful when on a computer.</p> <h2>9. Crowdsource Information</h2> <p>Learn the art of the ask. Sometimes you don't have the time or enough prior knowledge of something to Google it, and that's when asking your friends comes in. Being able to ask your social network for their expertise is clutch in this modern age.</p> <h2>10. Invest Your Own Money</h2> <p>Why hire someone to take over your money management when you can day trade and manage your investments online? If you're putting off saving for retirement, it has never been easier to start. Learn more about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-cheap-easy-ways-to-invest-your-first-1000">how to start saving</a>.</p> <h2>11. Upgrade Your Email</h2> <p>Email is still a very important part of work and personal communication, but issues like cluttered inboxes, unsynced calendars, non-replies, and copious newsletters make email frustrating. There are plenty of extremely useful email plug-ins to increase your productivity!</p> <h2>12. Google Better</h2> <p>Everyone knows about using quotes and the plus and minus while searching, but did you know about the tip calculator? What about reverse image search? Polish your Google prowess with these <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/tech/Things-You-Can-Do-Google-35330843#photo-35330843">key search hacks</a> to get the results you're looking for.</p> <h2>13. Use Siri</h2> <p>&quot;Siri&quot; (or &quot;Cortana,&quot; or &quot;Google&quot;) as a tool can seem silly and time consuming, so many people don't use her. However, there are some instances in which she's indispensable, such as sending text messages and making calls in the car. There are tons of other <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/13-cool-things-siri-can-do-for-you-2014-8?op=1">cool things Siri can do</a>, too.</p> <h2>14. Use GPS Apps</h2> <p>If you're still printing out maps before you leave the house, it's time to stop. GPS has come a long way. (Remember those old Garmin GPS machines you had to buy back in the 00s that worked poorly?) <a href="https://maps.google.com/">Google Maps</a> is the best, but <a href="https://www.waze.com/">Waze</a> is excellent for those looking to snake their way out of traffic or avoid highways. You can save locations, pre-plan trips, and add new locations with voice-control while driving.</p> <h2>15. Troubleshoot Your Wi-Fi</h2> <p>You don't need an IT person to fix your Wi-Fi. Computers have made it extra easy to troubleshoot a connection. Check your laptop's network settings and <a href="http://www.computershopper.com/feature/ten-fast-fixes-for-wi-fi-problems">troubleshoot your Wi-Fi</a> on your own. When all else fails, you can always reset your router! Another hack: many smartphones can be used as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Simply go to your phone's general settings, to networks, then tap &quot;use as hotspot&quot; and follow the password directions.</p> <p><em>What modern life skill do you think everyone should master?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-modern-life-skills-everyone-should-master">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-multipurpose-iphone-4-cases-fit-for-a-freelancer">5 Multipurpose iPhone 4 Cases Fit for a Freelancer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-apps-can-fix-your-finances">These 5 Apps Can Fix Your Finances</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-back-to-school-iphone-apps">10 Back-to-School iPhone 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/5-apps-for-business-owners-on-the-go">5 Apps for Business Owners on the Go</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Productivity Technology apps email life skills online banking smartphones social networks Tue, 21 Apr 2015 13:00:21 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1392289 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Mobile Phone Upgrades That Aren't Worth the Money http://www.wisebread.com/4-mobile-phone-upgrades-that-arent-worth-the-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-mobile-phone-upgrades-that-arent-worth-the-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girl_phone_000039037532.jpg" alt="Girl realizing she has mobile phone plan she doesn&#039;t need" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The old adage says &quot;If you buy what you don't need, you'll need what you can't buy.&quot;</p> <p>When you have a mobile phone, you're already shelling out some serious coin every month. The average U.S. <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/news/6-reasons-your-phone-bill-keeps-rising/">monthly phone bill</a> ranges from $120 to $148. So, there's no need to pay for additional features you don't really need.</p> <p>Consider avoiding these four costly plan upgrades.</p> <h2>1. International Long Distance</h2> <p>Unless it's an absolute emergency, it just doesn't make sense to make international calls using your mobile phone's plan. For example, as an AT&amp;T subscriber, I would pay $2.19 per minute if I were to call to a landline in Ecuador, or $2.37 per minute if I were to call a wireless number.</p> <p>While paying $5 per line to upgrade to <a href="https://www.att.com/shop/wireless/international/long-distance.html?tab=1">AT&amp;T World Connect</a> lowers my calling rates to Ecuador ($0.35 per minute to landlines and $0.53 per minute to wireless), it is still not worthwhile. Without paying any additional fees, I can call any landline or mobile in Ecuador for $0.15 per minute, by signing up for a Skype subscription. I'd decrease my calling cost to landlines in Ecuador to as little as $0.075 per minute.</p> <p>You could also leverage smartphone apps, such as <a href="http://line.me/en/">Line</a>, <a href="http://www.tango.me">Tango</a>, or <a href="http://www.viber.com/en/">Viber</a>, that allow you to make international calls for free. Or, buy an international calling card with good rates for the country that you're trying to call. The point is that there are much more affordable options than upgrading for an international long distance feature.</p> <h2>2. Frequent Equipment Upgrades</h2> <p>T-Mobile Jump, AT&amp;T Next, and Verizon Edge offer variations of the same idea: Instead of committing to a single phone model for two years, you can upgrade to the latest model as soon as you want. No matter your phone carrier, if you have a frequent upgrade plan, you pay a monthly fee based on the full price of your selected phone (cost of service is separate).</p> <p>From a purely financial perspective, frequent equipment upgrade plans often aren't worth the money. For example, you could <a href="http://lifehacker.com/are-early-upgrade-plans-worth-it-1369868915#">save close to $650</a> by sticking to a two-year plan with AT&amp;T, instead of going with a frequent upgrade plan for two years. Similar savings scenarios happen with Verizon ($600) and T-Mobile ($340). (Note: Sprint retired its <a href="http://support.sprint.com/support/article/Learn_more_about_Sprint_One_Up/35e890a8-cbab-4cc4-99a7-91b0bc533e35?INTNAV=LP:Support:01102014:oneup&amp;ECID=vanity:oneup">One Up upgrade plan</a> on January 9, 2014). The premium that you pay for the &quot;convenience&quot; of having the latest model is too high and something that you don't really need.</p> <h2>3. International Data Plan</h2> <p>I get it, I really do.</p> <p>Just like many Millennial travelers, I believe that a trip isn't a trip without posting a few vacation pics for my friends to view. About 69% of Millennial travelers use some form of <a href="https://www.yahoo.com/travel/millennials-travel-survey-113198011097.html">social media during vacations</a>.</p> <p>Most service providers provide international data plans starting at 100MB. For example, <a href="http://www.att.com/shop/wireless/international/roaming.html">AT&amp;T's 120MB data plan</a> is $30, and <a href="http://www.verizonwireless.com/landingpages/global-roaming/">Verizon's 100MB data plan</a> is $25. The problem is that a 100MB allowance doesn't go very far. Consider how much data some common activities consume.</p> <ul> <li>Emailing a single high-resolution photo is 2MB to 5MB.</li> <li>Doing a 10-minute video call is about 24MB.</li> <li>Visiting 50 web pages equals about 10MB.</li> <li>Completing 30 social media posts with photos is roughly 10MB.</li> <li>Downloading 10 songs is 40MB.</li> </ul> <p>You could burn through 100MB of data in a single day. And that's assuming that you're keeping track of all of your data use. If you unintentionally left on the auto-push feature of your smartphone for all apps, you could easily burn through most of the data in just a couple of hours.</p> <p>Instead of buying an international data plan, take the following steps when traveling abroad (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-minimize-cell-phone-charges-when-you-travel-abroad?ref=seealso">How to Minimize Cell Phone Charges When Traveling Abroad</a>):</p> <ul> <li>Use the Wi-Fi from your hotel or from other reliable sources;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Plan ahead with smartphone map apps, such as <a href="http://www.ulmon.com">Ulmon Maps</a> and <a href="http://osmand.net">OsmAnd</a>, which can work without an Internet connection;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Keep your phone in airplane mode as much as possible to prevent data use;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Prevent automatic upload of media.</li> </ul> <h2>4. Tethering</h2> <p>Sharing your data connection with all your other devices sounds like an awesome deal. However, the reality is that mobile tethering has several drawbacks:</p> <ul> <li>Most cellular carriers will require you to pay an additional fee or upgrade to a minimum MB plan to be able to tether through your device.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>There is no cellular carrier that will let you tether any device with an unlimited plan. You have to downgrade to a paid data plan, and figure out which one makes financial sense.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You have a data cap when tethering, often ranging from 2GB to 5GB. Depending on your data use, you may incur overages and their corresponding expensive fees.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Tethering is major drain to any mobile's battery life.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Many users report that their Internet connection freezes when the phone receives a text or call.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You're always trading off something when you're tethering. Tether via Wi-Fi, and your phone's battery drains quickly. Tether via USB, and only your computer can connect to the Internet. Tether via Bluetooth, and your connection gets very slow.</li> </ul> <p>This is why that tethering fee is something that you don't really need. Imagine if your home Internet provider would try to charge you for plugging an additional device to your home connection. You would probably tell your Internet company that they're crazy. If you really need a hotspot on the go for work purposes, you're better off investing in a mobile hotspot. That way you won't have to compromise for subpar service.</p> <p><em>What are some mobile plan upgrades that aren't worth the money?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-mobile-phone-upgrades-that-arent-worth-the-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-modern-life-skills-everyone-should-master">15 Modern Life Skills Everyone Should Master</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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-a-new-smartphone-without-extending-your-contract">Buying a New Smartphone Without Extending Your Contract</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-a-robot-called-digit-really-help-you-save-more">Can a Robot Called Digit Really Help You Save More?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-digital-detox-how-and-why-to-do-it">The Digital Detox: How and Why to Do It</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Technology data plans long distance mobile smartphones tethering upgrades Fri, 17 Apr 2015 15:00:07 +0000 Damian Davila 1388408 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Mobile Payment Tools You Should Start Using Today http://www.wisebread.com/6-mobile-payment-tools-you-should-start-using-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-mobile-payment-tools-you-should-start-using-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_phone_000047974012_0.jpg" alt="Woman using mobile apps to make electronic payments" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's not just a silly myth from a &quot;<a href="http://youtu.be/yoPf98i8A0g">Seinfeld&quot; episode</a> &mdash; sitting on your wallet can actually cause <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/17/health/17real.html?_r=1&amp;">sciatica problems</a>.</p> <p>When your wallet is ever-growing due to a severe case &quot;credit-carditis,&quot; it's time to consider alternative forms of payment. Here are six mobile payment tools that can help you trim the size of your wallet, while providing some additional financial benefits.</p> <h2>1. Square</h2> <p>Close to 50% of Americans carry <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/05/12/whats-in-your-wallet-probably-not-cash/">$20 in cash or less</a> each day. Even worse, 9% of us don't carry any at all. This explains why your friends and co-workers seem to never have cash on hand when it comes to paying you back.</p> <p>That's why you may want to sign up for Square to process credit card payments through your Apple or Android device. You'll receive a <a href="http://squareup.com/reader">credit card reader</a> for your device free in the mail, and you'll be ready to improve your chances of getting back those small loans from your friends. Keep in mind that Square charges a 2.75% fee of the total amount per swipe.</p> <h2>2. PayPal</h2> <p>The first fully digital payment option has been around since 1999. Through the years, PayPal has built great partnerships with several online retailers. In 2013 alone, <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevenbertoni/2014/09/30/ebay-and-paypal-to-split-carl-icahn-and-elon-musk-wish-comes-true/">PayPal processed $180 billion</a> in 26 currencies throughout 190 nations. Freelancers and entrepreneurs often choose PayPal for sending and receiving payments over the web, because most of the time funds are immediately available.</p> <p>Keep in mind that the typical PayPal transaction gets dinged with a 2.9% plus $0.30 fee. For example, if you receive a $100 payment on PayPal, you only see $96.80 in the end. That's $3.20 of every $100 that goes to PayPal.</p> <p>PayPal also offers some other useful services:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.paypal.com/webapps/mpp/billmelater-productoverview">PayPal Credit</a> has special financing offers, such as no interest for six months and 1% cash back on applicable purchases.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>An alternative to Square's card reader, <a href="http://www.paypal.com/webapps/mpp/credit-card-reader">PayPal Reader</a> charges 2.7% per swipe in the U.S.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Several brick and mortar retailers, such as Home Depot and Babies &quot;R&quot; Us, accept your PayPal login credentials at their payment terminals.</li> </ul> <h2>3. Venmo</h2> <p>A mashup between personal finance and social media, Venmo is a popular mobile payment smartphone app among Millennials. To start with Venmo you just need a Facebook account or email address, and you're ready to <a href="https://venmo.com/about/product/">receive money</a> from any other connected Venmo user. If you would like to send money, you just need to connect your bank account to your Venmo profile.</p> <p>Venmo has two major advantages. First, the service charges no fees to process payments between users. Second, unlike other mobile payment options, withdrawals from Venmo to your bank account are processed within one business day.</p> <p>Not into oversharing on social media? You can still use Venmo, since you can adjust the message settings so that transactions are private. However, most <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/articles/2014-11-20/mobile-payment-startup-venmo-is-killing-cash">Venmo users</a> keep their settings public. Sharing inside jokes, emojis, and snarky comments is part of the Venmo experience. IMHO, that's pretty cool.</p> <h2>4. Bitcoin</h2> <p>Created by an unknown person using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009, Bitcoin is a virtual currency that allows people to make online payments anonymously. Using <a href="https://bitcoin.org/en/choose-your-wallet">digital wallets</a>, which can be a mobile, desktop, or online app, users can share Bitcoins with each other.</p> <p>Unlike other virtual currencies, Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency. This means that Bitcoin leverages cryptography to secure transactions and to control creation of new units. People can't just make up Bitcoins out of thin air. Not only does it take a lot of hard work to make Bitcoins (a process called &quot;mining&quot;), but there is also a cap on the amount of Bitcoins that can ever be produced. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-you-should-know-about-bitcoin?ref=seealso">Here's What You Should Know About Bitcoin</a>)</p> <p>Just like any other emerging technology, Bitcoin is not for everybody:</p> <ul> <li>It has had some major market value swings. Back in November 2013, the <a href="http://rt.com/news/bitcoin-value-thousand-dollars-392/">market value </a>of a single Bitcoin was over $1,000. Fast forward to March 2015, and the market value is down to about $260.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The IRS considers Bitcoin as property. This means that any transaction using Bitcoin is subject to the same <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140516185817-22868355-5-takeaways-from-irs-notice-2014-21-for-bitcoin-users">IRS rules</a> as a property transaction. Just to name a few, you need to keep track of any market gains or losses from all your transactions, request applicable W2 or 1099-MISC forms, and declare income from Bitcoin mining. You can find the full guidelines for taxation of Bitcoin in <a href="http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-14-21.pdf">IRS Notice 2014-21</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Bitcoin wallets have been subject to hacking. Hackers stole $436 million from Mt. Gox, $5 million from Bitstamp, and. $1.75 million from Bter. To make matters worse, funds in Bitcoin wallets aren't protected by the FDIC.</li> </ul> <p>So, why would you want to use Bitcoin? Simple &mdash; it is a currency that is subject to upswing potential. For example, let's imagine that you bill a client for one Bitcoin at a market value of $260 today. Two weeks later, your client pays you back that one Bitcoin when the market value is at $265. Assuming no other fees, you just made a $5 extra without doing anything!</p> <p>This explains why several retailers, such as Overstock and Expedia, and manufacturers, such as Microsoft and Dell, are willing to accept Bitcoin. As of March 2015, there are over 3.13 million Bitcoin wallets in the world.</p> <h2>5. Apple Pay</h2> <p>Fanfare and publicity aside, Apple Pay may be the mobile payment service likeliest to go truly mainstream. This mobile wallet (currently available for iPhone 6, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, and expected to be available for the Apple Watch later in 2015) stores virtual copies of your debit and credit cards. To pay, you place your finger on the touch ID of your device</p> <p>Apple does a great job of keeping your transaction information secure. So secure, that some retailers, such as Walmart, CVS, and Rite-Aid, <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/wal-mart-heres-why-we-dont-support-apple-pay-2014-10">don't process Apple Pay</a> at their stores because they are not able to get that data. Still, there are hundreds of thousands of stores, including Macy's, Sports Authority, and Subway, already <a href="https://www.apple.com/apple-pay/where-to-use-apple-pay/">accepting Apple Pay</a> or planning to accept it in the near future.</p> <p>If you're an Apple enthusiast and you like the idea that your credit card information, such as name, card number, or security code, is never revealed to any cashier upon payment, then Apple Pay may be a great mobile payment option for you.</p> <h2>6. Google Wallet</h2> <p>Google Wallet is very similar to Apple Pay because both mobile payment options use near-field communications (NFC) to send the user's payment information to the point-of-sale terminal.</p> <p>However, Google Wallet has one cool feature that Apple Pay doesn't: With Google Wallet, you can <a href="https://www.google.com/wallet/send-money/">send or request money</a> for free to anyone in the U.S. with a Gmail address.</p> <p>Recipients of funds via Gmail can request a Wallet Card from <a href="http://wallet.google.com">wallet.google.com</a> on their computer, or from the Google Wallet mobile app. The Google Wallet card is a prepaid card that you can use to make purchases at online and physical stores that accept MasterCard debit, or to make cash withdrawals at ATMs or banks. Google Wallet <a href="http://www.google.com/wallet/faq.html#tab=faq-fees">charges no fees</a>, except 2.9% with a $0.30 minimum when adding money from a debit card. Keep in mind that some ATMs or banks may charge you for a withdrawal.</p> <p>These two cool features explain why Google Wallet was able to beat Apple Pay and other similar services in a <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2014/09/virtual-wallet-review-apple-pay-google-wallet-softcard-and-loop-wallet/index.htm">virtual wallet comparison test</a> from Consumer Reports.</p> <p><em>Have you ditched your wallet and fully embraced mobile payment tools? Share your story in the comments. </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-mobile-payment-tools-you-should-start-using-today">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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/always-use-cash-for-these-5-things">Always Use Cash for These 5 Things</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/search-online-for-a-fix-before-you-toss-that-broken-gadget">Search Online for a Fix before You Toss that Broken Gadget</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-gasoline-pump-y2k-problem">The Gasoline Pump &quot;Y2K&quot; Problem</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-paid-for-your-psychic-skills-at-predictify">Get Paid for your Psychic Skills at Predictify</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Technology mobile devices payments virtual wallets Thu, 09 Apr 2015 15:00:10 +0000 Damian Davila 1376585 at http://www.wisebread.com What Net Neutrality Means For Your Wallet http://www.wisebread.com/what-net-neutrality-means-for-your-wallet <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-net-neutrality-means-for-your-wallet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/net_neutrality_000039464264.jpg" alt="man learning about what net neutrality means for his wallet" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Just like water and electricity, Internet service is now essentially considered a public utility following the passage of new <a href="http://www.fcc.gov/openinternet">net neutrality rules</a> by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Depending on which camp your views are aligned with, this is either a positive step toward ensuring equal Internet access for everyone, or a bad move that could bring about over-regulation by the government.</p> <p>But, love it or hate it, net neutrality has arrived. And while a drawn-out court battle over the FCC decision will likely delay any real changes to your nightly Netflix consumption, we figure it's worth exploring how net neutrality could eventually impact your wallet.</p> <h2>American Consumers Could Face a Tax Increase of $11 Billion &mdash; Or Zero</h2> <p>According to a Progressive Policy Institute study, net neutrality rules could generate $11 billion in new taxes if regulators apply the existing fees on your telephone bill to your Internet bill.</p> <p>&quot;If these fees are already on the books and Internet service gets reclassified as a public utility, it makes it easier for these state and local authorities to argue [Internet service] should be subject to the same fees,&quot; said Hal Singer, one of the PPI study authors.</p> <p>Some experts, however, say it's unlikely that your Internet bill would reflect your <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/02/net-neutrality-taxes-mike-lee-fact-check">telephone bill fees</a>. Your phone bill, for example, most likely includes a charge for the local emergency 911 service, something that's totally inapplicable to your Internet usage. Following this school of thought, many pro-net neutrality scholars claim the new rules won't lead to any tax increase, while others say it will probably lead to a relatively small tax hike somewhere in the ballpark of $4 billion. PPI's number is already scaled back from its <a href="http://www.progressivepolicy.org/slider/outdated-regulations-will-make-consumers-pay-broadband/">original $15 billion estimate</a>, an indication of just how unstable these early projections are.</p> <h2>Potential Job Cuts in Telecom Industries</h2> <p>A New York University study found that net neutrality could cost the U.S. economy $62 billion and <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/technology/content/jun2010/tc20100616_751009.htm">eliminate half a million jobs</a> over the next five years. This is based on the notion that the new regulations would reduce broadband providers' incentive to invest in high-speed network infrastructure by shrinking their opportunity to bring in revenue.</p> <p>&quot;There will be follow-on effects in the whole ecosystem,&quot; said Bret Swanson, who co-authored the NYU study. &quot;A diminution of investment by the big infrastructure companies will reduce network capacity, new services, and investment by all the ecosystem companies.&quot;</p> <p>But not everyone agrees. For example, the chief technology officer for Sprint, the third-largest U.S. wireless carrier and a proponent of stricter net neutrality rules, has publically said that neither Sprint nor its competitors would <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/11/us-sprint-corp-internet-neutrality-idUSKBN0LF00720150211">reduce investment</a> in light of increased regulation. &quot;Our competitors are going to continue to invest so they are representing a situation that won't play out,&quot; Stephen Bye told Reuters.</p> <p>Clearly, the jury's still out on exactly how much net neutrality will cost consumers like you. Keep your eye on this important new policy and its developments.</p> <p><em>Do you expect the new rules to help your budget &mdash; or hurt it? </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-net-neutrality-means-for-your-wallet">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-2 views-row-even"> <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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-will-the-comcastnbc-merger-really-affect-you">How Will The Comcast/NBC Merger Really Affect You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-the-nasty-secret-of-the-craigslist-free-section">Beware, The Nasty Secret Of The Craigslist Free Section</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-sopa-and-how-will-it-affect-you-0">What Is SOPA, and How Will It Affect You?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Financial News Technology bills Internet job cuts Net Neutrality tax increases Wed, 01 Apr 2015 09:00:15 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1359630 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Crazy Things Tomorrow's Cars Will Do http://www.wisebread.com/8-crazy-things-tomorrows-cars-will-do <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-crazy-things-tomorrows-cars-will-do" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/toyota_fv2.jpg" alt="Toyota FV2 futuristic concept car of tomorrow" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The funny thing about concept cars is that they're just that &mdash; concepts. They're futuristic ideas displayed at auto shows, designed to highlight advanced technologies and stylistic directions of cars that may never actually see the light of day.</p> <p>While we don't pretend to predict which future features are likely to catch on, there are plenty of cool bells and whistles that are worth hoping for. Some are more conceptual than others, and some more likely to be seen in the next few years than scrapped. Here are our top eight:</p> <h2>1. Flying Cars</h2> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bp2TWNpTA7s" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Even before the Jetsons made it to primetime, a flying car has been seen as a futuristic solution to every commuter's problems.</p> <p>Trademarked as the <a href="http://www.terrafugia.com/tf-x">TF-X</a>, a company called Terrafugia says it's making a car that becomes airborne like a helicopter, and then flies like a plane. The company makes another flying car, called the Transition, that has wings and takes off as a plane (and amazingly is road legal for driving). You just may need to land at an airport and then drive to your destination. Both flying cars still appear to be in the experimental stages.</p> <h2>2. Motorcycle-Car Combos</h2> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/RZXCqGiBxYY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Toyota's <a href="http://www.toyota-global.com/innovation/personal_mobility/i-road/">i-Road concept car</a> has two wheels in the front and one in the back, with an enclosed area for two passengers. The front wheels are powered by electric motors that share a lithium-ion battery. It has a driving range of 30 miles and goes up to 30 mph, making it best for short trips.</p> <p>This electric vehicle made its second appearance at the Chicago Auto Show, giving the impression that it's more of a concept than reality &mdash; for now.</p> <h2>3. Clean Cars</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/tesla_model_x.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Electric vehicle innovations are already numerous, and more are on the way. Major carmakers are getting into the hybrid business, and some, such as the <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/research/transport/projects/items/lean_and_green___the_clever_vehicle_en.htm">CLEVER</a> vehicle designed at the Technical University of Berlin, have a compressed natural gas engine to cut carbon dioxide emissions.</p> <p>If you're looking for a clean car that's beyond the concept stage, the Tesla <a href="http://www.teslamotors.com/modelx">Model X</a> is scheduled for delivery in early 2016. It's an electric car that's designed as an SUV/minivan mashup that may have two different battery packs available. Teslas have some of the longest battery life of EVs, traveling 230-300 miles when driven at 55 mph.</p> <h2>4. Solar-Powered Cars</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/ford_c_max.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The Ford <a href="https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2014/01/02/let-the-sun-in--ford-c-max-solar-energi-concept-goes-off-the-gri.html">C-Max Solar Energi Concept</a> has a solar panel roof that draws power from a solar concentrator lens like a magnifying glass. A day's worth of sunlight produces a range of up to 620 miles. The 2015 version of this gas/electric hybrid doesn't have a solar roof, so we can only guess that this concept car is either still in the planning stages or shelved.</p> <h2>5. External Airbags</h2> <p>Safety technology maker TRW Automotive is developing <a href="http://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/attack-of-the-stay-puft-marshmallow-man-external-airbags-coming-to-the-side-of-a-car-near-you/">external airbags</a> for below the exterior of car doors to protect a car's occupants. While a full-car bubble wrap isn't part of the plan, TRW plans on having the airbags on a German luxury car by the end of the decade, likely the Mercedes-Benz S Class.</p> <h2>6. Extended Tailgates</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/hyundai_santa_cruz.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Have you ever needed to haul something in your truck and the truck bed just wasn't long enough? The 2015 Hyundai <a href="http://www.hyundainews.com/us/en/media/pressreleases/42741/hyundai-introduces-convention-shattering-santa-cruz-crossover-truck-concept-at-detroit-international">Santa Cruz</a> concept crossover truck is an experimental vehicle with a tailgate extension to make the bed length similar to a mid-size pickup. It has a drawer-like sliding function for longer cargo.</p> <p>The Santa Cruz was at the Chicago Auto Show in February, when manufacturers judged the public's reaction to the prototype. That's another part of being a concept car &mdash; weighing the public's interest in its features. (Some may be too far ahead of their time or garner no interest at all.)</p> <h2>7. Large Touchscreens</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u11/Concept_GC_PHEV_21.jpg" width="605" height="403" alt="" /></p> <p>The Mitsubishi <a href="http://media.mitsubishicars.com/releases/mitsubishi-motors-concept-gc-phev-makes-north-american-debut-at-the-2015-chicago-auto-show">GC-PHEV</a> concept car has what Mitsubishi calls a &quot;Tactile Table&quot; that's a large flat touchscreen running from the center console all the way back to the second row of seats. The blue-lit screen looks like something you'd use to plan Death Star attacks. However, Mitsubishi has other uses in mind, including allowing passengers to put their smartphones on top of it and create, collect, exchange, and share information with others through the car's communication system. At least it <em>sounds</em> like fun.</p> <h2>8. No Steering Wheels</h2> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/1i4NnqrTMs4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>The <a href="http://www.toyota-global.com/tokyoms2013/fv2/">Toyota FV2</a> concept car is a single-person vehicle that doesn't use a steering wheel; instead, the driver shifts their body weight to intuitively move the vehicle and steer it. The car also uses &quot;voice and image recognition to determine the driver's mood, accumulated driving history to suggest destinations, and driving skill information to assist the user,&quot; according to Toyota. The carmaker compares it to &quot;the relationship of trust and understanding that a rider might have with his or her horse.&quot;</p> <p>If having trust in your car like you would a horse is too much to ask, then a <a href="http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/03/10/mercedes-benzs-self-driving-cars-took-to-the-streets-of-san-francisco-and-residents-were-mesmerized/">self-driving car</a> may be more to your liking. Those look to be a bit more realistic for the foreseeable future.</p> <p><em>What futuristic car features are you most excited about?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/aaron-crowe">Aaron Crowe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-crazy-things-tomorrows-cars-will-do">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-your-next-car-be-electric">Should Your Next Car Be Electric?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-this-the-best-search-engine-ever-for-new-used-cars">Is This the Best Search Engine Ever for New &amp; Used Cars?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-gasoline-pump-y2k-problem">The Gasoline Pump &quot;Y2K&quot; Problem</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/remove-car-dents-quickly-and-cheaply">Remove Car Dents Quickly and Cheaply</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-things-car-salesmen-dont-want-you-to-know">17 Things Car Salesmen Don&#039;t Want You to Know</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Technology auto shows concept cars flying cars future cars hybrids Wed, 25 Mar 2015 17:00:09 +0000 Aaron Crowe 1354153 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Important Reasons You Need to Cut Back on Screen Time http://www.wisebread.com/10-important-reasons-you-need-to-cut-back-on-screen-time <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-important-reasons-you-need-to-cut-back-on-screen-time" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girls_on_phones.jpg" alt="young girls on their cellphones" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Screen time. You know, all those hours you spend in front of your computer at work? Plus the time on your cell phone at lunch, and the TV you watch before you go to bed. It all adds up.</p> <p>Unfortunately, research seems to show some significant negative effects of all the time we spend in front of our screens. While this is still a nascent field of academic study &mdash; we simply haven't had access to these devices for long enough to know exactly how they affect us &mdash; there seem to be some compelling reasons to make the effort to look at something other than a screen.</p> <h2>1. It's Bad for Your Health</h2> <p>Being in front of a screen is almost always sedentary behavior (unless, I suppose, you're on the treadmill). Because of this, it correlates with things like lower fitness levels and undesirable body composition.</p> <p>Turn this around by choosing something active rather than watching TV or playing video games in your spare time. You don't have to kill yourself at the gym; you can take a walk, work on a project at home, or even garden.</p> <h2>2. It Hinders Your Brain's Performance</h2> <p>Kids do better in school when they have less screen time. Researchers aren't yet sure why this is true, but it probably has to do with the ways that technology teaches the brain to function. If you want to perform well in situations that involve memorization or problem solving (which are tasks that many kids perform in school), limit your screen time.</p> <h2>3. It Lowers Your Ability to Process Nonverbal Cues</h2> <p>When people are taken away from their screens, they seem to better <a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0747563214003227">process nonverbal cues</a>. It makes sense that when you are mostly interacting with actual people, you get better at understanding emotional things they're trying to communicate.</p> <p>Processing nonverbal cues well means that you're less likely to make awkward social mistakes, and also means that you might have more opportunities for social interaction and have an easier time making new friends.</p> <h2>4. It Messes Up Your Sleep</h2> <p>When teenagers have more than four hours of screen time per day, and especially when they use their screens in the hour before going to bed, they have trouble falling asleep. This can lead to a sleep deficit of up to two hours each night!</p> <p>If you're not sleeping well, you will not only feel tired the next day, but it can hinder your performance at work or in school. It's worth the effort to use your screen less and get a little more rest.</p> <h2>5. It Reduces Your Ability to Plan Ahead</h2> <p>People who spend a lot of time in front of screens, and especially those who play video games a lot, have a <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mental-wealth/201402/gray-matters-too-much-screen-time-damages-the-brain">loss of brain volume</a> in their frontal lobes. If this happens to you, it lowers your ability to do a lot of things, among them the ability to plan ahead.</p> <p>Most of us need to make plans in our daily lives. We plan everything from where to go to lunch tomorrow, to how much money we can spend this weekend, to what we want to do on vacation next year. It's important to have the healthiest frontal cortex that you can, in order to perform these tasks well.</p> <h2>6. It Makes Impulse Control Harder</h2> <p>If you spend so much time in front of a screen that you get addicted to being online, there are all sorts of negative effects. One of these is that you lose the ability to <a href="http://www.psyn-journal.com/article/S0925-4927%2812%2900029-7/abstract">control your impulses</a>. This means that you will be more likely to do things like spending money whenever you see something that you want, overeating on things that look good to you, and making hasty decisions that could negatively affect your future.</p> <h2>7. It Inhibits Communication Skills</h2> <p>People who spend more time online, especially young people, are more likely to <a href="http://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/health/article/1513555/beware-negative-effects-too-much-screen-time-children">struggle with communication</a>. It seems that people who learn how to interact with others in online contexts don't necessarily develop the skills to interact outside of those specific structures. If interpersonal communication is important to you or part of your job, you will likely reap rewards if you spend less time in front of your screen.</p> <h2>8. It Can Make You Depressed</h2> <p>People who spend a lot of time in front of screens, specifically while watching TV, have a higher <a href="http://fit.webmd.com/teen/recharge/article/teens-screen-time?page=2#2">incidence of depression</a> than those who choose to do other things with their time.</p> <p>There are likely multiple reasons for this. If you choose to watch TV rather than interact with people, loneliness could cause the depression. TV also gives an unrealistic portrayal of how life should be and what you should look like, and comparing that to your real life can bring you down. Finally, TV can be violent and scary (and that's just the news!), which can lead people to an overall negative view of the world.</p> <h2>9. It Leads to Antisocial Behavior</h2> <p>When kids watch a lot of TV, they are more likely to have problems with <a href="http://www.everydayhealth.com/kids-health/0219/too-much-tv-leads-to-antisocial-behavior-in-kids-study-finds-7591.aspx">antisocial behavior</a> at some time in their lives. Note that this doesn't mean that they are necessarily antisocial as kids, but that this behavior can manifest as they grow older. Researchers aren't sure how time in front of the television leads to this behavior, but the correlation is strong enough that it seems like good motivation for limiting screen time for anyone.</p> <h2>10. It Means You're Almost Always Multitasking</h2> <p>When you're in front of a screen, you're usually multitasking. This means that a lot of screen time can lead to some of the same <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fallacy-of-multitasking?ref=seealso">negative effects of multitasking</a>, like a lack of focus or an inability to remember things because your brain is overstimulated. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-way-to-make-multitasking-actually-work?ref=seealso">The Simple Way to Make Multitasking Actually Work</a>)</p> <p>If you must use a screen, try to do just that. Then, when you're done, move onto whatever you need to do next and leave the screen behind. Do one thing at a time so you can focus and remember.</p> <p><em>Do you choose to limit your screen time? What positive effects have you noticed?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-important-reasons-you-need-to-cut-back-on-screen-time">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-modern-life-skills-everyone-should-master">15 Modern Life Skills Everyone Should Master</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/4-mobile-phone-upgrades-that-arent-worth-the-money">4 Mobile Phone Upgrades That Aren&#039;t Worth the Money</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/life-without-tv">Life Without Television</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/buying-a-new-smartphone-without-extending-your-contract">Buying a New Smartphone Without Extending Your Contract</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-social-media-saved-someones-life">5 Ways Social Media Saved Someone&#039;s Life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Technology screen time smartphones television video games Thu, 19 Mar 2015 11:00:09 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1347472 at http://www.wisebread.com Can a Robot Called Digit Really Help You Save More? http://www.wisebread.com/can-a-robot-called-digit-really-help-you-save-more <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/can-a-robot-called-digit-really-help-you-save-more" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/momdaughter_saving_piggy_bank_000022124763.jpg" alt="Mom and daughter putting coins in a piggy bank " title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The frugal living world is full of exhortations to save more for emergencies, to save for important purchases, to save for big life goals. Along with that comes lots and lots of advice about how to trim costs, earn more, and to budget and plan. Despite all of that, Americans still don't save as much as they should &mdash; <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/business/personal-finance/62-percent-americans-cant-cover-unexpected-expenses-bankrate-n281796">&nbsp;60% of us don't have enough set aside</a> for even <em>minor </em>emergencies like a car repair or an emergency visit to the dentist.</p> <p>So why don't we save when we know we should? Because even though it seems easy, saving money actually isn't that simple.</p> <h2>Digit Is Designed to Make Saving Easy</h2> <p><a href="https://digit.co/">Digit</a> is a free smartphone app that analyzes a connected checking account and makes periodic withdrawals to a separate, Digit-controlled savings account. The algorithm monitors spending and income habits to determine the size and frequency of the transfers. They are generally small ($15 to $20) and occur once or twice a week. Individual transfers are capped at $150.</p> <p>Most interaction with the service is via mobile text. Every morning Digit sends an account update with details about recent transactions and current balance. Users can send texts to issue commands and check balances, too. There's also a clean and simple website interface.</p> <h2>I've Saved $58.75 in Two Weeks With Digit</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/Peterson_Digit_Screenshot.jpeg" width="605" height="330" alt="" /></p> <p>After I got over some squeamishness about letting a mysterious algorithm connect to my checking account and begin transferring funds, I signed up through the website (it's easy, of course) and waited for Digit to do its thing. The first transfer, for $6.50, came about a week later. A handful of transfers have followed since (they seem to come in pairs, about a week apart), and I've amassed a tidy little nest egg of $58.75. When it reaches $100, I'll transfer it back to my checking account and from there into my savings account. Woo-hoo! An extra hundred bucks in my vacation fund.</p> <h2>What I Like About Digit</h2> <p>Here's why I'll probably keep my Digit account live even after I've written this review.</p> <h3>It's Easy</h3> <p>Setting up an automatic transfer between a checking account and a savings account is easy. Digit is easier, and works alongside my current transfers to help me find extra money to put aside for whatever. Signup is quick and painless. The interface is simple, clear, and direct. The list of commands is short and to the point.</p> <h3>It Sends Me Daily Text Updates</h3> <p>I try to check in with my banking and credit accounts every couple of days to see where my money's going and to keep an eye out for mistakes or erroneous charges. Unfortunately, sometimes life happens, and I may not check in for a couple of weeks. Digit sends me an update every morning with account balance and transaction details. It doesn't seem like much, but it goes a long way toward keeping money and personal finance &quot;top-of-mind.&quot; I'm thinking more about my money, and that's good.</p> <h3>Digit's Designers Are Thinking About Psychology</h3> <p>Digit doesn't ask me how much money I would like to save &mdash; it just does it, based on my financial habits. Compare that with an automatic transfer between accounts. The user has to make the decision to save, the decision to set up the accounts, and finally the decision on the amount of money to withhold. Each of those decisions are &quot;opt-in&quot; moments, which are surprisingly difficult to overcome. The last one is especially difficult because in addition to opt-in, we have to overcome &quot;loss aversion,&quot; which is what psychologists call our reluctance to give up what we have in order to gain something else. When you set up an automatic transfer between checking and savings, you have to decide how much to give up from spending now in order to gain some savings later. That's hard.</p> <p>Digit doesn't eliminate all the &quot;opt-in&quot; obstacles (you still have to click a link and sign up, after all), but it does help us get over loss aversion. Once you're in, you're saving.</p> <h2>What I Dislike About Digit</h2> <p>Digit does a lot of things right, but not everything.</p> <h3>Digit Interacts With My Checking Account</h3> <p>It felt really weird at first to let a third-party service transfer money out of my checking account &mdash; automatically. Digit's designers have recognized that this is a tall hurdle for some people. They insist the algorithm will never cause a user's checking account to become overdrawn, and they offer an overdraft guarantee, just in case. So far, nobody's had to take them up on it.</p> <h3>My Money With Digit Doesn't Earn Any Interest</h3> <p>Funds transferred and held in Digit's savings account do not earn interest. Of course, funds in my checking account and regular bank savings account earn only paltry interest, so maybe that's a wash. In any case, this is how Digit keeps the service free and pays themselves &mdash; they are capturing the interest instead of passing it to users.</p> <p>Also, transferring money out of my Digit savings account and back to my checking account takes about a day. (Meanwhile, transfers out of my PayPal account can take up to <em>five</em>.)</p> <h3>Digit's Psychology Can Work Against Me, Too</h3> <p>Speaking of getting my money out of Digit, the process is more like transferring funds between checking and savings accounts. It's all manual, with some &quot;opt-ins&quot; and a big &quot;loss aversion&quot; moment to overcome at the end. Automatic withdrawals back to my checking account &mdash; or even my savings account &mdash; based on preset goals met would be a nice feature. Maybe they'll add that in the future.</p> <h2>A Few More Details About Digit</h2> <p>If you're considering trying out Digit, you should know a few more things. (There's lots more at<a href="https://digit.co/about/faq"> Digit's FAQ</a>.)</p> <h3>Funds Are FDIC Insured up to $250k</h3> <p>Digit holds users' money at Wells Fargo or BofI Federal Bank, both of which are FDIC insured.</p> <h3>It Works With Most US Banks and Credit Unions</h3> <p>Digit is United States only currently, and while most major banks and credit unions are covered, not all are.</p> <h3>Passwords Are Anonymized and Secure</h3> <p>Digit claims they adhere to industry standards with respect to password and user data security.</p> <h2>Signing Up for Digit</h2> <p>If you'd like to signup for Digit, you can do so, <a href="https://digit.co/">right here</a>, in just a few moments. Once you've spent some time with it come back and share your experience in comments.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lars-peterson">Lars Peterson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-a-robot-called-digit-really-help-you-save-more">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-free-or-almost-tools-and-resources-for-creating-a-new-2015-budget">10 Free (or Almost!) Tools and Resources for Creating a New 2015 Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-apps-can-fix-your-finances">These 5 Apps Can Fix Your Finances</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-easy-ways-to-save-100-this-month">16 Easy Ways to Save $100 This Month</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-modern-life-skills-everyone-should-master">15 Modern Life Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-alternatives-to-cable-tv-that-will-keep-you-entertained">8 Alternatives to Cable TV That Will Keep You Entertained</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Technology apps behavioral economics digit reviews saving Wed, 18 Mar 2015 21:00:07 +0000 Lars Peterson 1345891 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Avoid Buying Electronics You'll Regret http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-avoid-buying-electronics-youll-regret <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-avoid-buying-electronics-youll-regret" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mp3-player-Dollarphotoclub_30124781.jpg" alt="mp3 player" title="mp3 player" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>They're shiny and new right out of the package, and too often, they cost a pretty penny. They are the gadgets we drool over when they first make an appearance in stores, sometimes after standing in line for hours to be among the first to get their hands on them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-as-seen-on-tv-kitchen-gadgets-that-are-actually-worth-the-money?ref=seealso">6 &quot;As Seen on TV&quot; Kitchen Gadgets That Are Actually Worth the Money</a>)</p> <p>While I've never considered myself enough of a fanatic to go to ridiculous lengths to buy a tech tool, I do love cutting edge features. I've loved them enough to get something based on hype, and then have deep regrets afterward. Here are just a few of my most notable instances of gadget buyer's remorse.</p> <h2>1. Replacement &quot;Toys&quot;</h2> <p>Every holiday, the toy commercials blast the gospel of how great a toy that acts like a tablet will be for your baby, toddler, or preschooler. And for a few weeks, the kids are always amazed that they can play games, take photos, and edit videos in a similar fashion to their adult counterparts.</p> <p>But then the magic ends; kids realize soon enough that their tablet is <em>not</em> the same as an iPad. The limitations are too obvious, and for the price of a typical toy tablet, you can easily get into an entry-level adult tablet with all the protective gear you need to keep it safe from spills and drops. It will last the child far longer than a gadget aimed at babies, and you'll avoid finding it unused in the bottom of the toybox. This rule goes for anything that has been &quot;kiddified&quot; for marketing purposes (such as toy phones, cameras, and music players).</p> <h2>2. Cheap Versions of Popular Products</h2> <p>That $35 MP3 player that looks like an iPod Touch &mdash; but isn't &mdash; is what we're talking about here.</p> <p>While there is no shortage of websites selling no-name versions of the product you really want, usually you are better off saving your money for the real thing. Not only is there an issue of quality to consider (can you even reach customer service for an unpronounceable tech company?), but compatibility is always a cause for concern. I remember getting three of my kids nifty music players that held just as many songs as an Apple product, but the file format turned out to be incompatible with most of the software we used for buying songs. The day-to-day implementation of these products was frustrating, and we ended up just giving them away.</p> <h2>3. Tech in the Midst of a Standards Battle</h2> <p>Remember Betamax? Laserdisc? HD-DVD?</p> <p>These were all technologies embroiled in a bitter war during a competitive early market. All lost to other technologies, leaving the owners of their products with pretty worthless gadgets (and libraries of obsolete media). If you're on the fence about whether your tech of choice is actually <em>the</em> &quot;tech of choice,&quot; you may want to wait a bit before buying. I don't know anyone who is proud of their investment in the losing competitor.</p> <h2>4. Printers With Expensive Refill Cartridges</h2> <p>Investing in tech can be a lot like playing the stock market: You really have to know your stuff to avoid making a significant investment in something that could tank hard down the road. If there is any technology more vulnerable to this than the printer, I don't know of it. Most mainstream printers (both inkjet and toner) start out at a rather high price point, only to become significantly cheaper in the months following their release.</p> <p>Their ink solutions, however, can come way down or stay very high, and this is what is baffling for many consumers. Another factor in how cheap the ink will get is whether knock-off cartridges will be made for that model. Those that accommodate &quot;remanufactured&quot; ink products can save 75% or more for the user, but it's impossible to tell when or if your model of printer will be one of the lucky ones upon it's original release to market. (We regret every printer purchase we've ever made with ink that costs more per cartridge than the actual printer can be bought for.)</p> <h2>5. Mini-Anything</h2> <p>Little blenders. Tiny food processors. Baby coffee machines. Unless you are a hardcore follower of the &quot;tiny house&quot; movement, there is almost no good reason to spend just as much on a small version of a powerful kitchen or DIY tool as its full-sized counterpart. For one, most smaller appliances are lacking in power or quality parts. I have a lazy Susan full of these baby gadgets that were given to me as gifts, picked up for a dime during Black Friday, or just found their way into my home from a yard sale. In a cook-off between them and my mega-powerful-father-of-all versions, they lose. Every single time. So keep your three cup coffee brewers and invest in a 10-cup machine. You don't have to fill it all the way if you don't want to.</p> <p><em>What tech gadgets do you regret buying?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-avoid-buying-electronics-youll-regret">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-advice-for-the-gadget-addicted">Frugal Advice for the Gadget Addicted</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tech-savvy-people-have-these-10-things-in-their-homes-do-you">Tech-Savvy People Have These 10 Things in Their Homes — Do You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-power-banks">The 5 Best Power Banks</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-ways-to-save-money-on-ipads-iphones-and-macs">6 Ways to Save Money on iPads, iPhones, and Macs</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/craigslist-vs-ebay-where-to-sell-10-common-items">Craigslist vs. eBay: Where to Sell 10 Common Items</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Technology dumb buys gadgets tech wasted money Thu, 26 Feb 2015 16:00:11 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1308848 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways Social Media Saved Someone's Life http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-social-media-saved-someones-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-social-media-saved-someones-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/shocked-woman-laptop-Dollarphotoclub_75143222.jpg" alt="shocked woman laptop" title="shocked woman laptop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>This post is brought to you by&nbsp;<a href="http://r1.fmpub.net/?k1=cmx-metric&amp;k2=289%7C610%7C1592&amp;k3=disclaimer&amp;k4=&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fad.doubleclick.net%2Fddm%2Fclk%2F281939105%3B108256880%3Bl" rel="nofollow">Humana</a>. Click&nbsp;<a href="http://r1.fmpub.net/?k1=cmx-metric&amp;k2=289%7C610%7C1592&amp;k3=disclaimer&amp;k4=&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fclosethegap.humana.com%2Fdaily-healthy%2FDr-Metzl-Prescribes-Fitness%2F%3Fcm_mmc%3DArticles-Brand-_-WiseBread-_-Underwritten7-_-TextLink" rel="nofollow">here</a>&nbsp;to learn more.</em></p> <p>I was chugging coffee, trying to meet a deadline before my children got home from school, when I felt a strange sensation: My left eyelid began twitching uncontrollably, fluttering as rapidly as a butterfly's wings.</p> <p><em>Great!</em> I thought. The last thing I had time for at that moment was a trip to the doctor. Instead, I typed a quick Facebook post: &quot;My eyelid keeps twitching uncontrollably. Is that bad?&quot;</p> <p>Within minutes, several mom friends informed me that this had happened to them, too, and that doctors had diagnosed it as a <a href="http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/eye-twitching.htm">symptom of stress</a>. Well, that made sense. I made a mental note to see a doctor if it continued for long, but went on with my work, and once my deadline went away, so did the twitching.</p> <p>My story is not nearly as dramatic as those whose social networks helped point them toward life-saving diagnoses. But it illustrates a valuable point: The power of social networks to help us manage our health is much bigger than the occasional life-and-death story. Whether it's on Facebook, Reddit or any other platform, social media can be a valuable reality check to help us figure out when we or our children need <a href="https://closethegap.humana.com/daily-healthy/Dr-Metzl-Prescribes-Fitness/?cm_mmc=Articles-Brand-_-WiseBread-_-Underwritten7-_-TextLink">medical attention</a>, and when we need to just calm down and get on with things.</p> <p>The dramatic stories, though, are much more fun to read about. Enjoy these tales of ordinary people whose lives were saved when strangers or friends online let them know they needed intervention. Nearly every one was a tear jerker for me.</p> <h2>1. Kawasaki Disease</h2> <p>Doctors thought Deborah Kogan's 4-year-old son, Leo, had a strep infection, but when his <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2011/07/how_facebook_saved_my_sons_life.html">face swelled to &quot;Nutty Professor&quot; proportions</a>, Kogan was puzzled. Within 10 minutes of posting a photo of the sick child on Facebook, Kogan received a phone call from a contact, urging her to rush the boy to the hospital. The Facebook friend's son had had a rare autoimmune disorder called Kawasaki Disease, and she was convinced that Leo had the same thing.</p> <p>Kogan was tempted to ignore this warning and stay home &mdash; until two doctors in her social network contacted her with the same thought.</p> <p>At the hospital, Leo was diagnosed with Kawasaki Disease, and although he suffered liver and heart damage, his life was spared.</p> <h2>2. Mastoiditis</h2> <p>An Australian mother looked to a mother's Facebook group for help identifying a <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2708061/How-Facebook-saved-daughters-life-Woman-thanks-wonderful-mummies-helped-diagnose-toddlers-severe-illness-doctors-missed-it.htm">red lump on her toddler's head</a>. The photo the woman, identified only as Kerry, posted did not look alarming &mdash; just a little swelling behind the ear. Yet, her friends urged her to take 21-month-old Gracie to the hospital immediately. Some group members had correctly pegged the swelling as mastoiditis, an <a href="http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/ear-infection/mastoiditis-symptoms-causes-treatments">infection that can lead to hearing loss, meningitis or even a brain abscess</a>.</p> <p>At the hospital, Gracie had surgery, with doctors drilling into her skull to relieve swelling pressure. She made a full recovery.</p> <h2>3. Retinoblastoma</h2> <p>On the other side of the world, another toddler named Grace was also saved when her picture was posted on Facebook &mdash; but this time, her parents didn't even know she was sick. Michele Freeman uploaded an everyday snapshot of her daughter, and a friend who happens to be a pediatric nurse noticed <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1320423/Facebook-saves-girls-life-family-friend-spots-eye-cancer-mothers-photo.html">something odd about the child's eyes</a>: One reflected red light, as is common in flash photos, while the other eye looked white.</p> <p>Warned by her friend, Freeman had her daughter examined, and Grace was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a form of cancer. She lost her vision in the affected eye, but the cancer was treated before it could spread.</p> <h2>4. Obstructive Sleep Apnea</h2> <p>Mary Evelyn knew her son would have spina bifida before he was born. She joined some online groups for parents of such children, thinking that this would help her family adjust. Little did she know, her new online community would help save her child's life.</p> <p>After bringing the baby home from the hospital, Evelyn noticed that he took long pauses between breaths while he slept. Her pediatrician said it was normal, but she was not convinced.</p> <p>So Evelyn posted about the issue online, and was urged to take a video to show medical professionals. She did, and the video got the baby admitted to the hospital, where he was later diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea and eventually needed a tracheotomy.</p> <p>&quot;An online community of <a href="http://www.whatdoyoudodear.com/time-internet-saved-sons-life/">strangers saved my baby's life</a>,&quot; Evelyn writes on her blog. Now, she tells other families whose children are diagnosed with SB: &quot;Find your community.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Testicular Cancer</h2> <p>The preceding stories show that moms are very active online when it comes to their kids' health, but not all stories of social diagnosis are about small children. In fact, last year, a college student ended up getting lifesaving cancer surgery because he <a href="http://www.dailydot.com/lifestyle/guy-testicular-cancer-reddit-saved-life/">looked at a photo on Reddit</a> that was labeled as &quot;gross.&quot;</p> <p>The photo was posted by someone who had recently had a testical removed due to cancer. <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Health/reddit-saved-life-student-finds-testicular-cancer-post/story?id=22599100">Taylor &quot;Chase&quot; Tyree</a>, a computer science major at the Colorado School of Mines, realized he had the same symptoms that the poster described. Four days later, he was in surgery.</p> <p>&quot;I can tell my friends, 'Reddit saved my life!'&quot; Tyree <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/1xymrx/i_can_tell_my_friends_reddit_saved_my_life_thanks/">posted after the procedure</a>, along with a photo of himself in his hospital gown, thumbs up.</p> <p>It's important to note that all of these stories led the parents and patients to consult real doctors; it would be a terrible idea to rely <em>entirely</em> on the opinions of online friends to make diagnoses. Still, the common thread in all these stories is that the parents or patients would not have seen a doctor at that time, had they not been pushed to do so by their online networks.</p> <p>In the future, social media as a health resource might not be limited to advice from human connections. Researchers are experimenting with analyzing Twitter feeds for hints that the people behind them might be suffering from disorders, including postpartum depression. Others are using social media to <a href="http://healthmap.org/site/diseasedaily/article/digital-disease-detection-using-social-media-predict-flu-trends-31114">track infectious disease outbreaks</a>.</p> <p>Today, your social media connections might realize you are sick before you do. In the future, it could be the social network itself, or an app on the network, that suggests you get that lump checked out.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-social-media-saved-someones-life">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/healthcare-paperwork-that-doesnt-require-paper-or-work">Healthcare Paperwork That Doesn&#039;t Require Paper or Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-help-protect-your-financial-future-from-unexpected-medical-expenses">7 Ways to Help Protect Your Financial Future From Unexpected Medical Expenses</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-surprising-places-to-find-deals-on-health-care">4 Surprising Places to Find Deals on Health Care</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-easy-ways-to-improve-your-online-reputation">6 Easy Ways to Improve Your Online Reputation</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/signing-up-for-obamacare-in-2015-heres-whats-new">Signing Up for Obamacare in 2015? Here&#039;s What&#039;s New</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Technology health care Humana social media Mon, 19 Jan 2015 16:00:22 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1277995 at http://www.wisebread.com Healthcare Paperwork That Doesn't Require Paper or Work http://www.wisebread.com/healthcare-paperwork-that-doesnt-require-paper-or-work <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/healthcare-paperwork-that-doesnt-require-paper-or-work" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/166840579.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>This post is brought to you by <a href="http://r1.fmpub.net/?k1=cmx-metric&amp;k2=289%7C596%7C1532&amp;k3=disclaimer&amp;k4=&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fad.doubleclick.net%2Fddm%2Fclk%2F281939105%3B108256880%3Bl" rel="nofollow">Humana</a>. Click <a href="http://r1.fmpub.net/?k1=cmx-metric&amp;k2=289%7C596%7C1532&amp;k3=disclaimer&amp;k4=&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fclosethegap.humana.com%2Finnovations%2Freducing-paperwork%2F%3Fcm_mmc%3DArticles-Brand-_-WiseBread-_-Sponsored1-_-TextLink" rel="nofollow">here</a> to learn more.</em></p> <p>Insured Americans are more likely to face healthcare paperwork overload than any other industrialized nations, according to<a href="http://www.commonwealthfund.org/Publications/In-the-Literature/2013/Nov/Access-Affordability-and-Insurance.aspx"> a recent report by The Commonwealth Fund</a>, a private foundation whose mission includes various improvements to the U.S. healthcare system. In fact, a staggering one in three American adults reported spending &quot;a lot of time&quot; managing their insurance paperwork, where only 25 percent of Swiss, 19 percent of Dutch, and 17 percent of German respondents claimed the same.</p> <p>Healthcare giant Humana is making strides to tackle the healthcare industry's paperwork problem. The company recognizes the frustration that comes with filling out, figuring out, and following up on healthcare insurance forms. Through use of its online dashboard, <a href="https://closethegap.humana.com/innovations/reducing-paperwork/?cm_mmc=Articles-Brand-_-WiseBread-_-Sponsored1-_-TextLink"><em>My</em>Humana</a>, the company has created a secure, easy-to-use portal that makes it easy to navigate your health information from anywhere you are. All you have to do is log on through your computer, tablet, or smartphone. The online portal cuts the annoying paperwork right out of the equation.</p> <p>With <em>My</em>Humana, all your information is in the same place. There's no need to go back through your plan paperwork or check your personal medical history files to get answers to current healthcare questions. It's all available through the portal, just a mouse click away.</p> <h2>Check Your Deductibles</h2> <p>Know exactly what your deductibles are for medical, dental, vision, and prescription coverage. The portal also shows you how much money has gone toward each deductible during the plan year, including how much you have remaining before your annual deductible is met. If you're not sure of your member ID number, group ID, plan type, or start date, it's all right there, in the portal, for easy access.</p> <h2>Review Your Claims</h2> <p>If you're not sure if you owe money for a recent doctor's visit, you can easily log on and check it out. The portal displays each claim number, the date of the claim, the amount paid, and the amount due. You even see the original amount billed, any discounts applied, and how much was paid by your plan (versus by you). In the event you have a question that's not answered through the portal and are logged in from your smartphone app, there's an easy-to-use phone icon that can automatically connect you with a Humana associate.</p> <h2>Find a Doctor</h2> <p>You won't have to wonder whether a doctor is under your planned. The online search will help find one that's covered through your plan. Before you schedule your next office visit, you can quickly check the portal to find an in network provider. You can look for doctors, dentists, hospitals, pharmacies, and urgent care centers. You can choose to look a provider up by name. Or, if you don't have a specific specialist or other professional in mind, you can search for in network providers in your area. All contact information including phone, street address, and even distance from you are quick and easy to view. With just one click, your smartphone will automatically dial the provider of your choice.</p> <h2>Compare Prescription Costs</h2> <p>The portal can be used to find what your new prescription will cost or just to research cheaper, generic alternatives before you get to the pharmacy counter. &nbsp;Right from the portal you can input your drug and dosage. <em>My</em>Humana will automatically compare the cost of your prescription from both local and mail order pharmacies, highlighting the least expensive option. Once your prescription is in the system, you can set up a text alert to remind you when it's time to refill, if your benefits change, or if the prescription becomes available somewhere else for a lower cost. You can even set up clinical pharmacy alerts, which let you know if any potential problems arise with the medicine you're prescribed.</p> <h2>Access HumanaVitality</h2> <p>HumanVitality is a wellness app that allows you to seamlessly transfer your workouts from your heart rate monitor, pedometer, or other fitness tracking device. The program also allows participants to earn points for completing health-related tasks like getting a flu shot, completing an online health assessment, getting First Aid certified, or going for a bike ride. Accumulated points can be traded in for prizes like movie tickets, a heart rate monitor, or even a digital camera.</p> <p>Thanks to Humana's online portal, navigating your health and insurance information doesn't have to be complicated. Now Humana members can safely file their healthcare paperwork away, knowing that most of what they need can be found with the swipe of a finger. Good-bye paperwork. Hello <em>My</em>Humana.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alaina-tweddale">Alaina Tweddale</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/healthcare-paperwork-that-doesnt-require-paper-or-work">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-15"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-social-media-saved-someones-life">5 Ways Social Media Saved Someone&#039;s Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cost-comparison-emergency-rooms-vs-urgent-care">Cost Comparison: Emergency Rooms vs. Urgent Care Centers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-more-sleep-without-spending-more-time-in-bed">How to Get More Sleep Without Spending More Time in Bed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-about-a-price-list-at-the-hospital-or-doctor-s-office">How About a Price List at the Hospital or Doctor’s Office?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-important-reasons-you-need-to-cut-back-on-screen-time">10 Important Reasons You Need to Cut Back on Screen Time</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Technology healthcare Humana Thu, 25 Dec 2014 16:00:11 +0000 Alaina Tweddale 1258888 at http://www.wisebread.com