Your Cell Phone

This was huge for us.  We were on a big name network for years, paying $75/month for each phone to get unlimited data, talk, and text.  This was the amount we paid even after a heavy corporate discount of like 35%.  What a deal!  No, it’s a freaking ripoff.  $150/month.

What were those prepaid plans?  Were they only for people with bad credit and carried some catch with hidden fees?  Only an investigation would tell.  The investigation included determining exactly how much it would cost to dump our current carrier and to switch to a cheaper one.  What sucked was that we JUST renewed our idiot-paperwork (contract) and felt stuck.  Thankfully we know how to use a calculator to determine that even spending some enormous fee of around $500 to fulfill our “obligation” to our current carrier, we would still be saving money by making the move immediately.

Oh, but what about the coverage?  That one will depend on your area.  We went through two prepaid carriers, both were ok in our area, with a few spotty places, before we settled on the champion.  Republic Wireless.  It is good.  Really good.  I would even say that it’s the best we’ve ever had.  I have never not had service.

So, most of the time it uses a few different cell networks to give you general coverage and when you have access to wifi, it changes over to that for your call and text needs.  That means that most people will not get service in the stall in the bathroom at work with they phone service, but I will.  Anywhere there is wifi, you will have coverage.  I haven’t really needed to use it myself, I just do when it’s there to save on data.  Only in the most supermassive blackhole-like situations would require it and that’s another thing, do you need to be accessible 100% of the time anyway?

The plan we use includes 1GB of data on each phone for $20.  Oh, you need more data than that?  Why?  You don’t have wifi at home or work?  I can tell you that I use my phone for GPS in the car and surfing the net as much as most people and have never run out of data.  If you use wifi for your video and movie streaming and you won’t have any problems.  But, if you do like spending money foolishly, you are in the wrong place and should spend your time on

Here are are the basic motorola smart phones we got for $100 each.

Do not lease or finance a phone.  My phone is as good as any other I’ve tried out for a fraction of the waste.  Another benefit is that it’s not $700 if it breaks.  Did you crack the screen on that iPhone 9?  Eek.  You better get a second job or take out a loan to get a new one.

A major point that I want to bring up now is the value ratio.  When comparing two or more items, you have to determine if the more expensive item is worth the extra money in what it provides you.  In this case, the cost difference for us was going from about $1800/year to about $500/year and we ended up with better service.  Even if we didn’t, and we got spotty reception, it would have been worth it for that kind of savings.  $100 a month type of savings.  Who the hell talks on the phone these days anyway?

This is the first post that can begin real savings in your life.  It’s time to start thinking about what’s really important to you.  The next few posts are going to also be on immediate savings ideas that you can take advantage of and all together will add up to a significant amount.  What is your end goal?  Pay off a loan?  All of them?  Downsize to live more simply and work less?

Maybe your goals will change over time as you work through your thoughts while you decide what you really want your life to look like.

Let’s get right to it…

What to expect from this site (what’s in it for you).

Are you happy?  Not this moment, but in general?  Are you sure you are?  Oh, you said you were.  Sorry.  Well if you aren’t happy, maybe you can do something about that.  Maybe not.  I’m the Captain of this vinegar jar and would like to share what has helped me over the past not so many months.  After tripping over a site called and watching the Minimalism documentary, I realized things could be a bit better.  Everything these guys talked about made so much sense.  They figured out the secrets to life that most don’t discover until they have been worked ragged into their 70s and it’s hard to even say that those old timers even realize it then.  My wife and I have been living relatively frugally on and off for about ten  years, but these two resources really helped lock it into gear.

What if you knew that there were options to life that didn’t include working all week to pay off debt?  You could do whatever the hell you wanted to every day.  What if you weren’t stuck making money for someone else or some entity that’s trying to keep shareholders happy.  This isn’t something that just happens but it’s clear that it CAN happen if you work at it.

Our family is not there, or really even very close, but we have made a lot of steps in the right direction in the past few months and things are looking promising right now.

We currently live in a small suburb in western NY with two kids – Darth Vader and Baby Cat.  I’m the Captain of the Jar and my sweet wife will introduce herself here at some point.

Some things that we would like to share on these pages are the steps we took to save and make money, how to start getting rid of shit you don’t need and try to stop buying shit you think you need, and explain how to destroy barriers that are stopping you from gaining everything you really want.


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