Keeping Control of Your Money

Have you ever thought about how much control over your financial life you give to companies when you sign up for things like cable, cell phone contracts, Internet access, loans, or credit cards? When you engage in most financial transactions, you are letting someone else have a little bit of control over your financial life. The cable company can drop channels and raise rates. The cell phone company can extend your contract when you buy a new phone. The credit card company can increase interest rates and lower your credit limit without any input from you. All of these actions take control away from you and give it squarely to the company from which you’re buying services.

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5 Responses to Keeping Control of Your Money

  1. Dee says:

    I’m queezy about contracts as well. I have a pay-as-you-go cell phone. It is the least expensive option for me.

    In late of 2008, my husband upgraded our satellite receiver to a HD one. We still paid for the extra equiptment but not as much but it did tie us into an 18 month contract (which I don’t like). So many are lulled into the free deals not thinking about the economy and what could happen to their employment as like you said would have them owing the remainder of the money on the contract should they break it.

  2. Mark says:

    I agree completely.

    Cell phone contracts are the worst. We are not currently in one and my wife needed a new phone. Not wanting to be tied down to another two-year contract to get a “free” phone, and having a wife who only wants her cell phone to make calls, a pay-as-you-go phone with her SIM card installed was the perfect solution.

    No contract and the cost was $30.

  3. Scott says:

    You can count me in on this as well. I also have a pre-paid phone, its much cheaper. I have no “contracts”. I can drop any service I have at a moment’s notice. When my mortgage is paid off in two years I will have near total control (property tax will still be there – I don’t think I can evade that).

  4. The most important thing is to prioritize your expenditure and stick within your means. By doing this you may find you have more money to spend than you would expect.

  5. Gail says:

    Although I have been paying the majority of my bills on line and thus saving stamp costs each month, I hate having to be signed up for automatic withdrawals from my checking account. I don’t like the idea that someone else can come in a scoop money out of my account. As we don’t have steady income, it is hard to always be sure that there is a specific amount of money in the checking account to cover those types of withdrawals. Anyhow when I can, I also avoid those just like other contract plans. We don’t have cell phone or cable but we did sign up for a internet satellite plan so that we can run our on line business more efficiently, but for the most I like to keep control.

    I won’t even sign up for paperless billing. I want those bills so that I can inspect them easily and at my leisure and be able to see the fine print if needed. Then they are put away as records for tax purposes.

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