Phone Slowing you Down?

Lately we’ve been sticking to blogs to show you how to save some money. This one’s a bit different, but very well could ending up saving you some money. We all know the old adage “Time is Money”, so this week were focusing on the first part of that phrase. How much of your day is spent looking at your phones? 10%? 20%? Ya, if you’re figuring conservatively (or lying to yourself).  So this week were going to be focusing on how to speed that process up, or more importantly how to make your phone speed that process up for you. Follow these next tips to a much faster, more efficient smart phone, and who knows, you might save some money doing so!

Get rid of old photos

Get rid of old photos

Deleting unnecessary files is another great way to speed up your phone. If you’ve got hundreds of photos on your iPhone, try syncing them to iPhoto on your desktop or backing them up through iCloud and erasing them from your phone.

Delete apps that take up a lot of space.

The more bloated your iPhone is, the slower it’s going to run. To see how much space a single app is occupying, head over to Settings>General>Usage.

Erase old text message threads

Back in 2004, I remember consistently being frustrated with my Motorola Razr for its agonizingly slow performance. As it turns out, the problem was my own fault. I never deleted any text messages, so it literally weighed down the phone’s software. Today’s smartphones have come a long way since then, but deleting your old text message threads is still important to keep your phone as speedy as possible.

Empty Safari’s cache

Empty Safari's cache

Treat your iPhone like you would a computer. This means you need to empty Safari’s cache to keep it running smoothly. To do this, head over to Settings>Safari>Clear History. Then tap Clear Cookies and Data, which is located right underneath Clear History.

Turn off auto app updates

If your iPhone is running a little slow, that’s because it may be trying to update apps in the background. Try updating your apps manually instead. To change this in your settings, head over to Settings>iTunes & App Store >Automatic Downloads. Switch the sliders to off mode where it says Updates.

Turn off automatic downloads

Similar to automatic updates, automatic downloads can also bog down your iPhone. If you have automatic app updates turned on, an app that you’ve downloaded on your iPad could automatically begin installing on your iPhone. While useful, it can certainly make your phone a little slower. To turn it off, navigate to Settings>iTunes & App Store >Automatic Downloads. Switch the sliders to off mode.

Close all apps running in the background

Closing apps that are running in the background could make your phone run a little more smoothly, especially if you’ve got big, cumbersome apps such as a mobile role playing game open. “They could use up RAM, and just like any other computer, it could slow down the way it operates,” Francis Sideco, senior director for consumer, mobile, and IT electronics at IHS told Business Insider.

Basically, if you can do something manually, do it. Avoid setting your phone to automatic.

Does your iPhone usually ask if you’d like to join nearby Wi-Fi networks? If it does, you may want to turn that feature off. According to Sideco, any time your phone does anything automatically, such as scouting out nearby Wi-Fi or updating apps, it can slow the phone down. Turn this off by heading to Settings>Wi-Fi>Ask to Join Networks. Switch the slider to off.

Restart your iPhone every once in a while.

Restart your iPhone every once in a while.

Again, your phone is a miniature computer, so it should be treated as such. It’s easy to get into the habit of leaving your phone on all the time, but everyone once in a while it’s healthy to restart it. Similar to shutting down apps running in the background, turning off your phone can help your iPhone let go of some of the resources it might have been holding on to that were weighing it down.

Check for software updates, and update your phone if necessary.

Software updates often include bug fixes, some of which can be related to an issue that makes your phone seem slow or glitchy. If it’s a minor update, chances are it’ll fix a few things. But if it’s a major update, it depends on the phone you’re using. For example, iOS 7 runs much slower on older iPhones. The hardware in previous models such as the iPhone 4s and earlier simply can’t handle the software as well as newer phones.

Try reallocating your phone’s memory with this app

When a phone is running slow, it’s likely due to an issue with its memory. According to Macworld, this Battery Doctor app can show you how fast your phone is running. If it’s running slow, you can tap the Reallocate Memory button to re-distribute the memory in your iPhone. The team at Macworld claims that this is the first thing they do whenever they’re iPhones start to lag.

If restarting just isn’t cutting it, try restoring from a previous backup

If you back up your phone regularly, you may want to try restoring it to a previous backup if it keeps giving you trouble. If anything has happened to your phone recently that may be making it more sluggish, restoring it could do the trick. To do this, plug your phone into your computer, open iTunes, then select your iPhone from the upper right section. Under Backups, click Restore Backup. Apple also has some helpful instructions here.

 

More Ways to Earn Extra Cash!

Coming up with extra cash to pay the bills, cover unexpected expenses, boost savings or perhaps even finance a vacation isn’t as hard as it seems. Plenty of legitimate moneymaking opportunities are out there for you to capitalize on at your convenience, with no long-term commitment. Consider these 4 strategies to get extra cash. Some are good for a fast buck, while others could turn into consistent streams of income. Find out which cash-generating ideas could work best for you.

Don’t leave smart phones, tablets, computers or game consoles you’re no longer using in a desk drawer or the back of a closet. You can easily cash in on your unwanted electronics — even damaged items — by selling them online. Sell used smart phones and Apple products at Gazelle.com and get paid by check, PayPal or an Amazon gift card. BuyMyTronics.com pays cash for smart phones, digital cameras, tablets, game consoles and more. You can sell smart phones, tablets, laptops and video games to NextWorth.com for cash or take items to one its partner stores, such as Target, and get store credit. At uSell, you can sell smart phones, tablets, game consoles, video games and textbooks. You get paid by check or through PayPal. Shipping with all of these sites is free.

If you know a lot about the city where you live, you may be able to profit from your knowledge by guiding tours. For example, travel guide site Vayable lets anyone list a tour or experience that tells a unique story about a destination – from its art to its history to its food — and earn money from bookings through the site. U.S. tours that are promoted on Vayable — such as a San Francisco street-art tour or a Washington, D.C., White House tour led by a member of the White House press corps — range in price from about $25 per person to $200 per person, though more-upscale experiences are priced even higher. Vayable takes a 15% cut of whatever you choose to charge travelers and provides online tools to manage reservations, accept credit-card payments and securely communicate with customers.

Join a Street Team - Street teams need energetic, outgoing helpers to promote products, films, albums, events and more by handing out samples, interacting with people on the street, or dressing as mascots. To get a job earning $20 to $25 an hour, sign up with a company such as Street Team Promotion which handles promotions in big cities nationwide. Make sure you get a contract that specifies when you’ll get paid.

Sell your Gift Cards - About $44 billion worth of gift cards has gone unused over the past six years, according to gift card resale site Gift Card Granny. So grab the unwanted cards you have lying around your house, and turn them into cash by selling them online at sites such as Gift Card GrannyCardpool and Junkcard. You won’t get the full value of your card (up to 92% at best). But if you have no intention of using the card, it’s like getting free money. Cards for gas stations, grocery stores and retail chains (such as Exxon, Safeway and Walmart) often bring the best offers.

 

 

 

 

 

7 Ways to Eat Right for Cheap!

Other than rent, nourishment and food costs are what compose the bulk of most of our budgets. However, in a bind, most of us turn to fast food or other not-so-healthy options. The following are 7 Ways to Eat Right for Cheap. But always remember the most important fact, we can pay now or pay later (in suffering and doctor bills etc) – when it comes to our dietary discipline and choices.

1. Choose Produce not Packages: People think eating healthy is about buying a lot of expensive boxes and packages of processed foods, but that isn’t the case at all.

The cheapest most nutritious foods in a grocery store can be found in the produce isle. Fresh fruits and vegetables. Trying to buy costly packaged goods, potato chips and sugary juices and all kinds of over processed items, even at a health food store is when the budget starts to soar. When we feel we don’t have time to cook we often go for a lot of “quick fix” items like pizzas and pre-cut bags of French fries and stuff like that. That’s where the money adds up. But if you fill your basket with fresh greens and fruits and some basic staples like rice, noodles, beans you will not only have an optimal basket of nutritious foods … you will have saved a great deal of money on the food bill and subsequent doctor bills. Eat real foods and save real money. If you are worried the fruits and veggies will spoil before you eat them, read on to number 2!

2. Cook Big and Save Some for Later: Cooking meals in large batches and freezing the leftovers for later in the week or month can save you a lot of time and money.

Instead of buying fast food or eating out at restaurants, or even cooking a full meal every time you get hungry, it’s way more cost effective and time saving and healthy for you to pull something out of the freezer and warm it up than it is to wash/chop/slice/boil/bake/wait in line/wait to be served etc.

Pre-preparing and freezing weekly sized portions of rice or salad choppings or beans etc will simplify your meal duties. Even if you have to do a little cooking you will still save money and time seven days a week. Spend an hour or so over the weekend like on a Sunday evening preparing food for the week. Then, during the week, all you have to do is pull something out of the freezer and heat it up.

3. Soup Up your Options: Large vegetable soups over brown rice or whole grain noodles pack in vitamins and nutrients, fill you up and are easy to make and delicious. Also Bean burritos, chili, and bean soup can be easily prepared, cheap and good for you. Going totally meatless a couple of times a week (or for good) also helps your budget and gives your palate a variety to enjoy. Frozen veggies, which are inexpensive, work great in Soups. Nothing compares to that good, filling, feeling of a hot and hearty bowl of Soup. Cheap, packed with nutrients, and easy to prepare.

4. Make A Plan and See Where Ya Values Are: Budgets help us see where our money is really going not where we feel like its going. Budgeting is also a master ingredient to financial stability in general, so not only will it help identify funds that can be used toward more healthful food choices; its an essential tool to manage our financial responsibilities better in general. Usually when we make a budget we can see plenty of stuff we can do without to make room for healthier eating choices. You may say “shoot, I dont make enough money to budget it!” lol, but you don’t have to make a lot of money to benefit from budgeting. Budgeting helps what ever we make stretch farther and get more of what we truly value out of what we have. When we values ourselves more than our things we make healthier choices. Budget, prioritize and prosper.  But in our best interest, We have to value our health above all these other things, and make eating healthy a priority in terms of how we spend the resources we have.

5. Season your Food: Eat fruits and vegetables that are in season, that is! Otherwise you’ll be paying a much higher price. For example, if you live in the north east United States and you want some watermelon in the middle of the Winter of December, it’s going to have to be shipped from wherever it is in season to your local market and you pay that extra cost. Also, eating foods that are current in their natural growing season helps strengthen your immune system for that season. Seasonal Fruits can be frozen and blended to smoothies. Frozen vegetables also can be used to make a stir fry. They’re convenient and they don’t spoil quickly like fresh fruits and veggies.

6. Join a Co-op or Local Community Garden: You get discounts on your groceries by being a member of grocery store co-ops. In exchange for your minimal volunteer work hours per month, you get your groceries at Co-op member’s only price. Same thing goes for community gardens. And not only that you get to learn a WHOLE lot about nutrition and health being in that kind of environment.

7. Drink more water. Many times we think we are hungry, it may be actually a sign of thirst. 

“Watch” how much money you save!

What do you spend most of your “free time” doing?  If you answered honestly I bet at least half of you just said television (the other half said surfing the internet).  Don’t be ashamed.  Television viewing is at an all-time high and for good reason, it’s never been better.  So why not find out how you can watch all of your shows, and pay less than you are right now.

If you pay for cable or satellite service, then chances are pretty good that you can find a way to save money on your TV service.

Monthly savings can be as little as $5 or over $100. The key is to continually audit your level of service and see if the money you spend is committed to the features you use. If you have any waste, then remove it.

Option 1 — Bundle Services:

Bundling is when you subscribe to multiple services through one provider. The ‘triple play’ is a common bundle – telephone, cable, and internet.

As far as savings, bundling typically pays off once you activate services. Contracts are usually required. Ask the provider if there is a penalty fee for canceling service before the contract comes to full term.

The monthly price usually rises once the incentives expire. Ask the provider what the regular price will be once the incentives go away. You might have to adjust your TV service in order to keep the monthly cost lower than what you currently pay.

Option 2 — Eliminate Service:

Obviously, you can save money each month by eliminating your service. For some, this would be a drastic lifestyle change, but it’s not the craziest thing in the world to do.

Eliminating service will cause you to lose access to some programming, like sports and news, but many TV stations will stream programming on their website. Other sites to watch TV content are Hulu and Stream TV Guide.

This action will yield the most savings, but only if you don’t redirect your service money towards a different but more expensive hobby.

Option 3 — Cancel Premium Channels:

Canceling premium service, like movie or sports programming, is not as drastic as eliminating service, because you‘ll still have access to the service tiers you pay for. You just won’t have access to the a la carte channels that you pay extra for each month.

Savings could total into the hundreds each year depending on how much you pay for premium channels. It’s also immediate and doesn’t necessarily alter much in the way of your daily TV life.

In addition, most of the premium programming could be supplemented by viewing the shows online or with a low-cost movie club subscription.

Option 4 — Change Service Providers:

Changing service providers can be a good opportunity to save in the short term because most cable and satellite companies offer their best deals to new customers.

Just be sure to pay attention to the cost of the service after the promotion period expires. If it’s more than what you currently pay, then you won’t save money. You might want to try a different method.

Ask the provider if they will extend whatever promotion they are offering. Extending the incentives will increase your long term savings and keep the payment lower for a longer period of time.

Option 5 — Get Rid of an Unused Receiver:

Are you paying a monthly service fee for a receiver that you don’t use or use sparingly? If so then you can save immediately by removing it from your service plan.

The amount of savings isn’t jaw-dropping — perhaps $5 to $8 per receiver — but keeping it and not using it is nothing more than throwing your money away.

Option 6 — Share Satellite Service with a Trusted Person:

I know someone that has several satellite receivers on the family plan, which are shared within a collective group of homeowners. This group then splits the monthly satellite bill, so a $160 bill means that each household pays $40.

There are tremendous financial advantages to this, as you can get more programming for less money per house, but there are logistics to doing this. All receivers should be acquired legally and be reflected on the service plan. You’ll also have to get the proper dishes mounted and aligned at each location.

In addition, if the service is in your name then my advice is to manage your group as you will be the person of record on the account. Make contingency plans for if someone flakes out or doesn’t pay the money on time.

As far as cable subscribers, this is not an endorsement of splitting your cable feed and routing it between your neighbor’s and your house. There are a lot of complications to that, including the likelihood that tampering with the cable box is illegal in your city.

Option 7 — Cancel Local Programming:

If you pay for local channels then you are wasting money if you are capable of receiving your local stations with an antenna. Watching TV with an antenna and cable/satellite typically requires toggling between input sources. Some receivers integrate the antenna into the channel lineup.

The whole process of going from an antenna to cable back to antenna can be difficult for some but this is only a short term frustration. Monthly savings are typically $4-8 dollars.

By using an antenna, you’ll gain access to digital sub-channels, which aren’t shown on cable/satellite.

Option 8 — Get Rid of your Provider

That’s it. Bight the hand that feeds you. Get rid of your antenna, chord, receiver, etc. Take to the internet!

Follow this Forbes article to quickly transition from dealing with unreliable service to a life of choosing just how much you want to pay.