Advertising companies are geniuses!
Case in point…A few years ago a clever commercial was running for a new smartphone that had just hit the market place. The concept of this advertisement was to show all the things that this phone offered.
It boast as being a scanner, webcam, game center, mobile hotspot, credit card machine, car remote, movie-music-video player, advanced camera, heart rate monitor, projector, and so much more.
What they didn’t mention was that the phone was….wait for it…a phone!
Hey, I’m all for advance technology and I enjoy the ease of having information available at my fingertips like the next guy sitting in the coffee shop but let’s be real, I rarely use most of the features and with so many becoming obsolete as fast as they are being created, who’s really the smart ones benefiting from SmartPhones?
I believe it’s the phone companies!
I recently ran across a survey conducted by a popular magazine and they found that 84% of respondents couldn’t go a day without their phones (include me in that number!).
We spend an average of $139 a month on cell phone service – that’s an annual cost of $1,668 (which doesn’t include the cost of the phones, and can be a nice price as well).
So do some quick math and multiply the annual cost of one phone by the number of cell phones in your home… see how easy it is to text and talk your wealth away?
But that’s just the surface stuff, let’s dive a little deeper and look at the hidden cost you may not realize you’re paying for the privilege to talk to your friend while surfing the internet, updating your Facebook status and playing the latest game that’s too addicting to turn off!
THE DIRTY DATA DETAILS. Most people don’t understand their data plan and have no idea if they have the right amount on their phone. Some will grossly overpay for data they never use while others are paying a premium for “overage charges” versus getting the right amount from the start.
Cellular companies bank on profits from consumers who are only using a fraction of what they are actually paying for in their monthly plans.
They often offer a confusing array of mobile plans and count on you to make decisions based on the cheapest or least restrictions, which may not be the best options for you and your usage.
THE EXTRAS. Have you ever stopped to consider all of the extra charges that you are paying for on your cell phone bill? You know the stuff like insurance, texting, caller ID, roadside services, memory, phone accessories, downloads, etc…?
While I’m not here to convince you of what’s needed or not, I would suggest that you pay close attention because the extras will add up quick.
For example, that $8 a month for your phone insurance may seem small and insignificant but chances are you may be throwing that $96 a year down the drain. Why? Because if in the unfortunate event you find that your phone does need replacing you’ll probably be on the hook to pay a $100 deductible and you more than likely will be issued a refurbished or used phone as a replacement. That’s some expensive insurance for a used phone!
A TAXING CONVERSATION. If it’s handy I want you to pull out your bill or go online to retrieve it. I know, you probably already have a pretty good idea what you are paying monthly but I want to draw your attention to something that you may overlook each month.
Go ahead and look at the bill and what you will see, right there hiding in plain sight is an enormous amount of taxes that you are paying for the right to talk.
You are likely paying not just your local taxes but also your state taxes, your federal taxes your 911 emergency systems and in some cases even school districts taxes and surcharges to your wireless bill? Some states even have something called a Universal Service Fund tax to support rural telephone services.
A survey done by the website cheapism.com says these types of unexpected fees can add another 20 percent to your bill, now if you were to ask me I would say that doesn’t sound like taxation at its best.
Cell phones have changed our lives in an unbelievable way. From prior forms of communications like home phones, beepers, two-way pagers, letters, telegrams and switch board operators, I’d say that the cell phone has served society well.
So although I pay homage to the ingenuity and creativity that billions of people are benefiting from daily I still believe that what most see as just an everyday part of life is sucking away our wealth right from under our noses.
It’s true that practically everything on earth has multiple attributes to it: advantages and disadvantages, and owning a cell phone is no different. I suggest we take a closer look at how we pay for this device and create the advantages for our wealth shift.
Shawn Dorrough – The WealthShift Strategist
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