Cell Phone Unlocking Explained

cellphoneunlockingexplained.jpgCellular service providers do something known as “locking” to all the cell phones that will be used on their network by instructing the cell phone manufacturers like Samsung to lock the phone via software before the phone ever leaves the factory. What this does is prevent you from using your cell phone on any other network than the one it was originally activated with.

This practice severely limits both your flexibility in choosing another service provider and the resale value of your phone because you can only sell it to other people subscribed to the same network as you are. Fortunately, locking is a simple software-only gatekeeper that is designed to be easily undone if you enter the correct unlock code into your device.

Why Phones Are Locked

There are a few good reasons why phones are locked to begin with but really it is just a way for the cell phone companies to squeeze you for more money. They want to make it difficult for you to switch providers so that you will continue feeding them money every month. Keep reading » about Cell Phone Unlocking Explained

Do You Really Care Who I Am?

doyoureallycarewhoiam.jpgBefore even attending the Canadian Personal Finance Bloggers Conference 2013 (CPFC13) this past weekend, I had decided that I wasn’t going to write an article about it. Why? I was positive it would provide almost no value to my readers because I’m assuming you come here for one reason and one reason only: to learn how to spend less money.

Then, during the conference there was this ongoing theme about being more personal, edgy, and really connecting with your readers because personal finance is boring, or so they say. I’m actually purposefully a little bit more factual and even boring than most because when you’re done reading one of my articles I want you to feel confident that you know exactly how to act to save your money instead of feeling like you didn’t really learn anything or that you need to research for 2+ more hours before you could have any hope of doing what I just talked about yourself.

I’m Pretty Vanilla Really – But Maybe You Like Vanilla?

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Know How Much Car Repairs Should Cost

knowhowmuchcarrepairsshouldcost.jpgI don’t know about you, but whenever I head to the service center to get my car inspected I’m always very apprehensive about what kind of problems they might find and how much it will end up costing me to get it fixed. Worse, I have this innate distrust of car service centers and think that they are going to either try to sell me on a repair or service I don’t need or overcharge me for low quality parts with a high markup. Or both!

Unless you’re a mechanic yourself or spend a decent amount of time researching car related stuff, you never really know exactly what is being done to your car, how often parts typically need to be replaced, and how much is a fair amount to pay for any given repair. Fortunately, getting past all that and ensuring you never get ripped off again isn’t all that hard. Here’s how:

Learn To Estimate Repair Costs

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You Need A Quality Back Yard Mechanic

youneedaqualitybackyardmechanic.jpgIn breaking news: Cars Are Expensive! I bet you’re shocked, right? I think anyone who has owned a car for a few years knows that most vehicles are just a huge money pit that never stop sucking your wallet dry yet they are a necessity for most of us Canadians in this monster of a country we live in. A 5 hour drive that seems like just a short trip for us could feel like an eternity and a journey spanning several countries to someone in Europe.

One of the best ways to reduce your car maintenance costs is to find a quality mechanic that doesn’t work for a car dealership or big name repair shop. You do get some peace of mind and arguably higher quality service by going with the big names but most times that’s all it is, just a false sense of security.

Mechanic Labour Costs

The cost you will be charged for an hour of service is highly dependent on two things: where you live and the type of garage or mechanic you bring your car to. My experience has been that most dealerships charge north of $90 an hour for labour in my small city and that figure can rise to as much as $150 in major metropolitan areas.

If you go with an independent mechanic or a smaller no frills shop that does quality work you should be able to get that down to $40 to $50 per hour ballpark probably cutting the cost in half.

Related: ACT NOW! The Best Deal On Winter Tires You Will Ever Find!

Quality Of Workmanship

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