Archive for the ‘Finances’ Category

I Miss My Smartphone

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

We recently got rid of our iPhone 4’s in favor of T-Mobile prepaid phones to save money.
iphone money
I determined that even after termination fees of $265 a piece and buying a batch of prepaid minutes, we’d save $1800 over the course of the 18 months left on the contract. I was able to sell our iPhones for $500 each on Amazon so we’ve recouped the termination fees.

We bought cheap used Motorola Razr phones off Ebay and loaded each up with 1000 minutes for $100 which won’t expire for a year. Going off our past phone usage trends, those minutes may very well last us a year. Also, I’m using Google Voice for free outgoing calls when I’m at a computer and need to make a long call.

Despite the money saving benefits and my efforts to convince myself that the convenience of a smartphone wasn’t worth $130 a month, I find myself missing my iPhone. We have iPads (Wifi only) to replace most of the functionality of the iPhone and I’m LOVING it, but it’s not the same pocketable goodness the iPhone is.

Things I miss about my iPhone:

  • The camera. You don’t realize how much you use it until you don’t have it.
  • Having a book in my pocket. I carry my iPad most everywhere, but it’s still not as convenient.
  • My music. I mostly listen to music while in the car on long trips. The iPad really kinda sucks for that. Too big and my FM transmitter doesn’t charge it.
  • The alarm. WHY couldn’t they have put a simple alarm app on the iPad? Seriously
  • Being able to play games like Words with Friends and Chess with Friends while out of Wifi range.
  • Having all my contacts available to dial on my phone.
  • Being able to scan simple documents and QR codes with the camera.
  • Being able to lookup anything anywhere.

When we embarked on this non-iPhone adventure, I was convinced I would never go back to a phone contract again. Prepaid all the way. If we lived in Europe and could buy a fully loaded SIM card at the corner gas station, I would still be thinking that. But the data services and phone selection suck on pre-paid in the US. Now, I know that when my husband gets a full time job after school, we’ll be getting the next iPhones that come out after that.

How to Apply for Unemployment in South Carolina

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

My husband just lost his job. Joy!! He needs to apply for unemployment and me, being the supportive spouse I am, found out what he needs to do to apply for unemployment.

His big question is, is of course:

How do I apply?

You can go to the unemployment office itself. However, the unemployment rate in South Carolina is 12% right now and it’s probably a very long line. To avoid that line you can apply online.

The site lets you register for work (a requirement) and unemployment at the same time online. Just click on the Online Claim Filing link on the front page. You can check your claim status and do your weekly benefit certification online as well or by phone.

I had two big questions which were answered on the SC Employment Security Commission’s FAQ:

How big will my unemployment check be?

If eligible, you can expect to draw approximately half of your regular pay, up to a maximum of $326.00 per week in South Carolina. The regular state program provides for a maximum of 26 weeks.

When will I get my check?

Most people can expect to receive a check in about 3 weeks.

Hopefully he won’t need the unemployment check for long but I’m glad it’s there.

SC Unemployment Claim webpage: