Sunday, February 22, 2009

Do You Use Webtext?

I'm not sure what other mobile phone company doeas this, but I'm with O2 and I have just found out that I can save a bit of money every month by using Webtext instead of using the traditional SMS method.

I am not a big texter (I probably send a maximum of 10 SMS's per month) but for someone who uses SMS a lot, I think that, if they are not doing it already, using webtext is a much cheaper option.

Webtext is the same as SMS, except that you use your computer to send messages to other people's mobile phones. For people like me who have not been born with texter thumbs, there is also the advantadge that you type an ordinary message from your computer (a bit like sending an email) using your regular computer keyboard.

O2 provides its customers with 250 free webtexts per month, whether they are on a bill contract or on a prepay package while Vodafone and Meteor give their customers 300 free webtexts per month; if you are with any of these mobile phone providers, all you have to do is register on their website for free and start using your free monthly allowance.

If you are living in Ireland and are thinking of switching mobile phone provider, check out this Callcosts.ie; it is a comparison website that will let you enter your average daily or monthly usage to help you work out which package is the best for you moneywise. If you think you are paying too much for your broadband or home phone, you will also find options that suit you on the same site.

That's all from me for today, so don't forget to give your thumbs a rest thanks to free webtext and good luck with your bargain hunting!


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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Beware of Facebook Ads That Are Scams

I have just logged on to Facebook and saw an ad that I just had to click on to learn a little bit more about it:

The ad said the following:

Mum makes $5000 online - See how I made $5000 online as a stay at home Mum.


Yes, I know, it sounds too good to be true, but a little more information can't hurt, right? So I clicked the ad and was taken to a page that looked like a blog called "Amy's Income Blog". The post read how a stay-at-home mum from Ireland made a monthly income of $5000 online with a programme that costs $1 and that is called Earn Google Cash. Since I am also in Ireland, I thought this might be worth a try and I clicked on the Earn Google Cash link to see what this programme was all about; I mean, it has the word google on it, and I'll find out soon enough if this is a legitimate new programme from Google or if it has one of those flashy "spammy" sales letters, in which case, I'll forget all about it. So on I clicked and I was taken to a page that said:
We're sorry! This offer is not available in your area, you will be redirected shortly.
(Oh, how I hate those!). Remember how I said this woman wrote she was in Ireland, like me? Well it seems she's just a big fat liar, and just by looking at her blog a little further, my opinion that this is a scam was confirmed: her page url http://www.amysincome.com/?t202id=24138&t202kw=
really looks like an affiliate link to me (the person who bothered putting up the ad on Facebook could have at least cloaked their affiliate link!), moreover, she spells "husband" "husand", not as bad as me spelling it "husbank" ($$$!), but still, this doesn't look very professional to me. Don't tell anyone, but I flagged this particular ad as a scam on Facebook (I feel like such a troll right now!).

A little more online research and here's all the praise I could find about this Earn Google Cash system. click the following links to learn more:
http://www.reviewopedia.com/www.earncashfastwithgoogle.com.htm
http://electronplumber.com/10-ways-to-spot-an-internet-scam-google-cash-too-good-to-be-true
http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/AdWords/thread?tid=48061309f684ad4c&hl=en.

So, made you mind up yet? I just don't want to say to you later on : "I told you so!"


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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Do Not Follow These So-Called "Recession-Proof" Systems to Make Money!

I am sure that, like me, you have come accross a number of online sales-letters that guarantee a "proven" way to make money during the recession. I haven't signed up to any of these systems, so how do I know they are scams?

Well, for one, when was the last time there was a Worldwide recession? Not so long ago actually, but one big difference was that in the seventies and eighties, there was no Internet, and the only way for normal people like you and me to make money was to hold on to their jobs or to have the "Idea of the Century" and the means to make it come real by investing in a brick and mortar business. So maybe some people have found a way to beat the recession, but when they tell you they have a proven way to do it and they'll "let you in on their secret" in exchange for money, run away as fast as you can!

I could also make a sales-letter because, yes, there are some areas in which people have to spend money, recession or not, but I'm not that sleazy so I'll let you in on my own secrets right now and you don't even have to pay me or sign up to anything, because these are things that anyone can figure out for themselves. Here are some recession-proof niches you can capitalize on (if you want):

- Write about the recession, how we got there, how to get out of if (if you can write that book, please send a free copy to all World leaders);
- 101 ways to save money (or any other number you can think about);
- Anything relating to being friendlier to the Environment (it should be easy since it usually goes hand-in-hand with saving money);
- If you're a brainy scientist, find a way for people to create their own energy to power their homes and cars (I have this picture in my mind of having the TV linked to an exercise bike so that my kids can only watch TV while exercising, then I didsmiss the idea when I visualize myself on the same exercise bike but linked to my computer!);
- Price-comparison websites;
- Jobseeking, upskilling;
- Research and development of new sources of energy (whatever happened to water-fuelled cars?)

I can think of a whole lot more areas that are either not being affected by the recession (like parenting advice) or positively affected by it (everything related to saving money).

I'd like to think that everything is not as bleak as it seems and that all the people who have been badly affected by the recession can see some light at the end of the tunnel. It's not a matter of saying "Yes we can" anymore, it's a matter of actually doing it!

Internet Junkie for President!


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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Bargains and Special Offers Websites and Forums

If you're looking for ways to save money, it is worth checking out online forums where people share their finds of bargains ans special offers.

If you live in Ireland, check out Rollercoaster.ie (a parenting forum that was recommended to me by my doctor a few years ago); not only you can get excellent advice and support from other parents if you're worried about your little ones but they have also recently added a section called "Bargains and Special Offers" where you can find anything from the cheapest pizza to the cheapest medicine and vitamins.

I found another good site that should be of some interest particularly for people in the U.K.: Money Saving Expert talks about everything to do with money and they also have a forum where users post all their money-saving tips, coupons codes, freebie lists, and where you can find any kind of money advice.

If you're not fond of online forums, you can always write your shopping list while checking out the bargains at your favorite supermarkets by visiting their websites; this way you can decide if you should have the half-price steak or the 30% off chicken and where to shop in order to find the best deal overall. Here are my favourite shopping websites for groceries:

- Aldi: click on your country and check out the current week's special buys; this website even has a great selection of chef's recipes using the ingredients you can find there. A great way to eat great food at low prices!

- Lidl: this is the same style as above, with also links to recipes containing a handy shopping list. After looking at the list of countries, it looks like this chain only exists in Europe so if you're outside, try the Aldi above.

- Supervalu may be slightly more expensive if you use it for all your grocery shopping, but they do excellent promotions so if you only buy the bargain products there, you may actually save more than if you buy everything in one discount store. (P.S. check out their €1 offers this week!).

- Tesco also has a good website and here you can also shop online if you can spare the cash for their delivery costs; you can check all their prices as well as the current special offers but I don't find this site very friendly; however this is very useful if you don't own a car.

- Dunnes Stores: I haven't been using this site but felt I had to include it as it is one of the main grocery shops (they also do clothes and homeware) that can be found in Ireland; I don't think you can shop online with this one but check out their special offers; I'm not too crazy about the fact that these include mainly branded products that, even with the discounts, often don't come as cheap as the supermarket brand but you may be able to save money on the meat products.

Once again, my advice is to shop around to save money but be careful not to spend more petrol running around looking for the best bargains; if you can save €10 by buying all your groceries at shop A in one week, don't go to shop B in the same week just to save €0.20 on one product.


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