Paying The Bills

I had realized that I got screwed yesterday. It turns out when you get a bill from a company you need to check it carefully and not just pay it off and forget about it. I paid my phone bill which was an astronomical $396 dollars and then started thinking. Why is it so high? I started looking at the numbers and realized a few things that I was paying that I didn’t need to pay.

1. I received a text message from a company called ClickGen that I ignored, but after contacting my phone company found out that the FCC actually allows this company to send text messages that if you don’t respond with OUT you get charged $9.99 a month. Lucky for me they reversed the charges.

2. We’re on the Universal Lifeline service because we don’t make money in the 1%’er range, yet we’re still charged tax for the people who receive Universal Lifeline service. That was fixed with the call.

3. The bill said I hadn’t paid last month’s bill so that was added in, but upon checking I had and I mentioned that I had proof that I had paid the previous bill. Upon hearing that they credited me $156.09 dollars which means my next bill will probably have to be paid in August.

Lots of us get bills and just pay them. Its a good time to look over every aspect of your bills because these companies while I won’t say a re totally unscrupulous don’t exactly have their act together because they let their computers do their thinking for them. Because of this they sometimes make mistakes, but they won’t admit that as long as you keep paying your bills.

Keep a good eye on the bills you  receive. I get emails from GoDaddy almost monthly telling me that my domain is about to expire yet I’ve never registered a domain with GoDaddy. These are tactics that companies use to get you to hand over money to them that you don’t need to and if you complain they’ll just say it was a computer error to try and avoid admittance of fault on their behalf.

If you keep your eye on your bills you might find that you have more money in your pocket at the end of the month so do what I have done so you don’t get taken.

Venmo: The App That Will Kill Paypal

Many of you know I have a bit of a hatred for PayPal after they banned me for running a raffle that I didn’t know wasn’t something you were supposed to do with them. They didn’t tell me to stop they just told me I was banned for life along with anyone in my house or anyone who ever will live in my house if I decided to sell it. A friend of mine turned me on to Venmo today and I have to admit, it’s much better than PayPal and will probably shut them down.

First thing is that they have some major funding for a startup and they don’t take a cut of your payment. They’ve said in the future they will from businesses, but that’s only to keep people like you and me from using it without having to lose money. They have iOS and Android apps so they cover a large amount of the smartphone hipster world.

People like me who work as freelancers and are pretty much off the grid so to speak can use this electronic form of payment to transfer money between clients and myself and the best part is when the client pays you don’t have the 3-5 day wait and charge like you do with PayPal, it’s an overnight transfer to your bank account. OK, that’s a really good start.

They are working with businesses so that you can pay them like you would with a credit card only you use your smartphone. Oddly enough it hooks you up with lots of social media so that it can broadcast to the networks when you’ve paid for something and/or charged someone for something. I’m not too keen on that, but you can turn that off easily.

Currently they are in an invite only mode, but if you want to give them a try go to their website and use the promo code selfmag1 and you’ll get in. I’m predicting this company which unfortunately for a tech company isn’t based int he Bay Area will grow quickly. They’ve got the killer apps that are free and they don’t charge you to exchange money. This is going to be a big game changer for me. I’ve been billing people when I do virtual work for them and it takes time to get the money. If I’m in person I’ll swipe their credit card with my Square app [which I also love] which is also cheaper than PayPal, but still there’s a charge. Now I can virtually bill people and collect money free of charge. That’s pretty cool to me and it’ll give me a little more bang for my bucks that I’m earning.