Take off with these travel apps

These days, you really can’t travel or make plans to travel without a mobile phone. And with the best cell phone coverage from the wireless company with the best unlimited plans (something we’ll get into in a moment!), you can really hit the road without worrying about staying connected.

Of course, half the fun of traveling is planning the trip. And these days there are dozens of terrific apps that can help you research destinations, find hotels and restaurants, book flights, even blog about your trip. Following are a few worth downloading – and most of them are free.

Wanderlog

If you’re in the planning stage of a trip, check out Wanderlog. It does far more than help you plan – it enables users to share travel guides and itineraries, and even has a blogging component so you can share your journey with your friends and family – but the app’s planning features are what make it a standout.

With Wanderlog, you’re able to research various destinations and activities, create daily itineraries with start and end times, and add personal notes and links to all of it. You can even connect your email to more easily manage reservations.

Taking a road trip? Wanderlog calculates the time and distance between places and exports the information to Google Maps. Make as many stops as you want. Wanderlog won’t let you down!

And as we mentioned earlier, there’s even the opportunity to collaborate with your fellow travelers. You can team up to create itineraries, write travel guides, and blog about trips you’ve taken.

Finally, Wanderlog is also available on the web, so you can make plans seamlessly from your smartphone or laptop.

Hopper

When you’re considering hopping on an airplane, consider Hopper. The app can predict airfares up to one year in advance and is 95% accurate. It also analyzes millions of airfares and hotel prices and lets you know if you should book now – or wait just a bit longer to do so.

It’s easy to use, too. You put in your destination and the app shows the least and priciest dates to fly. Then the app will make its recommendation – book now or hold on for a while until the airfare drops in price.  You can even have the app customize your flying preferences. No interest in long layovers? It will remove them. Don’t what to pay extra fees or deal with any kind of restrictions? It will remove those as well. You get flight and price information that matches your needs. 

Lastly, if you’re really interested in finding the cheapest flights and don’t want to miss being notified about them, don’t worry. When fares have dropped to their lowest, Hopper sends you a notification.

SYGIC Travel Maps Trip Planner

So there you are … in Prague or Morocco or Nashville. What should you see? What should you do? You should consult SYGIC Travel Maps. SYGIC Travel Maps displays everything worth seeing and doing right on one map.

Because the app has an enormous database, travelers can easily find the best attractions, museums, historic sites, stores, restaurants, parks, beaches, bars, and more no matter where they are. Never miss a hidden gem again!

Available in 18 languages, SYGIC Travel Maps lets you download maps and guides offline – which is crucial should your travels take you where Wi-Fi is spotty or nonexistent.

Roadtrippers

Going cross country with family or friends? Take Roadtrippers for the easiest, most delightful road trip you’ve ever taken.

No more looking for rest stops, places to eat, campgrounds, outdoor (and indoor) activities so you can stretch your legs. Just pop in your starting location and your destination and Roadtrippers finds everything you need to make your journey a joy.

TravelSpend: Track Travel Expense & Trip Budget

Unless you’ve just hit the lottery, you’ll be creating a budget for your trip. That’s the easy part. Sticking to a budget of any kind is the hard part. TravelSpend helps you with it. Simply enter your budget and then your expenses over several days. TravelSpend keeps an eye on your progress, alerting you to slow down your spending if necessary. With TravelSpend you can also enter your expenses in any currency and it automatically converts it to whatever currency you use. Traveling with friends? The app enables you to send money, split bills, and check your bank balance.

TripAdvisor

You want to go someplace spectacular. Someplace you’ve never been but have been dreaming of for forever. The only problem is that you don’t know exactly where that “place” is. TripAdvisor and its millions of vetted recommendations on hotels, restaurants, activities, etc. in more than 8 million destinations can help. 8 million destinations in detail – right at your fingertips. The app is one stop shopping for finding your dream destination, comparing hotel and flight prices, making restaurant reservations and more. 

Packing Pro

Air travel has become a bear, but packing may still have it beat. Packing Pro can help. Simply enter your destination and the length of time you’re going to be away, and the app creates a custom packing list of essentials that takes the destination, trip duration, and weather conditions into account. Travelling with family? Packing Pro allows easy syncing and sharing so no one leaves behind something essential.

Loungebuddy

No one enjoys waiting around in an airport for a connecting flight or a new flight because the first one was cancelled. The seats are uncomfortable. There’s no way to spread out. And the food is questionable at best. Wouldn’t it be lovely to wait in a nice lounge? Of course it would, but those lounges require membership or business-class tickets and there’s really no way around that.

Correction: there was no way around it before Loungebuddy.

LoungeBuddy is the only app that gives all travelers the opportunity to view, book, and access airport lounges around the world in seconds. Through the app’s Lounge Access Wizard, you can find lounges you can access for free or for a one-time fee based on your trip, class of service, and any elite status memberships, or credit cards that you might have. Simply make your reservation with an American Express card and start waiting in comfort and style.

AroundMe

We’ve all be there. We’re driving along on our way to wherever when suddenly we realize we’re practically out of gas. That’s scary. And if you happen to be driving at night in a place you’ve never been, it’s even scarier. AroundMe can help. The app allows you to quickly find out information about your surroundings. How? By quickly identifying your location and asking you to select what you need to find: the nearest bank, gas station, restaurant, supermarket, etc. Then it provides a complete list of businesses in that category along with the distance to them from where you are. You can choose to see the information on a map, save it to your contacts, or email it to someone else. It’s fast, easy to use, and accurate.

Think of PureTalk as your travel partner
As we said earlier, you really can’t travel or make plans to travel without a mobile phone. And with the best cell phone coverage and the best unlimited plans, PureTalk helps you take off without worrying about staying connected.

At PureTalk we’re proud to offer you plans starting as low as $20 a month for unlimited talk and text and 2GB of data. We’re on America’s most reliable 5G network which delivers the best cell coverage than any network before it, plus families of four who switch to PureTalk save $75 a month for an average of $900 a year.

Traveling to Canada or Mexico? PureTalk has you covered 

Get the best cellphone coverage in Canada and Mexico with PureTalk International Roaming for just $10.

It’s really a great deal.

Plus, there’s no setup. No additional wireless roaming charges. And no need to run out and purchase a local SIM card. Your phone simply works when you arrive. No hassles and not a moment of disconnection.

To add International Roaming:

Simply log in to your PureTalk account and click the “Add-Ons” tab. Then, select International Roaming as a one-time purchase. The service will be added immediately to your cellular phone package and you’re good to go. It’s that easy.

Travel frequently to Canada or Mexico?

If you travel to Canada or Mexico frequently, add International Roaming as a recurring monthly charge. Set it up once and it’s one less thing to think about when you’re headed out of town.

PureTalk’s International Roaming means:

  • Constant connectivity.
  • No pricey roaming charges.
  • No additional devices to lug around.

In addition to our no contract, low cost, unlimited talk and text cell phone plans, PureTalk offers Canada- and Mexico-bound customers great value and something even more important: peace of mind.

PureTalk’s International Roaming is the best $10 you’ll ever spend. Add it with one click, and stay connected.

What Our Customers Are Saying

Great customer service

“Your people are courteous, knowledgeable, efficient, and friendly. They fix my issues, port my numbers, and always sound happy to help. They speak American English and they are clear and easy to understand. Thank you all and don’t change.” Robert Z., FL

Great Experience

 “It was very efficient to contact and set up the service with PureTalk. The website is easy to navigate, so one can both stay informed and keep their account information up to date. The price is much better than the larger carriers (I had T-Mobile for almost 20 years) and the voice and data services are at least as good as any others. Looking forward to many great years of excellent service.” Michael S., PA

Why choose PureTalk?
When you choose PureTalk, you’re choosing to support a company whose values align with your own. You’re choosing to support a company whose CEO is a U.S. veteran. And you’re also choosing to support American jobs: 100% of our customer service is based right here in the United States.

Even more importantly, PureTalk offers a risk-free, thirty-day money back guarantee. That means you have absolutely nothing to lose. Sign up and give us a try for one month. We know you’ll love us. But if you don’t, simply cancel your service within thirty-days and we’ll return your money without any penalties. Plus, with PureTalk, you can bring your phone and keep your phone number or choose from our terrific selection of the latest iPhones and Androids.

So, you’ve learned a lot about travel apps and PureTalk’s ability to save you a lot of money and keep you connected. The next step is to pick a plan that meets your needs and suits your lifestyle.

Don’t wait a moment more. Start saving and traveling with PureTalk today! Happy trails!

What is a SIM card and what does it do?

To get the best cell phone coverage, you need a SIM card. But what exactly is a SIM card? A woman we know was certain it had something to with The Sims, the video game her grandkids like to play. It was kind of funny. But still, we had to set her straight.

What are the functions of a SIM card?

Your SIM card stores the information that enables your wireless provider to recognize it. Your phone number is stored on your SIM card along with what are called “authorization keys.” These give your phone authorization to access the data, texting, and other services provided by your cell phone plan. Without a SIM card, your phone could not access and utilize your wireless provider’s network.

Where is the SIM card located?

The SIM card is located on either the right or left side of your phone. To access it, look for what appears to be a tiny hole or indentation. (If your phone is in a phone case, take it out first.) To get to your SIM card you can use what’s called a SIM ejector tool or – why give yourself a headache? – a paper clip. Press the clip into the small hole and the SIM tray panel will pop open.

What is a dual SIM?

A dual SIM phone means you can put two SIM cards into one phone. This lets you manage two phone numbers, each with their own SIM card, on one phone. This is a neat feature if you want or need to have two phone numbers say, one for business use and one for personal use, and really don’t want to lug around two devices. You can make calls from either number, and receive calls to either number. When making calls, your device will ask you which SIM card you want to use.

SIM cards aren’t “attached” to one phone. Except when they are

In general, you can remove your SIM card and put it in a new phone. You can even take someone else’s SIM card and put it in your phone. But sometimes, certain wireless carriers don’t permit this easy switching. And that’s why it’s important that we discuss locked and unlocked phones.

About unlocked and locked phones

An unlocked phone is a phone that’s not associated with a particular wireless carrier. One of the big benefits of this is that you can switch providers anytime you want – like when you find a plan that gives you all the bells and whistles the pricey wireless companies promise at half the price. (But we’ll get to that in a minute.)

On the other hand, a locked phone is a device that’s tied to a carrier like AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon. These carriers “lock” your device to their network to prevent you from using it on another one.

How can I tell if my phone locked or unlocked?

If you bought your phone from, say, AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile, and you have a monthly contract with them, your phone is most likely locked to their network. That’s just how they roll. If you bought your phone at Best Buy or at an Apple store or on Amazon, or someplace else entirely, it is most likely unlocked. The key phrase there is “most likely.” You can’t be certain until you check.

How to determine if your phone is locked or unlocked

1.

Check your settings: iPhone

One way to tell if your iPhone is unlocked is to go to Settings, then Cellular, then Cellular Data. If the words “Cellular Data Network” appear, it’s most likely – but not definitely – that your phone is unlocked. The pricey wireless providers really make you jump through hoops.

Check your settings: Android

One way to tell if your Android phone is unlocked is to go to Settings, then Connections, then Mobile Networks, then Network Operators. While in Network Operators, click on “search now.” If a variety of wireless carries names pop up, it’s most likely – but not definitely – that your phone is unlocked. Once again, pricey wireless providers will work your last nerve.

2.

Contact your wireless provider

You can call the customer service department for your carrier and ask them to see if your phone is locked. You can also request that they unlock it. If you’d prefer to talk with someone in person, you can always visit one of your carrier’s stores and do the same thing. For those who are more tech confident, it’s worth checking out your provider’s website to see if it offers information on how to unlock your phone. It’s important to note that, once you’ve requested your phone be unlocked, it can take your carrier 48 to 72 hours to do so. After that time has elapsed, call them to confirm that they have indeed unlocked your phone. You don’t want them conveniently – or inconveniently, for you – forgetting to do so.

Customer Service Numbers for:

AT&T: 1-800-331-0500

Verizon: 1-800-922-0204

T-Mobile: 1-877-453-1304

Cricket Wireless: 1-800-274-2538

Mint Mobile: 1-800-683-7392.

Straight Talk: 1-877-430-2355

Boost Mobile: 1-833-502-6678

3.

Try switching SIM cards
Another way to determine if your phone is locked or unlocked is by switching out the SIM card. Don’t worry, it’s easy. Simply borrow one from a family member or friend whose service is provided by a carrier different from yours.  Then test it out in this manner:

  1. Shut down your phone.
  2. Remove it from the case, if it’s in one, and then remove your SIM card.
  3. Put in the SIM card you borrowed.
  4. Close the SIM tray.
  5. Now, turn your phone back on.

If you get a message requesting a code to unlock the SIM card, your phone is locked to your network provider. If you can use your phone like you always do, make and receive calls, send and receive text messages, your phone is unlocked.

How does a SIM card function when I travel abroad?

It functions just the way we described it earlier: it allows your wireless provider to recognize your phone number so you can utilize your wireless provider’s network.

However, before traveling out of the United States, check into the roaming fees your provider charges. They can be some pretty big fees which means you might want to obtain a SIM card once you’ve arrived at your destination. Doing so means you’ll pay the same prices as the local citizens do.

It sounds like an unlocked phone and the ability to switch out my SIM card is the way to go. But what are all the benefits to it?

  1. If you want to switch service providers for any reason at any time, it’s a whole lot easier – not to mention a whole lot less expensive – to unlock your phone than to go buy a new one. Think about it. Spend a few minutes getting your current device unlocked or plunk down $600 on a new one? We think spending a few minutes unlocking your phone is the way to go and we think you’ll agree.
  2. If you would like to sell your device there’s no wondering or hoping that the purchaser’s provider is compatible. When your device is unlocked, anyone can buy it, pop in their SIM card, and start using it immediately. No hassles. Now down time. An unlocked phone makes that transaction nice and easy.
  3. As we mentioned earlier, when traveling internationally or just making international calls, an unlocked phone allows you to use local SIM cards rather than paying the super high prices many providers charge. If you make a lot of international calls on a regular basis, you can save hundreds of dollars each year.

In short, the greatest benefit to an unlocked phone and being able to switch out your SIM card is the ability to change carriers because… you’re not getting great coverage…. or your cell signal is spotty… or because you just discovered the best unlimited plan with such tremendous savings for yourself and your family that it would be crazy not to switch.

PureTalk has those plans

At PureTalk we’re proud to offer you plans starting as low as $20 a month for unlimited talk and text and 2GB of data. We’re on America’s most reliable 5G network – which delivers the best cell coverage than any network before it – just like the overpriced wireless companies, and, among families of four who switch to PureTalk? They save $75 a month for an average of $900 a year.

More about PureTalk’s plans: They’re all flexible, flexible, flexible. If you need more data one month, you can simply go into your account portal and add more. When next month rolls around, if you need less data, you can go right back into your portal and reduce it. Simply log on to PureTalk.com, click on My Account, and select Manage My Data. Make your changes, save them, and log out. It’s that simple.

And, if you’ll be traveling to Canada or Mexico, you should definitely look into PureTalk’s International Roaming plan. It’s just $10. That’s it. No setup. No hassles. No need to switch out your SIM card. Simply log into your account, click the “Add Ons” tab, and select International Roaming. Just add it to your plan and your phone works immediately upon your arrival in those two countries.

Why choose PureTalk?
When you choose PureTalk, you’re choosing to support a company whose values align with your own. You’re choosing to support a company whose CEO is a U.S. veteran. And you’re also choosing to support American jobs: 100% of our customer service is based right here in the United States.

Even more importantly, PureTalk offers a risk-free, thirty-day money back guarantee. That means you have absolutely nothing to lose. Sign up and give us a try for one month. We know you’ll love us. But if you don’t, simply cancel your service within thirty-days and we’ll return your money without any penalties. Plus, with PureTalk, you can bring your phone and keep your phone number or choose from our terrific selection of the latest iPhones and Androids.

So, you’ve learned a lot about SIM cards and PureTalk’s ability to save you a lot of money. The next step is to pick a plan that meets your needs, suits your lifestyle, and allows you to switch out your SIM card whenever you choose.

Don’t wait a moment more. Start saving with PureTalk today!

 

eSIM? What’s eSIM?

For the best cell phone coverage, you need either a physical SIM card or an embedded SIM card called eSIM. An eSIM is built into your device and allows you to activate a cell phone plan without having to use a physical SIM card. The biggest advantage of eSIM is it’s easier and faster than ever to switch your service to a new carrier. With eSIM you can activate your service instantly right after you checkout online, instead of having to wait for a physical SIM card to be shipped to you or visiting a brick-and-mortar store.

In order to use eSIM your existing phone must be both unlocked and eSIM compatible.


Is my phone unlocked? And what’s the difference between a locked and unlocked phone?

It’s tough, not to mention confusing, to keep up with all the terms that surround technology today. Terms like “locked,” and “unlocked” – what do they even mean and how do they pertain to your smartphone?

Don’t worry. We’re here to help.

An unlocked phone is a phone that’s not associated with a particular wireless carrier. One of the big benefits of this is that you can switch providers anytime you want – like when you find a plan that gives you all the bells and whistles the pricey wireless companies promise at half the price. (But we’ll get to that in just a minute.)

On the other hand, a locked phone is a device that’s tied to a carrier like AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon. These carriers “lock” your device to their network to prevent you from using it on another one.

Why would a wireless company sell locked phones?

Excellent question. Locked phones are usually sold at a significant discount. You, or any consumer, sees an iPhone at a really low price at an AT&T or Verizon or T-Mobile store, and think “Wow!  That’s a great deal!” Then you buy it – and pat yourself on the back for saving big time – but you also have to sign a lengthy contract which makes up for the price you paid. These carriers lock your phone so you can’t switch networks, get out of that lengthy contract, or sell your phone until they’ve recouped their loss. And lots of them lock your phone for two to three years. That’s a really long time.

How can I tell if my phone locked or unlocked?

If you bought your phone from, say, AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile, and you have a monthly contract with them, your phone is most likely locked to their network. That’s just how they roll. If you bought your phone at Best Buy or at an Apple store or on Amazon, or someplace else entirely, it is most likely unlocked. They key phrase there is “most likely.” You can’t be certain until you check.

How to determine if your phone is locked or unlocked

1.

Check your settings: iPhone

One way to tell if your iPhone is unlocked is to go to Settings, then Cellular, then Cellular Data. If the words “Cellular Data Network” appear, it’s most likely – but not definitely – that your phone is unlocked. The pricey wireless providers really make you jump through hoops.

Check your settings: Android

One way to tell if your Android phone is unlocked is to go to Settings, then Connections, then Mobile Networks, then Network Operators. While in Network Operators, click on “search now.” If a variety of wireless carrier names pop up, it’s most likely – but not definitely – that your phone is unlocked. Once again, those pricey wireless providers will have you playing detective all day.

2.

Contact your wireless provider

You can call the customer service department for your carrier and ask them to see if your phone is locked. You can also request that they unlock it. If you’d prefer to talk with someone in person, you can always visit one of your carrier’s stores and ask to speak to a manager or sales representative. For those who are more tech savvy, it’s worth checking out your provider’s website to see if it offers information on how to unlock your phone. It’s important to note that, once you’ve requested that they unlock your phone, it can take your carrier 48 to 72 hours to do so. After that time has elapsed, call them to confirm that they have indeed unlocked your phone. You don’t want them conveniently – or inconveniently, for you – forgetting to do so.

Customer Service Numbers for:

AT&T: 1-800-331-0500

Verizon: 1-800-922-0204

T-Mobile: 1-877-453-1304

Cricket Wireless: 1-800-274-2538

Mint Mobile: 1-800-683-7392.

Straight Talk: 1-877-430-2355

Boost Mobile: 1-833-502-6678

3.

Try switching SIM cards
Another way to determine if your phone is locked or unlocked is by switching out the SIM card. Don’t worry, it’s easy. Simply borrow one from a family member or friend whose service is provided by a carrier different from yours.  Then test it out in this manner:

  1. Shut down your phone.
  2. Remove it from the case, if it’s in one, and then remove your SIM card which will most likely be located on the right or left side of your device. You can pop it out using what’s called a SIM ejector tool or – why give yourself a headache? – a paper clip. Press the clip into the small hole on the SIM tray panel and it will pop open.
  3. Next, remove your SIM card and put in the one you borrowed. Close the SIM tray.
  4. Now, turn your phone back on.

If you get a message requesting a code to unlock the SIM, your phone is locked to your network provider. If you can use your phone like you always do, make and receive calls, send and receive text messages, your phone is unlocked.

My phone is locked. Now what do I do?

If you’d like to unlock your phone – and why wouldn’t you? It’s your phone and you deserve the freedom to make provider and plan choices for yourself – you need to contact your provider. Again, you can visit your carrier’s store or see if there’s assistance on its website, and of course you can call. If you do, be sure to have your account password and IMEI number handy. You can obtain your IMEI number by dialing #06# on your device’s keypad.

It sounds like unlocking my phone is the way to go. But what are all the benefits to it?

  • If you want to switch service providers for any reason at any time, it’s a whole lot easier – not to mention a whole lot less expensive – to unlock your phone than to go buy a new one. Think about it. Spend a few minutes getting your current device unlocked or plunk down $600 on a new one? We think spending a few minutes is the way to go and we think you’ll agree.
  • If you would like to sell your device there’s no wondering or hoping that the purchaser’s provider is compatible. When your device is unlocked, anyone can buy it and start using it immediately. No hassles. Now down time. An unlocked phone makes that transaction nice and easy.
  • When traveling internationally or just making international calls, an unlocked phone allows you to use local SIM cards rather than paying the super high prices many providers charge. If you make a lots of international calls on a regular basis, you can save hundreds of dollars each year.
  • In short, the greatest benefit to unlocking your phone is the ability to change carriers because… you’re not getting great coverage…. or your sell signal is spotty… or because you discovered a plan with such tremendous savings for yourself and your family that it would be crazy not to switch.

Now that your phone is unlocked, you need to determine if your phone eSIM compatible

Not all phones are compatible with eSIM since it’s such a new technology. Below is a list of compatible phone models.

Compatible iPhone Models:

  • iPhone 13 series
  • iPhone 12 series
  • iPhone 11 series
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone XS, XS Max
  • iPhone SE 3rd Gen

 

Benefits of eSIM:

  • It’s easy to switch to a new carrier as the data on eSIMs can be reprogrammed (or, in some cases, can be downloaded onto another slot on the eSIM). Whereas physical SIM cards cannot be reprogrammed. This means with eSIMs you can more quickly switch to a new carrier.
  • eSIMs can be activated instantly. In fact, you can activate your eSIM instantly right after you checkout online, instead of having to wait for a physical SIM card to be shipped to you or visiting a brick-and-mortar store.
  • One of the biggest benefits of eSIM is that your phone can have two SIM cards (and thus two phone numbers) on one device. This can be beneficial for someone like a business owner that wants both a personal line as well as a business line and doesn’t want to carry around two phones.
  • Traveling internationally? If you’ll be out of the U.S. for a bit, eSIM users can simply buy a physical SIM card when they get to their destination and use it together with their usual eSIM card.
  • eSIMs are improving future devices. Without the need for a SIM tray, it’ll be possible to make thinner, lighter devices (ie: phones, tablets, laptops and wearable tech). Many believe eSIMs are the future, and it’s only a matter of time before physical SIM cards become obsolete.

Discover the freedom of eSIM and unbeatable savings with PureTalk

At PureTalk we’re proud to offer you phone plans starting as low as $20 a month for unlimited talk and text and 2GB of data, and tablet plans starting at just $10 a month with 2GB of data. Beyond that, PureTalk is on America’s most reliable 5G network – which delivers the best cell coverage of any network before it – just like the overpriced guys, but at half the cost. And our customers reap the savings. In fact, families of four who switch to PureTalk save $75 a month for an average of $900 a year.

More about PureTalk’s phone plans: They’re all flexible, flexible, flexible. If you need more data one month, you can simply go into your account portal and add more. When next month rolls around, if you need less data, you can go right back into your portal and reduce it. Simply log on to PureTalk.com, click on My Account, and select Manage My Data. Make your changes, save them, and log out. It’s that simple.

Why choose PureTalk?
When you choose PureTalk, you’re choosing to support a company whose values align with your own. You’re choosing to support a company whose CEO is a U.S. veteran. And you’re also choosing to support American jobs: 100% of our customer service is based right here in the United States.

Even more importantly, PureTalk offers a risk-free, thirty-day money back guarantee. That means you have absolutely nothing to lose. Sign up and give us a try for one month. We know you’ll love us – our coverage, our service, our flexibility! But if you don’t, simply cancel your service within thirty-days and we’ll return your money without any hassles or penalties. Plus, with PureTalk, you can bring your phone and keep your phone number or choose from our terrific selection of the latest iPhones and Androids

More reasons to love PureTalk

PureTalk requires no contracts, no long-distance fees, no roaming fees, no additional handset fees, and no prepaid cards. All PureTalk phone plans include Unlimited Talk & Text with high-speed data with speeds up to 5G. All plans include voicemail, caller ID, call forwarding, conferencing, call waiting, and everything else you would expect from your carrier. There are no gimmicks with PureTalk. It’s just Simply. Smarter. Wireless.

What our customers are saying:

Happy I Switched to PureTalk

“It was very easy to switch from AT&T to PureTalk. Everyone that I spoke to on the phone was polite and very helpful. I gave my old phone to my sister and encouraged her to also switch to PureTalk, which she did. She is also happy that she switched.” Claudean H., AL

Great customer service

“Your people are courteous, knowledgeable, efficient, and friendly. They fix my issues, port my numbers, and always sound happy to help. They speak American English and they are clear and easy to understand. Thank you all and don’t change.” Robert Z., FL

Great Experience

“It was very efficient to contact and set up the service with PureTalk. The website is easy to navigate, so one can both stay informed and keep their account information up to date. The price is much better than the larger carriers (I had T-Mobile for almost 20 years) and the voice and data services are at least as good as any others. Looking forward to many great years of excellent service.” Michael S., PA

Don’t wait a moment more. Switch to eSIM and PureTalk now!

 

 

 

What are referral programs and how do they work?

Like lots of consumers, you probably have certain brands you purchase online and maybe you even have apps you use to shop with as well. But did you know that those brands and sites and apps typically have referral programs that will reward you for suggesting your friends, family members, and/or colleagues shop there as well? They do. Simply by sharing a “referral link” or “referral code,” you can earn extra money, discounts, and even freebies that really add up.

The definition of “Referral Program”

A referral program is a process whereby consumers of a particular product or service or brand are rewarded for encouraging others to use or buy that particular product or service or brand. Essentially, the company involved is asking you to become a brand ambassador for it and for doing so, they’ll reward you with gift cards, discounts, real money, and sometimes free gifts for those who act on your referral.  

For example, the mattress company Casper rewards customers with a $10 gift card to Amazon when a friend they refer purchases a mattress for the first time, and active wear brand Girlfriend Collective gives the referring customer $10 off of their next purchase, and the referred friend gets a free pair of leggings. A great gift if a) you like the brand and b) you like keeping your legs warm in the winter. Live someplace warm? Gift the leggings to a friend who lives in New Hampshire!

Referral programs are an easy way to make a little “mad” money

We know a woman who makes around $150 a month using her referral link from Rakuten (a site and program we’ll talk about in just a moment). As she says, “I use it to pay for manicures or a little something special for myself or someone else I otherwise wouldn’t be able to buy. I call it my ‘mad’ money.”

Mad money is one way to describe it. Passive extra income is another. There’s almost no work involved and because you really like the product or brand you’re referring your friends to, it can be a lot of fun.

The nuts and bolts

It’s very simple. All you need to do is distribute the referral link or referral code provided to you through your account from whatever brand, site, or app you’re using.

Here’s how:

If the referral code or referral link is sent to you via text or email, you can forward it to friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, you name it. Then, when the recipient of your link uses it to create their own account, you receive whatever reward the program offers.

For example, let’s say you share a referral link you received from Uber with a friend and your friend signs up for an account. In that case, both of you are rewarded with a free ride the next time you need one. It’s not money back, but it is money you don’t have to spend the next time you need to go from point A to point B. (And your friend doesn’t have to spend money either!)

You can also share your referral links or referral codes in your email signature. If you do this, add some text that says, “Start saving with Rakuten! Use my referral link to get $10 just for joining and get cash back on your purchases all year long!” Then of course provide your referral link.

You can also share your referral codes or links on social media. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest are all excellent platforms for reaching your connections and increasing your rewards. And, if what you’re sharing is a business-related referral program, like web host service Hostinger offers, don’t forget to share it on LinkedIn.

Wondering which websites and apps will pay you for referring your friends and family?

Following are a few websites and apps you can consider joining. Please note that in all instances, you need to open a new account, so if you already have an account, you will not receive the sign up rewards. In addition, anyone you refer has to be new to the site or app as well.

Rakuten: Rakuten touts itself as the “#1 Cashback Shopping Companion.” It has more than 15 million members and has paid them more than $2 billion in cash back. The company gives you a $10 bonus for joining (after you make a $25 purchase within the first 90-days) and it offers cash back at more than 3,500 stores including Target, Sam’s Club, Ulta, Saks Fifth Avenue, Old Navy, Lowe’s, Macy’s and more.

To accrue your cashback:

1. Shop any of the retailers on the Rakuten site by going first to Rakuten.com.

2. At Rakuten.com, click on the link to the retailer’s site. This allows Rakuten to track your purchase(s) and credit them to your account. You can also do this by using the Rakuten App.

3. With regard to getting the money you’ve saved by shopping through Rakuten, you can request to receive your money via check or PayPal.

Overall: Easy to use and a great selection of retailers to shop from.

Swagbucks: Swagbucks gives you free gift cards for shopping online, playing video games, watching videos, answering surveys, and more. You can redeem Swagbucks points (called SB) for cash via PayPal or gift cards to stores like Amazon and Starbucks. Plus, refer a friend to Swagbucks and get $5 for each one who signs up.

Overall: A little cumbersome to use, but teens and young adults like it. And it’s not a bad way for them to earn a little income.

Ibotta: Similar to Rakuten, Ibotta is a shopping app that offers real cashback on everyday purchases from grocery stores and top retailers like Walmart, Target, CVS, and more. To shop from your computer, first download the Ibotta browser extension. Then shop the retailer of your choice through the extension so Ibotta can track your purchase(s) and credit them to your account. You get $10 for signing up and $5 for every verified referral, plus another $5 when you spend $15.

Overall: Like Swagbucks, a little cumbersome as you need to download the Ibotta browser extension which can be a little confusing. However, if you have access to a teen or young adult it can be done in and you can be earning rewards 30 seconds!

Cash App: Cash App doesn’t reward you for signing up, but you do earn a bonus when your referral uses your referral code to send at least $5 to someone. To receive the bonus, your referral needs to be a new Cash App user, they must enter your referral code when they create their Cash App account, they need to link a debit card or bank account to their Cash App account, and they have to send $5 within 14 days of entering your referral code.

Overall: Straightforward and easy to use. The woman we mentioned earlier uses Cash App to send money to her son who’s a senior in college. She reports that it’s made life a lot easier!

Getaround: Getaround is a car-sharing app. Car owners enroll their vehicles and make money renting them out to other Getaround users. When you join the app and refer a friend who also joins, you  receive a $20 credit. Should your referral end up listing his or her car with the app, you receive $200.

Overall: Easy to use, and the company has good protections and rules in place for protecting the cars enrolled and those who use them.

Tesla: The company’s electric cars do not have a referral program but its clean-energy solar products do. Simply make a purchase of Tesla’s Solar Roof or Solar Panels and you will receive a unique referral link. Those who order through your referral link will earn $500 for Tesla’s Solar Roof and $300 for its Solar Panels. You earn $500 for each Solar Roof referral and $300 for each Solar Panels referral.

Overall: Tesla’s referral program is touted as one of the best around. If you’re embracing clean-energy, it’s worth looking into.

PureTalk: When you join PureTalk, you’re given a unique referral link you can share with friends and family. For each friend who signs up through your unique link, you will receive a $20 bill credit applied to your account, and your friend will receive a $20 credit applied to their account. Best of all, there are no limits. You can refer as many friends as you want, and you will get a $20 credit for every single one of them.

More about PureTalk:

At PureTalk we’re proud to offer you phone plans starting as low as $20 a month for unlimited talk and text and 2GB of data, and tablet plans starting at just $10 a month with 2GB of data. We’re on the same 5G network – the most reliable network in the country – as the pricey wireless companies and, among families of four who switch to PureTalk? They save $75 a month for an average of $900 a year.

Everything you need to know about the PureTalk Customer Referral Program:

1.Each customer has a unique referral link to share with friends. For each friend who signs up through your unique link, you will receive a $20 bill credit applied to your account, and your friend will receive a $20 credit applied to their account.

2. There are no limits to how many friends you can refer with PureTalk's Customer Referral Program. Refer all of your friends and get a $20 credit for every single one of them.

3. Your $20 credit will post to your account after your friend completes their second active month of service.

4. To see which of your friends you have referred to PureTalk, log in to MY ACCOUNT and click the "Referrals" tab at the top of the page. You will see all of your referrals listed in the "Referral Credits" table at the bottom of the page.

5. You can post your referral link anywhere you want. On your social media channels, your blog, in emails, etc. You can grab your unique referral link by logging in to MY ACCOUNT and clicking the REFERRALS tab. You can also easily directly share to your social channels and email via the REFFERALS page in MY ACCOUNT.

6. What about friends who sign up for PureTalk but forget to use my referral link? Can I still get credit? There are two ways you can earn referral credits. Your friend could have used the unique referral link, but he or she also had the option to enter your phone number at checkout when asked if a friend referred him. Unfortunately, if your friend did not use your referral link and did not enter your phone number at checkout, we are unable to apply a referral credit. The bottom line: Remind those you are referring to PureTalk to enter your phone number at checkout IF they’ve forgotten to sign up through your referral link.

Remember, families of four who switch to PureTalk save $75 a month for an average of $900 a year and, with our Customer Referral Program, you can earn as many credits as you have friends. We’re committed to helping you save so pick the PureTalk plan that works for you!

Discover how much data your streaming services use and how you can use less of it

YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime – most people have a subscription at least one of them and, thanks to the pandemic, plenty of people now subscribe to all three. It was a tough two years, spent mostly at home, alone, and in desperate need of entertainment. Music streaming services like Spotify, Pandora, and I Heart Radio also saw an uptick in subscribers, though not nearly as great as the movie streaming services. It’s like we’ve developed an addiction to being entertained which isn’t really a bad thing.

Though it could do some serious damage to your data.

Now if you have cell phone service with an unlimited data plan, you might not be too concerned about how much data you’re using. But think about it. If you have an unlimited plan with up to 2GB of data or even 10GB of data, once you hit that cap you’re going to care about how much data you’re using and be looking for ways to use less of it.

That’s where this post comes in!

So, how much data does streaming use?

Let’s start by looking at how much data it takes to stream your favorite music service.

Honestly? Streaming music takes a lot less data than streaming video. Having said that though, it’s important to remember that most of us stream music on our smart phones and for a lot longer than we watch movies or videos. We’ve got our music streaming while we’re commuting, running on a treadmill, doing housework, etc. It all adds up to a lot of time listening via our cell phones – and those typically have a data cap. Sure, it might be a 10GB cap, but still.  

Let’s take a moment to look at what you get in terms of hours with a 2GB, 5GB, or 10GB data plan. Generally speaking:

  • A 2 GB data plan will give you: 47 hours of low-quality audio, 28 hours of medium-quality audio, and 17 hours of high-quality audio.
  • A 5GB data will give you: 117 hours of low-quality audio, 70 hours of medium-quality audio, and 42.5 hours of high-quality audio.
  • A 10 GB data plan will give you: 234 hours of low-quality audio, 140 hours of medium-quality audio, and 85 hours of high-quality audio.

Obviously Spotify isn’t going to swallow up all your data that quickly, but listening to music for hours at a clip and on the highest-quality setting will definitely have an impact after a while.

So, what can you do?

Tips to reduce data usage on Spotify

1. For starters, remember that it’s always best to use Spotify via Wi-Fi. If you don’t have access to Wi-Fi, go into the app’s Data Saver feature and turn it on. This reduces the amount of data you’ll use by showing you fewer images and reducing the quality of the audio.

Click Home; click Settings; click Data Saver On

While you’re there, turn on Audio-only podcasts as well. This means that when you download a podcast, you won’t also be downloading its video, thus saving you data.

2.If you have Spotify Premium, download the music you like and enjoy it offline. Go into the app’s settings and under Music Quality, switch Download Using Cellular off and only download music when you’re connected to Wi-Fi.

3. Again, in the app, look at your Music Quality setting and make the necessary adjustments. The higher the quality setting, the more data you’re using.

4. It’s possible your smart phone has a data saver on it. A Google search on your specific device can help you find it and turn it on.

Moving on to streaming services and how much data they use

Services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime all use about the same amount of data and, frankly, it’s a lot of data especially if you’re not using Wi-Fi. (Please, for the love of Pete, be on Wi-Fi when using these services!) And, like with music streaming services, movie streaming services and YouTube allow you to adjust the quality of the video from high definition to standard definition.

Let’s take a look at Netflix as its data usage is comparable to that of Amazon Prime and Hulu.

On Netflix:

  • Streaming a standard-definition quality movie or an episode of your favorite show uses 1 GB of data per hour.
  • Streaming a high-definition quality movie or an episode of your favorite show uses 3 GB of data per hour.
  • And streaming a 4K movie or episode of your favorite show uses 7 GB of data per hour.

That’s a lot of data so, again, please be on W-Fi and, if you’re thinking that downloading a movie from Netflix and watching it offline will save your data, it won’t. According to Netflix, it will still consume the same amount.

How does YouTube stack up?

It stacks up pretty closely, actually. In fact, 1GB of data allows you to watch just about 500 minutes of YouTube. You just probably shouldn’t do it in one fell swoop.

Generally speaking:

  • Streaming a 480p video uses 264MB of data per hour.
  • Streaming a 720p video uses 870 MB of data per hour.
  • Streaming a 1080p video uses 1.65 GB of data per hour.
  • And streaming a 4K video uses 2.7 GB of data per hour.

This doesn’t look like a lot of data is being consumed and, because you’re an adult and rarely use YouTube, it probably isn’t. But what about your children or grandchildren? We could find some statistics that say “Young people are practically addicted to YouTube,” but we don’t need them. Because the fact is, kids are practically addicted to it.

Having said that, you might want to review their usage. After all, they’re probably plowing through their data on the daily.

How to check how much data your children or grandchildren are using on YouTube

For Android phones:

Go to Settings > Network & Internet > Mobile network. This will indicate how much data the kids are using in total. You can also go to “App Data Usage” to see how much data the YouTube app is using unto itself.

For iPhones:

Go to Settings > Cellular. Once you’re there, you can see how much data YouTube is using on the device. Under “Current Period” be aware that you might be seeing total data usage from several months (enough scare any mother or grandmother!) because that setting doesn’t refresh itself every month. For a clearer picture of how much data your kids or grandkids are using currently, scroll down and tap “Reset Statistics.” Hopefully that number will make you feel better!

If you’re a little stunned by the amount of data your family’s consuming watching sweet kitten videos or videos of cute puppies celebrating their birthdays with all their puppy pals, read on for ways to decrease and limit the amount data they’re using.

1. Embrace the joy of downloading.

If you’re a YouTube Premium customer – and if your family is on YouTube regularly it’s worth the expense to become one – you can download videos and watch them offline. This is one of the most effective ways to reduce your data usage.

2. Lower the quality of the videos you’re streaming

The higher the quality of the video, the more data it consumes. Adjust the quality down a notch and you’ll save significantly on your data usage. Here’s how:

In the video player:

Click “More” and it will give you the opportunity to adjust the quality of the videos you watch.

In your YouTube profile:

Log in and you can adjust the video quality for every video you watch. 

3. Stream only while you’re on Wi-Fi!

We mentioned this earlier and it’s worth repeating. Watching YouTube videos via your home’s (or your local library’s or your favorite coffee spot’s) Wi-Fi connection will really help you stop draining away your data. You can also force the issue by going into your YouTube settings, finding the “Play HD on Wi-Fi only” option, and turning it on.

4. Nix autoplay

If you leave your YouTube account open and unattended, it will continue to play videos until you shut it off. To stop this and save some of your data, turn off autoplay. You can do so right from the screen of any video.

5. Say good-bye to cellular streaming

To really conserve your data, you can disable the cellular streaming option. On an Android phone, swipe down on your phone and click Mobile Data. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to disable the cellular streaming. On an iPhone, go into Settings, select Cellular, and then switch Cellular Data to off.

6. Switch off muted playback

As you scroll through the feed of videos you’ve subscribed to, You Tube shows you snippets of those videos. The videos are muted, but they’re still draining your data. Simply go into your YouTube settings and switch the Muted Playback option to off.

That was a lot of information!

Honestly, I think we could talk about data all day. How much you need. How much you’re using. All the ways to cut back. We’ve covered a lot so let’s close with a couple of frequently asked questions you should be able to answer easily!

How many GB of data do you spend watching a 2-hour movie?

On average, watching a 2-hour movie at standard definition quality costs about 2GB of data.

How many GB of data do you spend watching a 1-hour episode of your favorite show on Netflix, Hulu, etc.?

On average, watching a 1-hour show at standard definition quality costs you about 1GB of data.

How many GB of data do you spend streaming over the course of a month?

On average, if you watched 2 episodes of your favorite show in standard definition quality, it would cost you about 60GB of data per month.

On average, if you streamed two hours of music at medium quality each day, it would cost you about 4.3GB of data per month.

Now that you’re a data genius, switch to PureTalk for data plans that are too!

At PureTalk we’re proud to offer you phone plans starting as low as $20 a month for unlimited talk and text and 2GB of data, and tablet plans starting at just $10 a month with 2GB of data. We’re on the same 5G network – the most reliable network in the country – as the pricey wireless companies and, among families of four who switch to PureTalk? They save $75 a month for an average of $900 a year.

More about PureTalk’s phone plans: They’re all flexible, flexible, flexible. If you need more data one month, you can simply go into your account portal and add more. When next month rolls around, if you need less data, you can go right back into your portal and reduce it. Simply log on to PureTalk.com, click on My Account, and select Manage My Data. Make your changes, save them, and log out. It’s that simple.  

Why choose PureTalk?
When you choose PureTalk, you’re choosing to support a company whose values align with your own. You’re choosing to support a company whose CEO is a U.S. veteran. And you’re also choosing to support American jobs: 100% of our customer service is based right here in the United States.

Even more importantly, PureTalk offers a risk-free, thirty-day money back guarantee. That means you have absolutely nothing to lose. Sign up and give us a try for one month. We know you’ll love us – our coverage, our service, our flexibility! But if you don’t, simply cancel your service within thirty-days and we’ll return your money without any hassles or penalties. Plus, with PureTalk, you can bring your phone and keep your phone number or choose from our terrific selection of the latest iPhones and Androids

More reasons to love PureTalk

PureTalk requires no contracts, no long-distance fees, no roaming fees, no additional handset fees, and no prepaid cards. All PureTalk phone plans include Unlimited Talk & Text with high-speed data with speeds up to 5G. All plans include voicemail, caller ID, call forwarding, conferencing, call waiting, and everything else you would expect from your carrier. There are no gimmicks with PureTalk. It’s just Simply. Smarter. Wireless.

Don’t wait a moment more. Get the right data for your needs now!

 

 

Data not working on your Android phone? Check your APN settings

Just when you’re completely and utterly dependent upon your phone, when you can’t call your kids or grandkids without it or find the closest HomeGoods or PGA Superstore unless Google Maps is ready and waiting, it gives up the ghost. Simply stops working. Just denies you the data you need right then and there.

We’ve all been there and it’s insanely frustrating. But there are ways to fix the situation. In this post we’ll address data issues on your Android, the importance of checking your APN settings when things go awry, and how to get your phone back in business as quickly as possible.

And APN stands for….?

APN stands for Access Point Name and it refers to the carrier or network your cell phone uses to access or connect to the internet. Under regular circumstances, you don’t need to fiddle with it. It comes preconfigured by the manufacturer and works its magic behind the scenes. Sometimes, though, things go wrong (like when Google Maps stops helping you get to HomeGoods!) and your APN needs to be reset. Here’s how you do so.

Reset your Access Point name

These instructions are simple and easy to follow and they should allow you to reset your Access Point Name quickly and easily.

Go to:

 “Settings -> Network & internet -> Mobile network -> Access Point Names.”

If you have an Android 11 or earlier, tap “Advanced” under “Mobile Networks” and you will see “Access Point Names.”

At this point you should see a list of APNs. In the menu icon, on the top right, click “Reset to default.”

This should do the trick. But if it doesn’t, keep reading. We have other tips up our sleeve.

Additional ways to reset your Access Point Name

Sometimes after an Android software update APN settings can go awry. If the above solution hasn’t fixed the issue you’ll need try one of the following methods.

1. Enter your APN address manually.

1.Go to your APN list using the method outline above, then tap the “+” icon in the top-right corner.

2.Enter all the APN details for your network. These should be available on your carrier’s website (AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, etc.).

3.Save the APN details you’ve just entered, then select them from the APN list on your phone.

2. Clear your cache

A good chunk of your phone’s memory is dedicated to what’s called a cache. This is where data for apps and various processes your phone runs is stored for easy, automatic access when called upon.

Sometimes though, errors occur in the cache and wreak havoc on your data connection. When this happens you need to clear the cache and to do that you need to access what’s called the recovery screen.

Accessing the recovery screen can vary a bit from phone to phone, but on a typical standard, stock Android device, you should be able to get there by doing the following:

1.Turn your phone off. Then, when you turn it back on, hold down the power and volume buttons until the little droid shows up on your screen.

2.Using the volume buttons, work your way to what’s called “Recovery Mode.” It’s possible you’ll get a message on your screen that says “No command.” If that happens, try holding different combinations of the volume and power buttons. One method that works – according to Android users we’ve spoken with – is to hold the volume button up and the power button at the same time.

3.Once you’ve reached the recovery screen, select “wipe cache partition” by navigating to it using the volume button, then select “wipe cache partition” by using the power button.

Wiping the cache in this manner should only take a couple of seconds. When it’s done, turn the power off of your phone and then turn it back on.

3. Check your network

If methods one and two haven’t helped yet, it’s possible that your data isn’t working because your phone is set to access a network – 3G or 4G – that’s not providing the best coverage.

Do you have a 4G phone? If so, be sure 4G is selected as your network. And if you don’t have a 4G phone, it’s possible your phone is trying to connect to a 4G network. That won’t work as the phone isn’t capable of it so you need to check your network settings.

That’s easy.

Go to “Settings -> Network & Internet -> Mobile network -> Preferred network type,” then navigate to the network that works best with your phone. If your phone is 4G, set it to 3G/4G Auto. This way it will always seek out and connect to the best possible signal.

4. Return to your device’s default settings

We all love our various apps, but often they – as well as system updates – cause errors that result in our data not working. When this happens, it’s sometimes best to simply restore all your network settings to their default status. Here’s how to do this:

1.Go to “Settings -> Network & Internet -> Network settings reset.”

2.Click “Reset Settings.” You’ll be asked to confirm the selection, so click “Reset Settings” again.

3. Power down your phone, wait a few seconds, and then restart it.

Remember that when your return your device to its default settings, you will have to reenter your Wi-Fi passwords and pair your Bluetooth devices again. It’s a little bit of a hassle but a small price to pay for having your data connection up and running again!

5. Pop out and switch out your SIM card

If you’re still having data issues with your cell phone, try switching out the SIM card. Don’t worry, it’s easy. Simply borrow one from a family member or friend whose service is provided by a carrier different from yours.  Then test it out in this manner:

1.Shut down your phone.

2.Remove it from the case, if it’s in one, and then remove your SIM card. The SIM card will most likely be located on the right or left side of your device. You can pop it out using what’s called a SIM ejector tool or – why give yourself a headache? – a paper clip. Press the clip into the small hole on the SIM tray panel and it will pop open.

3.Next, remove your SIM card and put in the one you borrowed. Close the SIM tray.

4.Now, turn your phone back on.

Now that your data is working, bring your phone to PureTalk and save

At PureTalk we’re proud to offer you plans starting as low as $20 a month for unlimited talk and text and 2GB of data. We’re on the same 5G network – the most reliable network in the country – as the pricey wireless companies and, among families of four who switch to PureTalk? They save $75 a month for an average of $900 a year.

More about PureTalk’s plans: They’re all flexible, flexible, flexible. If you need more data one month, you can simply go into your account portal and add more. When next month rolls around, if you need less data, you can go right back into your portal and reduce it. Simply log on to PureTalk.com, click on My Account, and select Manage My Data. Make your changes, save them, and log out. It’s that simple.

More about that 5G network: As we mentioned, PureTalk is on the same 5G network – the most reliable network in the country – as the pricey wireless companies. The 5G network provides significantly greater speed and is more flexible, reliable, and secure than any network before it. What does this mean to you? It means not having to worry about whether or not you’ll miss your favorite podcast – you won’t, or connect with your college-age child or grandchild before he or she takes off on spring break – you will.

And more about those big savings: Because saving nearly a thousand bucks a year bears repeating! Families of four who switch to PureTalk save $75 a month for an average of $900 a year. That’s a lot of money; money that can certainly go toward better things than your cell phone bill.

Why choose PureTalk?
When you choose PureTalk, you’re choosing to support a company whose values align with your own. You’re choosing to support a company whose CEO is a U.S. veteran. And you’re also choosing to support American jobs: 100% of our customer service is based right here in the United States.

Even more importantly, PureTalk offers a risk-free, thirty-day money back guarantee. That means you have absolutely nothing to lose. Sign up and give us a try for one month. We know you’ll love us – our coverage, our service, our flexibility! But if you don’t, simply cancel your service within thirty-days and we’ll return your money without any hassles or penalties. Plus, with PureTalk, you can bring your (now data connected!) phone and keep your phone number or choose from our terrific selection of the latest iPhones and Androids.

So, you’ve got your phone working again or you just bought one right here. The next step is to pick a plan that meets your needs, suits your lifestyle, and helps you save.

More reasons to love PureTalk

PureTalk requires no contracts, no long-distance fees, no roaming fees, no additional handset fees, and no prepaid cards. All PureTalk phone plans include Unlimited Talk & Text with high-speed data with speeds up to 5G. All plans include voicemail, caller ID, call forwarding, conferencing, call waiting, and everything else you would expect from your carrier.

There are no gimmicks with PureTalk. It’s just Simply. Smarter. Wireless.

What our customers are saying

Customer Service is phenomenal! It's refreshing to talk to someone so quickly when calling about a technical glitch which they handled quickly and with grace. Website is easy to navigate. So so glad we made the switch. Thank you! - Tracy of Fayetteville, AR

For the past 8 years I was using a different "alternative" cell phone service, but with no data plan. Now, for the same price I have 500 mb data and unlimited texts and talk. It is great, $20 and I get so much for my money! Heard about it on the Dave Ramsey Show. – Adrienne, Bowling Green, OH

I am thrilled with my PureTalk phone. For the first time in years, I can use my cell phone in my home. Calls were constantly being dropped when using my cell phone at home with service from other carriers. Consequently, I just did not use my cell phone at home. Now, I can. – Thomas, Olney, TX

Don’t wait a moment more. Get the most out of your phone (and its rejuvenated data connection) today!

What’s the difference between a locked and unlocked phone?

And does “jailbroken” refer to a cell phone that’s been in the slammer?

It’s tough, not to mention confusing, to keep up with all the terms that surround technology today. Terms like “locked,” “unlocked,” and “jailbroken” – what do they even mean and how, for the love of Pete, do they pertain to your smartphone?

Don’t worry. We’ve got you.

An unlocked phone is a phone that’s not associated with a particular wireless carrier. One of the big benefits of this is that you can switch providers anytime you want – like when you find a plan that gives you all the bells and whistles the pricey wireless companies promise at half the price. (But we’ll get to that in a minute.)

On the other hand, a locked phone is a device that’s tied to a carrier like AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon. These carriers “lock” your device to their network to prevent you from using it on another one.

Now what you need to know about a jailbroken phone is that it’s not the same as an unlocked phone and anyone who tries to tell you so is utterly incorrect. Jailbreaking a phone means messing around with its software and possibly installing a different operating system or tweaking the device so that, for example, apps that come loaded onto your phone that typically cannot be deleted, are deleted or hidden. It might sound like if you jailbreak a phone it would result in unlocking it, but it doesn’t. A jailbroken phone is still connected to its particular carrier. Don’t be fooled by someone offering to sell you a jailbroken phone and claiming, “It’s just like an unlocked phone!” It isn’t.

 

Why would a wireless company sell locked phones?

Excellent question. Locked phones are usually sold at a significant discount. You, or any consumer, sees an iPhone at a really low price at an AT&T or Verizon or T-Mobile store, and think “Wow!  What a deal!” Then you buy it – and pat yourself on the back for saving big time – but you also have to sign a lengthy contract which makes up for the price you paid. These carriers lock your phone so you can’t switch networks, get out of your contract, or sell your phone until they’ve recouped their loss. And lots of them lock your phone for two to three years. That’s rather extreme.

How can I tell if my phone locked or unlocked?

If you bought your phone from, say, AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile, and you have a monthly contract with them, your phone is most likely locked to their network. That’s just how they roll. If you bought your phone at Best Buy or at an Apple store or on Amazon, or someplace else entirely, it is most likely unlocked. They key phrase there is “most likely.” You can’t be certain until you check.

How to determine if your phone is locked or unlocked

 

1.

Check your settings: iPhone

One way to tell if your iPhone is unlocked is to go to Settings, then Cellular, then Cellular Data. If the words “Cellular Data Network” appear, it’s most likely – but not definitely – that your phone is unlocked. The pricey wireless providers really make you jump through hoops.

Check your settings: Android

One way to tell if your Android phone is unlocked is to go to Settings, then Connections, then Mobile Networks, then Network Operators. While in Network Operators, click on “search now.” If a variety of wireless carries names pop up, it’s most likely – but not definitely – that your phone is unlocked. Once again, pricey wireless providers will work your last nerve.

2.

Contact your wireless provider

You can call the customer service department for your carrier and ask them to see if your phone is locked. You can also request that they unlock it. If you’d prefer to talk with someone in person, you can always visit one of your carrier’s stores and do the same thing. For those who are more tech confident, it’s worth checking out your provider’s website to see if it offers information on how to unlock your phone. It’s important to note that, once you’ve requested your phone be unlocked, it can take your carrier 48 to 72 hours to do so. After that time has elapsed, call them to confirm that they have indeed unlocked your phone. You don’t want them conveniently – or inconveniently, for you – forgetting to do so.

Customer Service Numbers for:

AT&T: 1-800-331-0500

Verizon: 1-800-922-0204

T-Mobile: 1-877-453-1304

Cricket Wireless: 1-800-274-2538

Mint Mobile: 1-800-683-7392.

Straight Talk: 1-877-430-2355

Boost Mobile: 1-833-502-6678

3.

Try switching SIM cards
Another way to determine if your phone is locked or unlocked is by switching out the SIM card. Don’t worry, it’s easy. Simply borrow one from a family member or friend whose service is provided by a carrier different from yours.  Then test it out in this manner:

Shut down your phone.

Remove it from the case, if it’s in one, and then remove your SIM card.

The SIM card will most likely be located on the right or left side of your device. You can pop it out using what’s called a SIM ejector tool or – why give yourself a headache? – a paper clip. Press the clip into the small hole on the SIM tray panel and it will pop open.

Next, remove your SIM card and put in the one you borrowed. Close the SIM tray.

Now, turn your phone back on.

If you get a message requesting a code to unlock the SIM, your phone is locked to your network provider. If you can use your phone like you always do, make and receive calls, send and receive text messages, your phone is unlocked.

My phone is locked. Now what do I do?

If you’d like to unlock your phone – and why wouldn’t you? It’s your phone and you deserve the freedom to make provider and plan choices for yourself – you need to contact your provider. Again, you can visit your carrier’s store or see if there’s assistance on its website, and of course you can call. If you do, be sure to have your account password and IMEI number handy. You can obtain your IMEI number by dialing #06# on your device’s keypad.

It sounds like unlocking my phone is the way to go. But what are all the benefits to it?

  1. If you want to switch service providers for any reason at any time, it’s a whole lot easier – not to mention a whole lot less expensive – to unlock your phone than to go buy a new one. Think about it. Spend a few minutes getting your current device unlocked or plunk down $600 on a new one? We spending a few minutes is the way to go and we think you’ll agree.
  2. If you would like to sell your device there’s no wondering or hoping that the purchaser’s provider is compatible. When your device is unlocked, anyone can buy it and start using it immediately. No hassles. Now down time. An unlocked phone makes that transaction nice and easy.
  3. When traveling internationally or just making international calls, an unlocked phone allows you to use local SIM cards rather than paying the super high prices many providers charge. If you make a lots of international calls on a regular basis, you can save hundreds of dollars each year.

In short, the greatest benefit to unlocking your phone is the ability to change carriers because… you’re not getting great coverage…. or your sell signal is spotty… or because you discovered a plan with such tremendous savings for yourself and your family that it would be crazy not to switch.

Bring your unlocked phone (and your phone number, if you like) to PureTalk and save

At PureTalk we’re proud to offer you plans starting as low as $20 a month for unlimited talk and text and 2GB of data. We’re on the same 5G network – the most reliable network in the country – as the pricey wireless companies and, among families of four who switch to PureTalk? They save $75 a month for an average of $900 a year.

More about PureTalk’s plans: They’re all flexible, flexible, flexible. If you need more data one month, you can simply go into your account portal and add more. When next month rolls around, if you need less data, you can go right back into your portal and reduce it. Simply log on to PureTalk.com, click on My Account, and select Manage My Data. Make your changes, save them, and log out. It’s that simple.

More about that 5G network: As we mentioned, PureTalk is on the same 5G network – the most reliable network in the country – as the pricey wireless companies. The 5G network provides significantly greater speed and is more flexible, reliable, and secure than any network before it. What does this mean to you? It means not having to worry about whether or not you’ll miss your favorite podcast – you won’t, or connect with your college-age child or grandchild before he or she takes off on spring break – you will.

And more about those big savings: Because saving nearly a thousand bucks a year bears repeating! Families of four who switch to PureTalk save $75 a month for an average of $900 a year. That’s a lot of money; money that can certainly go toward better things than your cell phone bill.

Why choose PureTalk?
When you choose PureTalk, you’re choosing to support a company whose values align with your own. You’re choosing to support a company whose CEO is a U.S. veteran. And you’re also choosing to support American jobs: 100% of our customer service is based right here in the United States.

Even more importantly, PureTalk offers a risk-free, thirty-day money back guarantee. That means you have nothing to lose. Sign up and give us a try for one month. We know you’ll love us. But if you don’t, simply cancel your service within thirty-days and we’ll return your money without any penalties. Plus, with PureTalk, you can bring your (unlocked!) phone and keep your phone number or choose from our terrific selection of the latest iPhones and Androids.

So, you’ve got your phone unlocked or you just bought one right here. The next step is to pick a plan that meets your needs, suits your lifestyle, and helps you save.

Don’t wait a moment more. Get the most out of your unlocked phone today!

5G. 4G. 3G. What’s the difference and why should I care?

It’s everywhere: the announcements of the 3G shutdown, talk of 4G, and the new, improved – will someone please explain to me what it is! – 5G. Ads on television and radio. Ads in magazines. On enormous billboards. Ads everywhere and none of them explaining:

what 5G is

why poor 3G has to be shutdown

and where 4G fits in

It’s enough to make you want to crawl under a rock and not come out until someone sounds the all clear.

Well, consider the “all clear!” sounded. Right here, right now, we’re going to take the mystery out of all this G business. And believe it or not, it’s simple.

For starters, we’re going to break down 4G and 5G. We’ll circle back to poor, beleaguered, 3G later. Because by then its situation will be crystal clear.

Let’s address the G business first

G stands for generation of mobile communication. 5G is the fifth generation, 4G was the fourth generation, and 3G was the third generation. (I know, I said we’d address 3G later, but this tidbit you need to know now.) Each new generation is an improvement in mobile communication speed and other factors over the last. Having said that it should come as no surprise that….

5G is faster than 4G

Of course it is. But 5G has a lot more going for it than just that. Among other pluses, 5G also offers better bandwidth than 4G. Bandwidth is the amount of data, say, photos of your children or grandchildren, that can be transmitted over a network connection. And coupled with superior latency, which is the speed with which your photos of your children or grandchildren can be uploaded to Facebook or texted to friends, 5G trumps 4G every time. In fact, 5G will at some point be one hundred times faster than 4G.

Poor 4G. Can’t you just feel it going the way of the Dodo like sweet 3G?

Even though 4G can transmit those sweet smiling faces you adore in just 50 milliseconds, 5G – at some point soon – will be able to do so in 1 millisecond. 1 millisecond! It takes longer to blink your eyes!

5G also offers stronger connectivity, better coverage, and more reliability. That means your calls go through no matter where you’re calling from, or where you’re calling to. And that’s not all.

5G is also capable of handling hundreds of thousands of people being on their cell phones at the exact same time with far fewer disruptions in service. In geek speak, this is known as network density, and 5G’s is huge in comparison to 4G. To put it in layman’s terms – with 4G, if you’re at a pro sports game and try to send photos or texts, your smartphone probably runs more slowly than usual due to the number of other people doing the same thing at the same time in the same place with their smartphones.

With 5G you can forget those slow speeds, dropped calls and lousy connections. You’ll never again be able to tell your boss or your mother in law “You’re breaking up! I’ll call you as soon as I get reception!”

Hmm. Maybe we need to rethink this 5G business.

5G though is a huge deal for wireless companies and, more importantly, people who count on their smartphones to stay connected with their kids and grandkids, and who want to be able to call for help when their car breaks down in the middle of the night, on a dark road, in some little town they find themselves lost in.

Sorry. One of us has been watching far too much Virgin River. But you get my point.

5G is the pinnacle. Which is why 3G has to go bye-bye to make room for this incredible new technology.

But more about 3G… in a minute.

Right now, let’s delve deeper into the differences between 5G and 4G. You know you want to geek out and get into the nitty gritty.

The nitty gritty

So 5G is stronger, faster, so reliable it leaps tall buildings in a single bound (actually it does better than that: it can blow right through walls and buildings) and is the Superman of mobile communication.

But how does it actually work?

All mobile communication works by sending information over the air. 5G does as well,  but at much higher, much cleaner frequencies. This means those photos of your kids, grandkids, new car, new haircut, new house, are transmitted faster than ever before.

5G’s with the band. Actually, 3 bands

Remember how we mentioned that bandwidth is the amount of data, say, photos of your children or grandchildren, that can be transmitted over a network connection? 5G actually has three bands – a high band, a low band, and a mid-band. That’s another one of the reasons it’s better than 4G. As you can probably guess, the different bands operate at different speeds. The high band operates fastest, the low band operates slowest (relatively speaking; it’s still incredibly fast), and the mid-band operates at a speed between those two. Now here’s what’s cool about that. At some point, each band could be dedicated to a different user group. One for consumers, one for businesses, and the third for…. a variety of industries, or security measures, or… who knows? There are so many options and opportunities for 5G to improve our lives.

And, along those lines...

5G can be sliced and diced for further flexibility

Along with the three different bands, 5G networks can be used as separate networks. This is called network slicing. (Now we’re really geeking out!) The result of this capability is that each separate network can be used for a different purpose and a different form of mobile communication. 4G could never provide this kind of flexibility and the opportunities for new mobile communication improvements and advancements that come with it.

So, 5G will replace 4G, right?

At some point, yes. But not in the near future. As we mentioned, 4G is more available, and 5G is pretty much still in the starting block. For the time being, both networks will be utilized which is fine as most phones are 4G and 5G compatible.

How can I be sure my phone is 4G or 5G compatible?

You can check the box or manual, which should be accurate, but for safety’s sake, I’d go online and ask Google. I did, and was promptly informed that my iPhone 11 Pro Max is, sadly, not 5G compatible.

So I guess I need a 5G phone to get 5G, right? 

Exactly. You also need to be in an area where 5G is available. If you’re with PureTalk, you’re in luck as we operate America’s most reliable 5G network. Visit our coverage map and type in your zip code, hit enter, and in seconds you can see if your home is in a 5G area.

As we’ve already mentioned, the 5G network provides the best cell coverage at significantly greater speed and is more flexible, reliable, and secure than any network before it. This means not having to worry about whether or not you’ll miss your favorite podcast – you won’t, or connect with your college-age child or grandchild before he or she takes off on spring break – you will.

Now what if, like me, you need a 5G phone? PureTalk has you covered there, too. The iPhone SE 3rd Gen, iPhone 12, to name just a few, and many new Android devices, like the Samsung Galaxy 21 FE 5G, all support 5G and are available right here.

5G coverage. 5G phones. And plans that start at just $20 a month. That’s right. Switching to PureTalk saves the average family of four $75 a month. That’s $900 a year.

In addition, PureTalk offers a risk-free, thirty-day money back guarantee. That means you have absolutely nothing to lose. Sign up and give us a try for one month. We know you’ll love us. But if you don’t, simply cancel your service within thirty-days and we’ll return your money without any penalties.

But… back to 5G. Or more accurately, the fate of 3G. Because I promised I’d cover that and I keep my promises.

So what happened to poor, beleaguered 3G?

In general, 3G networks simply became outdated. And specifically, they became too slow. Really slow. As that happened, they began draining cell phone batteries faster and faster. The 3G network simply couldn’t keep up with the hundreds of thousands of cell phone users sending data over it. It wasn’t powerful enough, although it was a heck of a lot faster than 2G (as in second generation mobile communication because geeking out about this stuff is what it’s all about). Each generation of this technology gets bigger, better, faster, and more reliable. 3G, like 2G before it, got put out to pasture to make room first for 4G networks and now 5G networks.

Hold on, let me clarify that: 3G is getting put out to pasture. And it should be there by end the end of this year.

Wait. I thought 3G was already shutdown.

Not completely. Some 3G networks were shut down early this year, some are shutting down now, over the summer, and others will shut down by the end of 2022.

Once the 3G shutdown is complete, you’ll be unable to call for emergency assistance or call and text those children and grandchildren you love so much. I don’t know about you, but the latter part of that sentence is the one that worries me most! 

Of course the PureTalk 3G shutdown has already happened, so making the switch to PureTalk now guarantees you won’t be affected by it.

We’re sure you love your 3G phone, but it’s time to say “Thanks for the memories” and stroll confidently into the future. And we’ve got some terrific phone plans and phones that can help you do just that.

Hold on a sec. Are they going to get rid of 4G too?

The short answer is no. The long answer is also no. 4G has at least ten to fifteen good years ahead of it. All you need to be attuned to right now is the 3G shutdown and the fact that if your current phone is 3G and your wireless company is on a 3G network, you need to get that situation “sorted,” as our British friends like to say.

Why has the cell phone become today’s back-to-school essential?

There are dozens of reasons parents – even grandparents – need to be able to connect to kids during the school day.

For starters there’s the matter of “forgotten items.” You know, they call and beg you to drop what you’re doing to deliver … the homework they need now, the sports gear they’ll need later, the musical instruments the band instructor inspects daily, the egg they’re supposed to watch and care for like it’s a baby…

For forgotten items, they need a cell phone.

Then there’s the “I don’t feel well,” “My braces broke,” “They made us run in gym and now I think I have heat stroke” stuff.

And of course there’s the “I forgot to tell you I’m going to a friend’s house after school,”  “I need to stay for rehearsal so my friend Cody will drive me home later,” and the inevitable “What’s for dinner? If it’s meatloaf, can I order pizza?” communications.

For all of these announcements and requests – and many others – kids need to have a cell phone.

But that doesn’t mean you need to break the bank to get them one.  

Get unlimited talk, text, and 2GB of data for $20 a month

Pure Talk is proud to offer you – and your student – plans starting as low as $20 a month for unlimited talk and text and 2GB of data. And even though our plans are budget-friendly, our service is priceless. PureTalk is on the same 5G network – the most reliable network in the country – as Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. The 5G network provides the best cell coverage at significantly greater speed and is more flexible, reliable, and secure than any network before it. What does this mean to you? It means not having to worry about whether or not you’ll miss your favorite podcast – you won’t, or connect with your college student before he or she takes off on spring break – you will.

And speaking of kids, families of four who switch to PureTalk save $75 a month for an average of $900 a year. That’s a lot of money; money that can certainly go toward ordering pizza for your non-meatloaf loving student, fixing those braces, or paying for that spring break trip.

Just as importantly, PureTalk offers a risk-free, thirty-day money back guarantee. That means you have absolutely nothing to lose. Sign up and give us a try for one month. We know you and your student will love us. But if you don’t, simply cancel your service within thirty-days and we’ll return your money without any penalties. Plus, with PureTalk, you can bring your phone and keep your phone number or choose from our terrific selection of the latest iPhones and Androids.

Select the PureTalk plan that’s perfect for you and your student and start saving – and staying in touch – today.

Things to know once your student has a cell phone.

Once your student has a cell phone it’s practically guaranteed that he or she will be glued to it, or at least attempt to be glued to it. It’s kind of understandable, particularly if they’ve waited a long time to get one. But being glued to anything – a smartphone, tablet, television, gaming system, etc. – is never a good thing. So it’s up to you to set boundaries and direct your student’s digital consumption. Of course it goes without saying that they’ll roll their eyes and give you an attitude but remember: your house, your rules. And besides it’s for their own good.

Following are a few ideas for managing your student’s screen time.

Limit the amount of time your student can be on his or her cell phone. All kids – young ones, tweens, and teens – need boundaries and it’s up to parents to set them. Maybe allow them 15 minutes before they leave for school in the morning, half an hour before homework time after school, and an hour after their homework is completed in the evening to be on their phone. Limiting screen time is of increasing importance as studies have shown that mental health issues like depression, self-harm and suicide among US adolescents and young adults began to rise in the 2010s, not long after social-media platforms and smartphones were introduced. 

Get into their business. Know who your kids’ friends are, both online and off. Know their parents, if possible. And definitely know what social media platforms they’re on, what sites they go to online, and exactly what they’re doing on those sites. It’s also an excellent idea to be friends with your child on whatever social media platforms they are on: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok. This way you can keep an eye on the user names of people who follow your child and also see if any of your child’s videos are being saved far too many times. Disturbing user names and videos that have been saved thousands of times are enormous red flags that require immediate parental involvement. Your student might not like being “friends” with you online, and you might hear, “You don’t trust me!” but stay strong and vigilant. There are, sadly, lots of parents out there who wished they had known who their kids were interacting with and what sites they were on.

Set the example. Consider ditching social media or limiting your own use to no more than 30 minutes a day. Your student may not follow your lead immediately, but give it time and spend the time you would have been on your phone doing things with them and others in your community. Real life friendships offer deeper levels of well-being than any friendship struck up online and spending more time with your kids is always the best investment.

Make certain areas and activities tech-free. No cell phones or tablets at the family dinner (breakfast and lunch, too) table and in restaurants. Same goes for family gatherings and social gatherings including things like church services. Keep televisions out of your student’s bedroom and resist the urge to have the television on as “background noise.” Create a cell phone station in the kitchen or other easily accessible common area where phones and other electronic devices can be charged overnight. The last thing you want is the light from a smart phone or tablet keeping your student awake or tempting her to chat into the wee morning hours with friends. If you don’t already have these “regulations” in place, it will take your kids time to get used to them but – hang in there. Studies show that the results of making these changes are more frequent and better family time, better sleep, better eating habits, and better academic performance.

Talk to your child about the realities of online privacy. Unfortunately, most teens – and even many adults – think that using a social media platform’s privacy settings means their words, photos, and videos are private. Far from it. Anything and everything your child posts instantly becomes part of his or her digital footprint – and anyone can access it. Colleges, future employers, clubs or associations they might one day like to join can and do find it all. And that includes photos sent while sexting. Your child might not post those images to a website or platform, but the mere act of sending them to someone means that photo is forever “out there,” unable to be deleted or removed and thus able to be found. Encourage your kids to think before they post or sext and to come to you if they make a mistake. Let them know that, while you don’t condone that kind of behavior, you will be there to help if necessary.

Talk to your child about online predators and sex offenders. These bottom feeders are everywhere. Social media platforms. Chat rooms. Gaming sites. Websites designed to look like gaming sites or online stores, etc. They prey on kids who appear, by virtue of their posts, to be vulnerable. Depressed, lonely, feeling alienated, bullied, abused in some way – kids opening themselves up about these and other emotions are the siren call to sex offenders and sex traffickers. The best thing your child can do is not post these feelings anywhere online. Instead, encourage them to come to you to talk or, if they’re too embarrassed, to seek the counsel of a trusted adult. A teacher, coach, grandparent, the mom or dad of their best friend. Kids this vulnerable need real help and posting on social media can only get them hurt or lead them to hurt themselves.

Screen time best practices for young children or grandchildren

Communicate face to face. Remember that little ones learn best by communicating face to face. Talking back and forth in a face to face conversation is critical for language development and learning to read social cues. They can’t get those skills from gaming or watching a show or movie. Two way communication is the key to strong language skills. And while in person is best, chatting with parents, grandparents, older siblings or far flung family members via FaceTime or Zoom works too and goes a long way toward helping kids become good communicators and students.

The importance of play. On the weekends, during school breaks, and over summer vacation, set limits as to how much time your child can be on the phone. Otherwise, frankly, they’ll be hunched over scrolling away for hours at a clip.  We know a woman who gives her kids an hour of screen time in the morning, another hour after lunch, and two hours in the evening to be on their phones or gaming systems whenever there’s no school. Other than those times, they need to be involved in unstructured playtime. That can be running around outside, reading, writing, pursuing a hobby, practicing a musical instrument, daydreaming, etc. All of these activities – including daydreaming – stimulate creativity. If you have very young children or grandchildren, daily playtime needs to be a priority.

Get in on their act. Play video games with your children or grandchildren. Watch a show or movie with them. Doing these things promotes social interaction and bonding. It also gives you a chance to share your own life experiences and encourage good sportsmanship. So get down on the floor, grab a controller, and let the games begin. Your kids will think you’re the coolest. And that kind of connection improves trust and honest communication. Something you’ll value greatly when they enter high school.

 

Want more to spend on what really matters?

Reduce these expenses

Everything – from groceries to gas to rent – is becoming more expensive. Just look at the cost of bread. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in June of this year, the cost of white bread jumped 10.1% compared to June 2021. And the price of wheat bread and other “fancier” favorites spiked an even higher 11.6%. In terms of dollars that means that, right this instant, the cost of white bread per pound is $1.69. It’s insane. And it’s not going to get better anytime soon.

So, what can you do? You can reduce what you’re spending in other areas. It takes a little work, but it’s worth it. Here are several ideas – from packing your lunch to auditing your expenses to switching to a budget friendly cell phone plan – to get you started.

Pack your lunch

It’s easy to give in to the convenience of fast food. But going out to get lunch every day, at $10 or so a pop, is $50 you could’ve saved. And you could’ve eaten healthier, too. We know of one woman in the U.K. who has come up with time-saving way to make lunch sandwiches for her kids and herself. She pre-makes all the sandwiches in one sitting and freezes them, pulling them out on the morning she needs them. Her trick to preventing sogginess: she doesn’t use butter and she squeezes all the air out of the sandwich bag. One of the tricks to this is getting into the habit of shopping for lunch foods and preparing tomorrow’s meal before you go to bed. And until this habit gets really ingrained, leave yourself a note for the morning or you might just leave your lunch in the refrigerator!

Cancel those sneaky subscriptions

Cable television. Magazines. Gym memberships. Weight loss and meditation apps. These and others like them are subscriptions so many of us forget about, but still get charged for. Set aside time to review your credit card statements and checking account statements and you might be amazed at the number of items you thought you cancelled but are still paying for. Don’t have time to do it yourself? That’s ok. Try Truebill. The site searches forgotten subscriptions on your behalf quickly and easily. But just be aware that for every dollar you save by using the service, Truebill takes 40% as what it calls a “savings fee.” So if they save you $500 annually on a particular bill, they’ll charge you $200.

Do a home energy audit

Did you know that your coffee maker, toaster, phone charger and other devices suck up energy even when you’re not using them? They do – and they can account for as much as 20% of your monthly electric bill. In fact, according to the Alliance to Save Energy, the average U.S. household spends $5,550 a year on energy. Take a walk around your home and unplug the items mentioned here and others you’re bound to discover. You can also make your home more energy efficient by replacing air filters every three to six months, and making sure your windows, vents, and even the space around electrical outlets are properly insulated. This prevents your A/C in the summer and heat in the winter from being wasted. To see how you’re doing, ask your utility company to provide you a year over year expenditures statement so you can see if any of your bills are trending upward. If that’s the case, take steps immediately to stop it.

Lower your auto insurance payment

You compare the prices of electronics and pet food and clothes before you buy them, so why not compare auto insurance quotes? You can do it two ways. One, you can call around for quotes. It sounds old fashioned but we know one woman who made a few phone calls and replaced her $300 a month auto insurance plan with one for $55. In less than 20-minutes, she saved $2,940 a year. The other way is to go out to Experian.com or TheZebra.com. Both provide multiple auto insurance quotes in minutes. You can see all the best rates side-by-side, request information on the one that best meets your needs, and quite possibly save yourself more than $900 this year.

Delete delivery apps

It’s so tempting to have ready to eat meals delivered right to your door. And while they might make your stomach happy, your wallet won’t feel the same. If you’ve got apps like UberEats, DoorDash, and GrubHub on your phone, delete them. You can still treat yourself to occasional takeout meals that you pick up yourself, or an evening or two out at a restaurant, but those apps are notorious for charging exorbitant fees on orders. On top of that, you also have to pay the delivery fee and tip the driver.

Ask for a lower interest rate

Are you paying a high interest rate on your credit card or cards? Contact your credit card company or companies and ask them to lower it. They won’t offer to do it, but if you have a history of making your payments on time and for at least the minimum payment required, pick up the phone and call. It’s really quite possible they’ll agree to lower your current interest rate. Remember: if you don’t ask, the answer is always no. So ask.

Audit your expenses for 30-days

To really get a handle on your cash flow, you need to take a close look at what exactly you’re spending money on. From fixed expenses like car payments to variable expenses like groceries and entertainment, take the time to log them every day for one month. You can do this with an Excel spreadsheet, a Google sheet, even a notepad and pen. Of course you can also use your banking app or one like YNAB (You Need a Budget), which is terrific for IOS users, and 1Money, which is growing in popularity among Android users. At the end of the 30-days, you’ll see what you’re spending money on, how much, and where you could cut back. We know one woman who suspected she had an office supply “addiction,” so to speak. After her 30-day audit she realized she’d spent $212 on Sharpie pens, pretty folders, and notebooks she absolutely did not need. We’re pleased to report that it took her a whole minute to recover. 

Switch cell phone carriers

If you’re using one of the pricy wireless providers – Verizon, AT&T, or T-Mobile – you could save yourself a bundle by switching to PureTalk.

Pure Talk is proud to offer you plans starting as low as $20 a month for unlimited talk and text and 2GB of data. Even better, all our phone plans are flexible. If you need more data one month, you can simply go into your account portal and add more. When next month rolls around, if you need less data, you can go right back into your portal and reduce it. Simply log onto PureTalk.com, click on My Account, and select Manage My Data. Make your changes, save them, and log out. It’s that simple.

Just as importantly, PureTalk is on the same 5G network – the most reliable network in the country – as the pricey wireless companies. The 5G network provides the best cell coverage at significantly greater speed and is more flexible, reliable, and secure than any network before it. What does this mean to you? It means not having to worry about whether or not you’ll miss your favorite podcast – you won’t, or connect with your college student before he or she takes off on spring break – you will.

And speaking of kids, families of four who switch to PureTalk save $75 a month for an average of $900 a year. That’s a lot of money; money that can certainly go toward better things than your cell phone bill.

Why choose PureTalk?
When you choose PureTalk, you’re choosing to support a company whose values align with your own. You’re choosing to support a company whose CEO is a U.S. veteran. And you’re also choosing to support American jobs: 100% of our customer service is based right here in the United States of America.

Even more importantly, PureTalk offers a risk-free, thirty-day money back guarantee. That means you have absolutely nothing to lose. Sign up and give us a try for one month. We know you’ll love us. But if you don’t, simply cancel your service within thirty-days and we’ll return your money without any penalties. With PureTalk, you can even bring your phone and keep your phone number, if you like.

Select the PureTalk plan that’s perfect for your lifestyle and start saving today. We can’t bring down the cost of bread – or gas or clothes or pet food – but we’re happy to leave more in your pocket to put toward them.