Monday, January 26, 2009

The mini-rate

Hello there folks.
It's been busy these weeks with a foreign consultant finally getting our upgrades installed after a 2-year delay. So i'm having to go to my day job from 9am to 9pm , leaving little room to work my morning job. Yeah it sucks. Just when I'm getting up to speed something always happens. Oh well, I'll just work more nights.
Today I wanted to share with you something. I talked a little bit about it before. It's the mini-rate that Tigo offers to plan-based customers. Basically by paying $5 a month you can call up to 5 Tigo cellphone numbers and the rate for those numbers is only two cents per minute any time all the time.
So I went to Tigo's website and pulled the last three months call detail records for my cell and my wife's. It's nice that one can download an excel spreadsheet for each month. So after sorting by number and grouping by number and doing some formula magic I was able to calculate the top 5 numbers she and I call the most each month. Actually I only had 3 but she had 6. So I registered my 3 numbers and added my boss's number just in case. I registered my wife's top five numbers hoping she doesn't start calling new ones now.
I'm expecting at least a reduction in $20 in my bill and $30 in her's. Today monday is the first day of the billing cycle so I won't be able to measure the full effect of the mini-rate until feb 25. But I saw the latest call detail records and they do show a 2c/min rate for the numbers I registered for me and her.
Don't think I haven't ask her to call less, and she agrees but then she turns around and for some reason every call she makes on the phone is a life-or-death call that had to be made. I've heard that story so much before that I just don't care.
What I did not do was to tell her that I got lower rates for those numbers. If I tell her i'm sure she will make up for it by calling them more! So I just did it quietly. Unfortunately everytime the bill is paid a message is sent to the phone stating how much was paid so when the next billing cycle comes she will know her bill was lower than this one. At least she won't know why and I don't plan on telling her.
Had a few unplanned expenses this quincena, like a new tire for her car and vitamins and de-parasiting meds for my daughters (which I eventually will get rembursed on by our medical insurance, but still).
I'm up to date on my bills but not making much headway in paying one in full. I saw an ad for Corporacion Financiera about getting a loan by putting my car as a colateral. I will take a look at that today or tomorrow. Hopefully they will be able to help me.
The mini-rate for this blog is "free".


Jeremy said...

Don't do it. Don't get the loan. Stick with the debts you have and don't shift them around. Even if it would be a little less interest. Plus is something horrible were to happen and you got behind, they can take your car.

Trust me, you don't need that kind of pressure.

Good job though with the cell phone. Try and put the saved cash into a bill and you will really be ahead.

La Gringa said...

I don't think that is the answer either. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. In this case it could be very dangerous in that you could lose your means of transportation to work.

Sell your wife's car. It seems that she is not going to go to work so she doesn't need one. What is it going to take to get her with the program?

The only other large expense that I remember you mentioning is the girls' private school. I know that you don't want to cut that out, but maybe you need to consider doing that, at least for the next school year. Maybe if you talk to your wife about that, she'll get motivated to bring some income into the family.

You haven't mentioned what payments you are making, but you know that if you are only making the minimum payments, you'll never get out of this hole. You are already working two jobs, there isn't much more that you can do personally. It's time that your wife make an effort.