Aug 24 2012

Affordable Gadgets

Affordable gadgets for back to school. USA TODAY

Between tuition costs, books and more, higher education can really wallop a wallet. Even high-school students living at home can feel the pinch — or rather, their parents can.

And then there's technology to consider, whether mandatory machines — such as an Internet-connected computer — or optional but highly convenient gadgets used to remain productive, in touch or entertained.

The good news is that there are relatively inexpensive gadgets and gear that won't break the bank. They might not be "best in class" products, mind you, but "best bang for your buck" tech tools.

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Aug 24 2012

Best Time to Trade in Your iPhone

Best Time to Trade in Your iPhone is…Now. YAHOO! Finance

If you're looking to trade in your "old" iPhone for cash, there's no better time than right now.

Rumors are rampant that Apple (AAPL) will announce the iPhone 5 on September 12, with a release date soon after that. But if you want to offset the cost of your new phone by scoring the highest value possible for your old one, trade-in experts say you'll need to lock in your trade now -- before everyone else gets the same idea.

"We always get a rush of people who wait to get a quote until they have the new [iPhone] in their hands," said Jeff Trachsel, the chief marketing officer for trade-in service NextWorth. "But as the volume increases, the value of your phone declines."

Trading in now will help you avoid that rush and score more cash. Most trade-in services simply ask for you details about your device, like its storage size and condition, and offer up a price that's guaranteed for 3 weeks to a month. In turn, the companies typically refurbish and resell the devices.

Smart traders play arbitrage: Lock in a price now, then wait until you have the new phone in hand to actually send in your old model.

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Aug 24 2012

Avoid Expensive Cell-Phone Charges

How to avoid expensive and unnecessary cell-phone charges. YAHOO! NEWS

While many of us are now willing to pay upwards of $100 per month to connect our smartphones and tablets to cellular networks, there is still the potential for "bill shock" if we don’t read the fine print. 

From the man who was charged more than $62,000 for downloading "Wall-E" while traveling to Mexico to the two buddies in Philadelphia who were hit up for $26,300 after attempting to set a world record for text-messaging, there are many cellular horror stories that will motivate us to abide by even the most arcane rules and regulations. There are also more hidden and less outrageous charges found in practices like text-message “cramming” and in-app purchases that can add to your monthly bill. 

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