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November 13, 2007

Living on a Budget- Pay As You Go

Hello Readers,

Teachers tend to have the knack for chatting. The problem is that in today's world, chatting often is done on a cell phone which can lead to astronomical bills at the end of the month. As cell phone charges vary from country to country, it's a good idea to make sure that you are aware of what you are being charged for, e.g., Do you pay for receiving texts as well as sending them? Are you charged extra for answering an international call?

In addition to learning about how you will be billed for your cell phone use, there are some other things that you can do to keep the cost of your phone bills down. These include ...

... the following:

* buying pay as you go cards so that you can control the amount you spend
* give yourself a monthly budget for phone bills
* consider disconnecting your home phone if you don't use it (make sure this is OK with your landlord/lady)
* don't get hung up on having to have the newest phone- why replace it if it's not broken?
* consider the benefits of face-to-face chats
* if your parents get a cheaper rate then you, ask your parents to call you back when you want to chat :)
* use SKYPE for long chats (it's free for computer-to- computer calls and just pennies per minute for international calls)

What else do you do to keep your phone costs down?

Hope that helps!

Carol Rueckert
Writer, ESL Lesson Plan
E-mail: crueckert@eslemployment.com
Blog: www.esl-lesson-plan.com

"I hear, and I forget. I see, and I remember. I do, and I understand." - Chinese Proverb

Looking for more articles about living on a budget as an ESL teacher? Click HERE!

About the author of this entry:
Carol, a native English-speaker hailing from the small town of St. Joseph in Minnesota, USA, worked in China for more than 7 years. During that time, she worked at universities, private language schools, grade schools, international schools, and did private tutoring as well. Besides teaching, she also worked as a Head teacher, an Education Manager, and a Material Development Manager. In addition to working on this newsletter, she also writes a monthly column for Time Out Beijing, authors ESL textbooks for publishing houses in China, and is an Editor for Garnet Publishing in Reading, England. Carol holds a BA in Communications from the College of St. Benedict/ St. John's University, and a CELTA, and has just finished her MA TESOL course at Oxford Brookes University. Look for her posts on the ESL-Jobs-Forum discussion boards!

Posted by crueckert at November 13, 2007 07:52 AM

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Since ESL is usually modestly paid, phone costs are a serious issue and when you are earning a "local" wage your home country mobile phone suppliers charges can seem a lot less reasonable (if they ever did). I find it helpful to buy a local SIM card so that I am only paying in-country rates for local calls. PAYG (pay as you go) is easier to organise than a contract if you haven't been there long and is easier to budget with. Even when your budget has run out you can answer calls. Make sure before you go that your phone is "unlocked" or buy an older model that is.

Posted by: Jonathan Maytham at December 1, 2007 04:57 AM

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