I was alerted to an online service a few days ago, BillShrink, and decided to check it out. The site advertises itself as an objective way to look at your bank accounts, credit cards, phone bill, and gas prices, to see where you can cut your spending and increase your savings. Sounds great, no?
Well, I decided to see what the site would say about my phone plan, and after entering some basic information about my current usage and my phone plan, it gave me a list of results, showing me which plans would save me money, and which would not. They showed that the 2,100 minute AT&T plan would cost me a lot of extra money, as would the 3,000 minute and unlimited plans. Not very surprising considering that I have a 1,400 minute plan.
However, it did surprise me that it showed that my same 1,400 plan would cost me an additional $5,200 over the next two years. Taking into account the fact that I get a discount through my employer, and that’s more like $4,000. Woah! Of course, I get some free text messages, which is not standard, but it was shocking to see how off they were. That’s a little disappointing and it shows me that this site needs to make some improvements before being considered reliable.
The Savings/CD portion of the account is a little more useful, but as with all bank accounts, future interest rates are hard to predict, so while it says I can earn an extra $80 in one year by changing to an account with a higher interest rate and investing $200 a month, only time will tell whether my ING account can be beat in the next year.
As for the Credit Card section, it shows that my Bank of America Visa Signature is in fact the best card for me and that no other cards would save me money.
Since they are able to recommend specific plans for various carriers, they should implement a way to simply select the plan you are on. By comparing your plan as opposed to your estimated text message and minute usage, comparing plans would be easier and the entire process would be faster.
It seems like this site is great in theory, and for some people it may save them money. For beginners, it sounds like a good tool to get started by cutting costs, but for those who have already started to tighten up their finances have probably already cut costs of their wireless service and open a savings account with a higher interest rate.