Connected Disconnection


In 2010 I bought my first touch screen phone with unlimited internet.  It was facinating and enjoyed the new Wonderfull device.

Years later I down graded my phone to a basic old man’s flip phone. Why did I do this. Let me explain the factors that guide me to this unusual shift.

  1. It distracted me from the important life moments. For example I constantly looked at the phone instead of looking at my beautiful kids wonderful expressions, I did not pay full attention while my wife was talking.
  2. It constantly drag my mind from one thing to another. I jumped from one app to another one site to another one mailbox to the next mailbox.   It was holding my mind from relaxing completely.
  3. Constantly looking at the screen gave me a eye strain and mental exhaustion.  I felt drained and tired after using it for pretty long time.
  4. Communication between family members, kids, friends and strangers diminished drastically.  We tend to look at our updated phone screen instead of looking at the human being next to us. When I wait for my kids to finish swimming practice, I count the parents who is not engaged with phone. hardly any one spent time communicating to the person next to you ….I think this is a dangerous trend.
  5. Looks like the phone apps and the internet are influencing and controlling what we do and think. It is alarming that human mind is ruled by these technologies.
  6. A portal for promoting companies to push add space into your brain and make you spent your hard earned money.
  7. Saving money.  I had two smart phones and paid around 125/month. Dropped one after the contract and bought a prepaid   T-mobile flip phone. Now I pay $75/month.  Wondering how I spent only 130 for 3 years for my flip phone …. Read my next post about T-Mobile prepaid connection.
  8. It killed my sleep many days. Using phone while in bed delayed my sleeping time. There are many studies shows that the glare from the the touch screens dose’t promote good sleep.


Save money without spending money [frugal way]… For home owners.

  1. Use minimal AC and heating.   The extent that you can tolerate heat and cold  makes your wallet fat or slim.
  2. Use sweaters or light jackets during winter and
  3. open windows and doors during summer months old landlord used to turn of heat around 23:00 and turned it back on at 06:00. We slept under thick comforter and did not make my sleep miserable, it was a bit uncomfortable in the morning for an hour, while the house was warming up.
  4. Use minimal clothing during summer time increase your heat tolerance.
  5. A good ceiling fan or floor fan also helps you to tolerate higher room temperature.
  6. Grilling out side prevents heat build up in the house.
  7. Cooking in the morning or at night may be an option while temperature is cooler.
  8. Turn of the heat producing lights and electronics.
  9. Take a quick shower preferably in cooler water.
  10. Keep the thermostat at the max while you are going outside.
  11. If you can stay outside during the day [ you may go to the park and spend time under a tree or go for shopping [ don’t waste your savings in the shop]. You may also go for bike riding, walking or visit friends.
  12. Plant trees on the south east side of the house.
  13. Close the blinds to stop sunlight entering the house.
  14. Sleep naked during summer time. Turn off the heat and sleep with your jacket during winer.
  15. These tips make sense and used to be the way many years ago.
  16. Drinking  tea can cool body.
  17. Set water heater temp to the lowest setting that you can tolerate.

How to max out your Retirement account

In 2016  you can contribute up to 18000 through employe offered retirement account.

There are some points to note while you are maxing out.

Is your employer offering a match for your contribution?

In this case you should not max out earlier than last pay cheque to get the max benefit of employe matching.

If you reach 18000 in may.  then you can’t contribute anymore for the year and there by your employer can not match.   Employer can only match only certain percentage of your contribution.  If you contribute 0% employer match 0%.

How do you make sure that you don’t miss any part of employer contribution.

Case 1   :   You are not maxing out…. In this case if the employer match 5% you should match at least 5% . Contributing 5% usually don’t make you reach 18000 limit.   If you want to make contributions just enough to get the benefit of employer match then using percentage is ok.


Case 2 .     You want to max out your contribution and don’t want to miss employer match.

In this case you should opt to contribute by dollar amount per pay cheque.

If you get paid every 2 weeks then  18000/26   =692/ pay cheque.  [26 Pay period in a year]

If you get paid monthly then 18000/12= 1500/pay cheque.

This is how you max out your retirement contribution and make use of 100% employe match.


You can also contribute up to 5500/ year towards  IRA separate from employer sponsored  plan [Roth/traditional].

If you have more money to invest you may contribute to HSA  that come with HDHP medical insurance.  It is like a 401 k  for health with tax saving.  I think you contribute between 5000 to 6000.



Charles schwab intelligent investor Vs Betterment.


I would like to compare free Schwab investing and Paid Betterment investing.

In this scenario I am investing 100 000 with charles schwab intelligent investor.

Data that i used.

Age 40

Initial Investment 100 000

Comfortable  negative market swing   30%

Need money in 30 years.

Includes TLH and municipal bonds.



Charles Schwab want 6%  as cash allocation which is 6000

I am assuming that there was a 7% gain in the market    that is 420 for every 6000

So you are loosing 420 / year/ 100 000   because of this cash allocation.

With betterment  you will pay 0.15% and approximately another 0.20% in ETF fees for a total of 0.35

0.35% of 100000 is 350.   You will also save money with TLH in addition to this.


It is better to use paid Betterment service over free service from Charles Schwab

Saving with T-Mobile prepaid

I had a family connection with two smart phones and paid around 125/month. In fact I hardly used the second phone, I used it as a phone for emergencies. I also needed a second phone while I am at work so my family or child’s school can reach me in case of an emergency.

We decided to ditch the second smart phone and bought a T-Mobile prepaid phone (you may use  an old T-Mobile phone).

We purchased prepaid card for $100 which has 1000 talk time and it will not expire for a year.

Here is how you can stretch those dollars for many years if you hardly use any minutes. If you recharge before the minutes expire then you can carryover the remaining minutes to the next year…………You can recharge for $10 and minutes will last for another year.

let us do the math, let us assume that you used only 100 minutes in the first year. Now when you renew it for $10, you have little more than 900 minutes to use for next year (the carryover minutes minutes last for another one year)

Now keep the usage low and add $10 prepaid before the the time expire every year ……

Now you decide how many years you want to stretch that $100.