How Data Keeps Money In Your Pocket
When you put data and insights to use all day to fuel better decision making for clients, it's nice to be able to employ that knowledge to make better decisions for yourself - and save a bunch of money in the process.
The 2 examples here are relatively simplistic but I bet 75% of us overlook them - blinded by cultural inertia. Like many of us, I pay $202 per month for an all you can eat mobile data plan and a shit-load of voice minutes through AT&T. My wife and I have iphones tied to this plan and my father in law has a feature phone tied to it as well. I suspected we under-used the plan but I was shocked when I saw it visualized in an AT&T interface.
We're using a very small fraction of our talk minutes and a relatively small amount of data. Danielle's phone was active recently only because Cassie was watching movies in the car - something easily replaced by downloaded movies on the iPad. Time to explore other options - like Republic Wireless. An almost identical plan on Republic Wireless will now cost us $50 total - yes, $50 as in $152 less than what we're currently paying.
$152 / month in savings, at 8% interest over 10 years = $26,423. That's enough to pay for 6 months of full or semi-retirement.
The second example of another racket - car leasing. Other than a used 1986 Porsche 928S I bought around 1997, I've always been a sensible car owner or leaser. And don't be too impressed by the Porsche, that model was almost produced as a Volkswagen when VW, Porsche and Audi were all part of one family. Car leases are set up in either 12k or 15k mileage increments - far more than the average urban dweller needs. So, after 3 years of owning a nice but sensible Nissan Sentra, we're about to turn it in with only 13,588 miles - yup, less than 5,000 miles per year. Time for another need re-assessment. Our new lease will be a Nissan Versa, a less expensive but equally useful model which will fit Danielle, Cassie, me and an occasional grand-parent. The new lease will cost us about $2,400 less over 3 years - or about $66 / month.
Sure, one could argue that if I really wanted to save money I'd buy a good used car - but I've found driving on Brooklyn and Manhattan streets takes a toll on cars and I can't the possible time necessary to make repairs on an aging used car.
Again, $66 / month in savings, at 8% interest over 10 years = $11,473. When you add that to the $26,423 saved above - that's $37,896 saved. All just by paying attention to data.