What is the Lifeline Program and Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)?

Lifeline is a government funded program that provides eligible consumers with free wireless service. In addition, the ACP benefit provides Even More Monthly Data for you.

EASY Wireless helps you stay connected with FREE Talk, Text, and Data through these government programs.

Do You Qualify for Lifeline or ACP?

You can qualify for Lifeline if participating in the following programs:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps or SNAP)
  • Medicaid
  • Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit
  • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FPDIR) and other various Tribal programs


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In this day and age of staying within budget, one of the biggest expenses for most American is the cost of food.   The average grocery bill for 1 person is about 100-142 dollars a week (Source:  Fox Business).  This doesn’t even include eating out sadly.    There are a numbers of reasons why this is the case but I’ve narrowed it down to the following conclusions:

For the record, I’m not by any means stating that you should avoid pre-made meals or going out to eat.   However, it should be done as only sparingly rather than with every meal.   The consequences are not just in the financial realm but also in overall health.   Pre-Made meals and take out food usually contains a high amount of fat, sodium, cholesterol and an excessive amount of calories that well exceeds your daily allowance.   This article is a revision to one that I wrote for a nutritional website from 2013 in which I explained how to spend only 20 dollars a month on groceries.  Of course, it’s 2020 and this is no longer feasible however I still spend on average about 30-40 dollars a month on groceries.  The action plan that I use is no different than my methods on investing in commodities which is purchasing long term bulk foods with a significant shelf life in addition to simply preparing my own meals for either immediate sustenance or placing the content in a plastic or glass container for future use.   This is all about getting back to the basics.  By redefining the way you plan your meals, you can save up to  6000 dollars in food cost over the course of a year.   The following below is my personal list of items that I keep in my kitchen to reduce the monthly cost of buying groceries.  This is only a sample of items and some examples of what can be prepared with these foods so if you wish to have more variety then I would get yourself a cookbook.  Lets Begin!!!

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How many monthly bills do you get? You may have a mortgage bill, a car payment, heating, electricity, gas, telephone, television, and that doesn’t even begin with your credit card and store card payments. The fact of the matter is that people today have more monthly commitments than ever before. And with all these various bills it is very easy to forget to pay one on time. 

Then there is the wholly separate issue of whether or not you can afford all your bills. Sometimes we may simply have over extended ourselves financially and in such situations we may not be able to pay all of our bills as they fall due. And what if you were to lose your job, or become ill or otherwise unable to work? Even if this is only for a short time, you will have some very real problems meeting all your monthly bills. 


This can be disastrous. First of all most creditors will slap late payment penalties and other administrative charges to your account if you are late. Some may recall or try to repossess assets if they have security over them. This is most serious in the case of your house but can also apply to your car or any other purchase you have made by instalments such as a television, or computer.

How can you provide for such an outcome? Well having some savings is a very good start. This should be able to cushion you for a few months should you lose your job. Then there is the fact that it is perhaps not so wise to rack up so many commitments that you can’t reduce your outgoings at short notice. 

Insurance Protection

Another option to consider is payment protection insurance. This can be very helpful and is designed specifically for situations such as these. How it works is you pay an amount extra on top of your monthly bill. This is automatically added to your bill and depends on how much you have outstanding for each bill. For example, payment protection insurance on a credit card might be priced at $1 per $100 you have outstanding. What happens then is should you lose your job through no fault of your own, or should you become unable to work due to accident or illness, then the insurance should step in and make your repayments for you so that you don’t fall behind and rack up extra fees. This can be a great assistance to you financially, at a time when you need it most.

Every time you apply for credit, for example a credit card or a loan, the lender will request to see your credit history from a credit reference agency. The information they hold is so detailed that there’s really no need for us to fill out that long application form, because within a fraction of a second they can see all they need to know from Experian, Equifax or Callcredit, the three main credit reference agencies. You would be very surprised to see just how much they know about you. 

Banks, building societies and other financial institutions providing credit have been passing on details of your financial transactions to the credit agencies. Every time you apply for a credit card, every time you miss a mortgage repayment – it gets noted. They know whether you pay the minimum or the balance each month, they even know details of your credit limit on each credit card. They also look to public records, the voters’ roll and the public register of court actions because that is where all county court judgements are listed. It all happens automatically, and when your credit history is requested, the computer will provide a statistical analysis of your financial habits and provide an assessment of your suitability. It enables, the industry argues, lenders to make an accurate judgement about whether they should lend you money or not. 

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However, there is one piece of financial information that the credit agencies are not allowed to access, and that’s the student loans. Despite the industry’s remonstrations to the government, nothing has changed, and they are not allowed to access the information. The reason? Student loans constitute a debt to the taxpayer, they were not funded by commercial business. 

Before September 1998, the student loan system worked like this: once graduates were working and earning the national average, which was £15,000 at the time, they had to repay their loan on a monthly basis by direct debit. 59,000 of those pre-1998 graduates still haven’t started repaying their loan, and each has on average a debt of £2,750. 

In September 1998, the student loan system changed, and the system remains the same to this day. Now, repayments are taken directly at source, straight from the salary in the same way as national insurance and income tax. This method has been a lot more successful. 

The lending industry is not happy about the student loan situation, their main argument being that they need to know, when considering an application for credit, if the applicant has extra financial responsibilities. The introduction of top-up fees resulted in increasingly large student debts, and as the post-1998 loans have to be paid off at a rate of 9% of the graduate’s income once it has reached £15,000, it is a large portion of income to lose. 

The Association Consumer Credit Counselling Service made the following statement: “Knowing whether a young person has a student loan and whether it is being paid back, is useful.” So they are in agreement with the lenders. 

The Citizens Advice Bureau is also keen to have the information made public, because they feel that graduates could be taking on too much debt, and if lenders could see their student loans, they would ensure that graduates are not given the ability to borrow beyond their means. 

However, the Department for Education and Skills is showing no signs of wavering on its decision to keep individuals’ debts to the Student Loan Company private. 

For the foreseeable future – the situation will remain the same and student loans information will be inaccessible to the credit industry.

Making sure that you’re on the road to financial security can start with a personal finance checkup. A financial checkup allows you to periodically review how you’re doing in light of your finance goals.

Taking the following steps can help put you on the course to financial wellness: 

 Evaluate your goals. How are you measuring up to the goals you set for yourself? Are you successfully putting money toward saving and investing? Are you saving enough in your 401(k) to get your company match contribution? Where are you falling short and why? Are there changes taking place in your life that will affect these goals, such as a healthy bump in your salary or the birth of a baby? For better or worse, it may be time to adjust your goals. 

Assess your investments. Look at the return on each of your investments and make sure they are rebalanced. Are you satisfied with the performance compared to what the market is doing? Consider getting some advice. 

Set your investments on autopilot. Regular investing is a key to reaching your goals. If you’re serious about a saving and investing strategy, but find it is the last thing on your mind every month, start an automatic investing plan. You don’t need a big lump sum to get the ball rolling. Services such as ShareBuilder have no account minimum and allow you to set up a program and contribute a set amount of money, such as $100 per month, on a regular basis. The money will be automatically transferred from your checking or savings account so it can be invested. 

Just do it. People often hesitate or postpone their investments because they don’t think they have enough to start or it’s just not the right time to invest. In reality, it’s always a good time to start investing. The first step is to develop a long-term saving and investing habit as early as possible. The value of compounding over time is irreplaceable. 

Once you get started, it’s a good idea to review your investments at least every six months.

The convenience of 401(k)s and other employer-sponsored retirement plans have turned many Americans into investors. That’s good news, since it is becoming evident that fewer retirees in the future will have substantial pensions and more will have to rely on their own savings to cover their needs.

Statistics show, however, that the average American will change jobs at least 10 times throughout his or her lifetime. This could make it more difficult to maintain a retirement account, unfortunately, since many people opt to “cash out” their retirement savings when they leave their jobs.

In fact, according to a 2003 survey by global human resources services firm Hewitt Associates, 42 percent of people cash out their retirement savings when they change jobs. The number is higher for younger people and people with lower balances: 50 percent of people aged 20 to 29 cash out, while 72 percent take cash if the account balance is between $5,000 and $10,000.

There is a smarter way to handle your retirement fund when you change jobs: Simply roll it over. By transferring your funds to a Rollover IRA, you avoid paying taxes now, giving your money the opportunity to grow tax-deferred. You also won’t be hit with an early-withdrawal penalty if you don’t take out funds before you turn 59 1/2.

Among the many financial firms offering Rollover IRAs, T. Rowe Price has one of the more simple and flexible solutions. Its free interactive CD-ROM, “The T. Rowe Price Rollover Planner,” helps investors decide what to do with their existing 401(k)s when changing jobs or retiring.

“The T. Rowe Price Rollover Planner” includes a distribution calculator that allows investors to compare the dramatic differences between taking cash distributions when changing jobs and keeping the money invested in tax-deferred accounts.

For example, a 35-year-old with $25,000 in a 401(k) who chooses to cash out would end up with just $15,750, assuming a 27 percent tax rate and a 10 percent early-withdrawal penalty. If the money were rolled over to an IRA, however, the account would be worth an estimated $252,000 before taxes when the individual reaches age 65, assuming an 8 percent average annual rate of return.

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Yes, this is a good idea! I know you want to know what is mad money? Well, a long time ago this term came about when a young lady went out with her friend to a party and her friend left her at the party with no way home.  So, the young lady was mad with her friend that left her at the party and luckily for her, she had money stowed away in her shoe to take a cab back home.  She thought to herself on her way home in the cab, that it was good that her mother had taught her to always have money set aside for emergency situations such as this!

Thank goodness, this young lady had the forethought to stash her mad money away so she could take a cab back home, since her friend left her in a lurch.  Get the point? Having an emergency fund whether it be mad money or saved money is important for you to have.  You say, how do I go about doing this? Well, you can read these tips to help you learn what you can do:

1) Set up a savings account specifically for your emergency fund or mad money fund.  Whatever you want to call it, just establish one!

2) Deposit a certain amount of  money on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis in your account.  You may want to set up automatic deposits to your account via your payroll department. Or, you may want to have your bank automatically withdraw a certain amount of money from your checking account into your emergency or mad money savings account.

3) Try to save at least 2-3 months of your monthly salary to cover your bills for at least three months if you were to loose your job. This amount of time will hopefully allow you the cushion you need until you secure new employment.

4) The money you save in your emergency or mad money account should be used for household emergencies, personal emergencies or if you’re no longer able to work.  Don’t use it for other expenditures such as bills, travel, etc…  Get the idea? It’s a savings account that you don’t want to touch unless it’s absolutely necessary!

5) Make sure the bank account you put your emergency or mad money into, is paying you the most interest you can earn for this account! Research as many sources as possible on securing the best interest rate you can get.  Check with your bank, the internet, newspaper and other sources for the prevailing interest rate.  You want to make sure your money can be accessed easily and quickly if you need it for an emergency!

By establishing an emergency or mad money fund, this will give you a better peace of mind if you need access to money when there is an emergency in your life.  So, the sooner you start setting money aside for a rainy day, the better off you will be! Make sure the amount of money you contribute to your emergency or mad money fund, is realistic for your budget.  Save as much as you can without upsetting your overall personal or family finances.  So go ahead, get started today!