Unemployment & US Military veteran resources

Here are some Unemployment & US Military veteran resources that has been helpful to me over the past 3 years.


Many people are going through extensive financial difficulties as a result of unemployment, so the following information I hope will help others to help reduce those costs (as they have helped me), they will also help those presently employed reduce their costs.

·      Free Internet:

In this case, there is no “gotcha”…. I’ve used this service for 12 months and I am very happy with it. For those people needing inexpensive “Internet Access”, www.freedompop.com provides free internet (up to 500 MB per month) and it is tiered cost after that to get more data. It costs $64.95 to purchase a “Hotspot” device that will work with Laptops and PC’s by plugging into that devices USB port (and that money is refunded to you after a year… making even the device free in the long run). As long as you strictly use it for email and website viewing (and not for downloading files or streaming music/movies), 500 mb of data should last most people for a month. The devices can be purchased on the following website: http://www.freedompop.com/devices.htm
§     Please check on that site if 4G (a very fast internet network) is available at your address before purchasing. There is no contract to sign for this service.

      Inexpensive "Voice over IP" (Voip) home phone service

      Instead of having to pay AT&T or another provider for home phone service, you can use this voip service (which comes to $39.95 a year - about $3.33 a month) and includes all of the advanced features one wants with a home phone. All you need is a broadband data service (such as DSL, Motorola Canopy wireless service, or cable internet).

      The Netduo device costs $14.95 and $19.95 (for the wireless version) and you get 3 months of service. You then connect your home phone devices to the connection (most people have wireless handsets in their home now).
      Here is the link to the calling plans (and these are much more competitive than other voip carriers such as Ooma and Vonage).
      Essentially, you will save hundreds of dollars per year going this route (without sacrificing service). You even get free "E-911" service and voicemail / call forwarding services including web portal access remotely. =)

If any questions, just submit a question to me (steinarandersen@ntcusa.net). 

·       Free Cell Phone:
For those people needing a basic flip cell phone and emergency cell phone service (This is government sponsored and for those people who cannot afford even inexpensive Cell Phone service):

·       Inexpensive Cell Phone & cell phone service:
For those people needing basic smartphone cell phone service and don’t want to compromise regarding features/services.

  • You can get a LG Tribute "refurbished" phone (that uses the Sprint LTE 4G and 3G network) for $4.95.
    • This phone uses the Android 4.4 operating system and uses the LTE 4G network
  • You can also get a Samsung Galaxy 4 "refurbished" phone (that uses the Sprint LTE 4G and 3G network) for $149.00.
    • This phone uses the Android 4.4 operating system and uses the LTE 4G network (which means you can use this phone for years).
    • This is the most inexpensive Samsung Galaxy 4 phone on the market (and the most inexpensive no-contract LTE solution in the marketplace.
  • Both phones come with a one year warranty (if you break it or get it wet, that scenario is not covered)., but we have already returned one of our 3 phones under warranty and the warranty was honored (and quickly).
  • Their monthly calling plan is excellent:
    • 18.99 a month
      • 500 MB of data / Unlimited Minutes / Unlimited texting & incoming calls
    • $26.99
      • 1 GB of data / Unlimited Minutes / Unlimited texting & incoming calls
    • $39.99
      • 2 GB of data / Unlimited Minutes / Unlimited texting & incoming calls
  • You also can use your home's Wi-Fi network to make calls without using the cell network (as many calls are done while home, those minutes are free and the data is using the Wi-Fi thus limiting your cell network data usage). Essentially, you are calling using the TextNow "voip" service o ver both a cell network and your home's wi-fi. You can even use a starbucks or McDonalds Wi-Fi to keep your cell network usage down. Pure genius. 
My family and I have used this service for over 2 years. I have yet to get past 500 mb of data on the cell network (and it is blazing fast when I am using the LTE network). All 3 of us (Penny, Travis, and I) spend $27.00 a month in total (and since it is a "No-contract" plan, we have the option to continue service or to leave TextNow without any early termination fee). Also, there are no overages (you get the option to go to the next level of service, but can always go back down for the next month).

       Free energy (not the Illinois LIHEAP program):

     I just joined a company called Ambit Energy (they now provide my electricity and natural gas). Because the Village of Huntley changed my electric provider from “Com-Ed” to “Direct Energy” (Illinois deregulation has allowed for aggregators), I felt I should control who I do business with so I chose Ambit over Direct Energy (as Direct Energy does not have any free energy program).

        I am trying to sign up to 15 people in order to qualify for Free Energy from Ambit Energy. All you have to do is sign up and then when you join (at no cost to you… you just get to enjoy the savings), just sign up 15 people that you know in order to qualify for the same Free Energy program with Ambit Energy. Attached are flyers which provide the basic information on this program (please contact me if you are interested in reducing your energy costs in order to save money over the long term). Again, it costs nothing to pick Ambit as your energy provider, you just save (and as a bonus…. a complimentary Getaway for Two travel certificate good for two nights’ stay at over 20 plus every month you’ll accumulate points in one of the most incredible rewards programs in the industry. And just for signing up, Ambit will start you with 2,000 bonus points when you pay your first bill. You can earn travel rewards for as few as 25,000 points). More information is available just for the asking. And here is the best part, if you are unhappy with Ambit Energy, you can “opt out” at no charge or fee (many providers charge a fee, Ambit doesn’t). The fact you can get points towards travel just by doing what you are doing right now with Nicor Gas (using their energy) plus the opportunity to qualify for FREE energy, you can’t go wrong.

·     I hope everyone finds this information helpful.  The goal is to help others and this is how I am saving money and I wanted to share my experience with others who are unemployed and are needing to save money.

·      Discount Tire:

        When needing tires for our vehicles, I tend to peruse www.Craigslist.org for tires people are selling that are new or almost new. Sometimes, people get a set of tires and don't like how it rides with their car, or sometimes they get in an accident where the vehicle is totaled (so they try to sell their new or almost new tires to try to pay off their insurance co-payment). The last set of tires I picked up for my handicap minivan were a set of Perelli's. He used them for about 3 months and then got another set due to how they rode on his vehicle. So he sold them to me for $150.00 (for all 4). Before I handed over the cash, I met him at Discount Tire and they looked at the tires and confirmed their excellent condition (Discount tire is a neutral location to meet someone you don't know, and an excellent way to confirm tire condition before handing over your hard earned money. Because he also had his purchase receipt, I could count on these tires being the ones he had originally purchased. As they had no damage and were almost new, Discount Tire installed them for me for $135 (including balancing, new tire stem, and full tire warranty including sidewall damage......  no different than the work they do selling their own tires that they have in stock.

Since the Perelli's were normally about $600 (before installation/warranty), I saved $450 for all of the tires (they cost $285 total for the tires/install/balance/stem/tire warranty instead of $735).

It is creative purchasing like this that help keep your costs down.


  1. Thanks for sharing these, Steiner! I appreciate it. =]

    1. It's my pleasure. I just updated some of the information on everything (except for the Ambit energy one which I really need to update as it really is a solution many can benefit from, and the info I have up on it is older).


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