You know what I’d really love to see?
A cell phone bill that makes sense.
I mean, I feel like I had a perfectly logical, decently well-thought-out conversation with the guy in the store when I chose a plan…but I have no idea if it’s what I really need or even use.
As it turns out, I’m in good company with this one, because 80% of us are paying for services we don’t use. Americans are overpaying on their cell bills by tens of billions of dollars. Isn’t that crazy? That’s enough money to end hunger, or to provide clean water for the entire planet.
Something else I’d like to see: additional support for microfinance companies (like two of my personal fashion-related favorites, TOMS Shoes and Warby Parker) that provide financial services (like loans, savings programs, insurance and training) to small businesses and individuals who might not otherwise have access to them in an effort to promote self-sustaining economic development.
How could saving on my cell phone bill and supporting microfinance possibly be connected?
What if there was a way for you to save on your cell phone bill, love the tool that you used to find all those savings, and then give some or all of your savings to someone in need?
Enter: VERA. The service monitors your monthly cell phone bill to locate your wireless waste (all those unused minutes and data that you’re unnecessarily paying for), tells you where and how you can save (without charging you a cent)…and then gives you a chance to use those savings for a good cause.
Here’s how it works:
1. You sign up for VERA (again, this tool doesn’t cost you anything).
2. VERA identifies the minutes and data that you’re unnecessarily paying for, and helps you reduce wireless waste, reuse everyday minutes, and recycle the savings for a good cause.
3. Now here’s the do-gooder part: VERA then connects you to Seven Bar, a one-of-a-kind foundation that provides microloans to women in need, and you choose how much of your savings you want to give.
Over the next couple of months, I’ve partnered up with VERA to assist in their efforts to empower women through microfinance, and will be working with the company in a number of exciting ways (including judging a Save.Love.Give Pinterest contest and hosting the coverage of an upcoming event with designer Tara Subkoff). I’ll be putting up more information – including how to enter the contest – right here on RG, so stay tuned.