For the last few years we have been paying about $85 per month for a land line and DSL internet, with unlimited long-distance, caller ID, and voice mail as part of the package (along with other things we don't use). It always seemed like a lot of money to fork out each month, particularly when we lived in the Great Depression that was graduate school. When we found out about Ooma I was very excited to convert, as I expressed in a previous post. It seemed the perfect solution for us, but I held off purchasing it since I knew we would be moving and didn't know if there would be Ooma service where we were going (since I didn't know where we going yet). Unfortunately, while we theoretically could have Ooma service, the small town we moved to has only one phone company and they don't allow you to have the internet without also paying for a land line (lame, I know). So Ooma was officially out as an option, since we don't use long-distance enough to justify paying for Ooma on top of the land line cost. But we were sick of paying $85 every month. So, we reevaluated our phone needs.
We decided that we could deal with the inconvenience of a phone card again, since we now live in the same state as most of our family and don't call long-distance a whole lot anyway. Next, we admitted that we could sacrifice caller ID for the good of our budget (and after a couple weeks, we did get used to it). Lastly, we made the easy decision to buy a new phone with a built-in answering machine rather than pay an extra $5 a month for the phone company to provide us with that service (since doing so pays for itself after six months)--and actually the manual VM is much faster and easier to use. Now our phone bill is down about $20 per month, which adds up to a savings of $240 a year. Not a ton of money, but I can think of a lot of things we could use that money for instead!