Recipes and Tips for Healthier Living and Smarter Budgeting

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Budget Saver Tip #16: Reevaluate Your Phone Needs

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!


Tim said...

You have to have a landline if you want internet? Wow.

Remind me to stay away from small Utah towns.

We paid maybe $100 up front for free phone (including answering machine, long distance, etc.) for a full 5 years. Pretty sweet deal.

Brandi M said...

wow. $100 bucks Tim? How? Both of you are saving tons of money- good for you!

Dean and I were on separate cell phone plans and we finally combined them. It's still $100.00 a month. But I need a cell phone for freelance interpreting (texting and internet- that's how I get my last minute jobs) so I don't know how to get around that expense. Any suggestions?

Katrina said...

Tim went with Magic Jack, which has worked great for him but has limitations that wouldn't work for us. But yeah, he's saved a ton of money.

Brandi, at least you combined your plans! I don't know much about cell phone/texting plans, but maybe someone else has suggestions. Anyone?

Liz said...

We save money by combining our cell phone plans and not having a landline. We get our internet through our cable, which isn't totally cheap but cable is a non-negotiable for us anyway because we love our premium channels. We did try the digital voice through the cable company but it wasn't worth it for the few times we ended up using it.

Tim said...

The only big downside to MagicJack is that you need a decent internet service, and it won't work unless your computer is on.

carolyn said...

Every little bit helps! Keep on saving!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...