How To Reduce Telephone Costs
Although many people have upgraded their telephone systems to cell phones, this is not always the cheaper alternative. Sometimes there is no need to fix something that isn’t broken. And the typical land line phone system is one of them. However, as Barry and I do not have cell phones, and you do, check out this article on how to lower your smartphone bill.
For instance, our total monthly phone bill is $31.68 and that includes all our services and taxes. And we don’t own any cell phones. Our long distance phone charges for an entire year is typically between $10-$20. So our entire phone bills for the year are about $400.
How much do you currently spend on your phone services for a month? Or the entire year?
If you spend more than $400/year then perhaps you need to finish reading this article.
What Services Are We Subscribed To?
Barry and I have our land line phone bill stripped right down to the bare basics. We pay for touch tone basic line service. Although we do have a rotary dial phone that we can use during power outages, we do need a touch tone phone also.
We have a touch tone stationary phone for calling places that require you to keep punching in directory numbers. You know the kind, like talking to government offices and the such. As well, we do have a couple of roam phones so we can still work and talk on the phone at the same time.
We also have to pay for 911 services as well. Other than that, there is basically nothing else on our phone package.
We Do Not Have:
In this high technology age and all the gimmicks, apps, and more, we choose not to pay for many of these items.
We do not have:
- call waiting
- call display
- conference calling
- call answer
- or anything else
We have a digital answering machine which will record messages for us, for free. There is no need for us to pay a phone company to do something we can do ourselves for free.
As well, why pay for Call Display? Upon answering the phone we know quickly who is calling us.
And the notion of Call Waiting is absurd—it is impolite to put someone on hold in order for you to talk to someone else. It leaves the person in the “dead” zone wondering if the other conversation is more important, and therefore, you and your call is meaningless to the other person. Each conversation should be given the full attention between the 2 people.
Beware Of Pay Per Use Services
Last year I was able to closely look at our phone bills and dissect exactly what we were being charged for. There were a few instances over the year when clients for Free Stuff 4 Daily Needs did not leave a clear phone number on our answering machine. Many people mumble or are trying to talk on cell phones outside. In that case, all you hear is wind and traffic sounds rather than the caller’s message. Or the other thing that people do is talk fast and blend all the numbers together like they are in a speed speaking race.
So, there have been times that I have used the Pay Per Use service of *69 which gives you the last number that dialed you. However, much to my surprise and horror, I discovered that it was $3.50 a time, plus the taxes.
I had been thinking that the costs for that service were still $0.75 per use. So, as a result, I am resolved to not dial *69 any more. If people cannot speak clearly and leave their phone number on our answering machine, I cannot return their call.
Reducing Long Distance Phone Charges
It took several years for us to stop using the automatic long distance service and charges from Bell Canada with our land line package. But we are really glad that our eldest son finally changed our minds on this.
We now exclusively use the Walmart Phone Cards for Canada/USA calls. It costs $4.89 and we get $5 worth of calls. Each call is charged at a cost of $0.0299 a minute to as high as $0.039 a minute.
This has saved us a lot of money over the years. Previously we were paying a $5/month charge for long distance plus the actual cost of the call. This alone could be be $30-$50 a month many times.
Now, we spend a total of $10-$20 for the entire year on long distance charges.
We purchase only the $4.89 long distance calling card primarily due to the 180 day expiration on them. In this way, if we haven’t used up the entire amount before it expires, we aren’t letting them keep too much of our money.
Once I made the mistake of topping up the card with the promise of a deal of extra minutes. However, I did not use up the time fast enough and lost some $30 to the calling card company at the end of the 180 days. Now lesson learned, we only buy the $4.89 card. That way, if it isn’t all used up in time, we are only losing $0.11 or less.
How Using A Land Line Phone Saves Money
As you can see, using a land line phone system is still the cheaper phone system to use if you know how to trim it down. Sure, the convenience of a cell phone might be desired. But unless you can limit yourself to no extra services and using a monthly phone card to restrict your usage, you will find huge expenses.
And if you are on a tight budget, you need to strip down your phone bill extras also.
And hey, the old land lines worked for over a hundred years. No need to toss them out now. Even the cost of buying a land line phone system with even 3 hand held roam phones is less than the price of a cell phone.
So, think it over, and see if how to reduce telephone costs would work for you too. It works for Barry and I and our full time ministry Free Stuff 4 Daily Needs.
Check out this article to discover how we saved $407 a year on our hydro.