17 February 2009

How to Save Money on Your Phone Bill

If you still have a landline plus also have a cell phone, call your landline provider and drop the toll and long distance coverage asap. From now on, use your cell phone for these calls. I did this - it saved me $25 per month just for the "honor" of having the service plus another 30 cents a minute whenever we called our friend Mike who only lived 10 miles away. Also, some of my friends' cell phone numbers were considered "toll" by the phone company.

Now call several phone companies that provide landline service in your area to find the cheapest BASIC calling plan (no toll or long distance coverage). Also consider a bundled package that covers your internet connection.

You might want to opt out of inside wire maintenance, caller ID, and use of the phone company's answering machine. Compare the cost of their answering machine vs. using your own. How much do you pay in a year for that feature. How much does it cost to buy a new, inexpensive one? You do the math. For caller ID, I just listen to the voice that starts to leave a message. I pick up if I am interested - alot cheaper than paying for caller ID. Besides, you run to the run to see who's calling anyway!

Some people get rid of their landlines completely. Just make sure you are on top of keeping your phone charged. One thing to remember - if you are at work, don't answer your cell phone. If the call is important, the caller will leave a message that you can check on your lunch break or when you get home. Don't become become a slave to your ringing phone. A true emergency can be phoned into the business's main desk.

How often do you use your cell phone? Prepaid wireless plans have higher per minute rates and fees but may be a better option (compared to monthly connection fees) if you use the phone only occasionally.

Review your cell phone bill for the past few months. How many minutes are you allowed to make? How many did you actually use? Perhaps calling the provider for a plan that offers fewer minutes can save you some money.

Text messaging is expensive. Consider a plan that allows less TM or try to wean yourself off of it. Go for something that cuts you off rather than surcharges super amounts of money for going over your minutes allowed.

Do not ask the operator to make a call for you. Do not agree to allow the phone company to dial a number after you've called information to get a number. They will charge you. Do not fall for this convenience. Using an operator to place the call can cost you up to $10 extra. To save money on information calls, look the number up on the Internet or in your phone book.


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