Home Phone, Cell Phone. How We Saved Money on Both

We attacked the home phone issue long before we became frugal. We just could not stand paying $50 plus for a home phone that we rarely used since most of our family members had a cell phone.  The home phone was needed for those who did not and to keep the minutes low on our cell phones. 

We didn’t want to get rid of the home phone because at that time we had at least one person in the family who didn’t have a cell.  Besides how would I find my lost cell without the home phone?  We definitely wanted to cut that bill down though. 

There are a couple of alternatives to have a home phone.  You can choose to go without, as a lot  of people are, especially students.  In this case you would need to have a good cell phone plane.  The second and the one we chose is the VOIP.  VOIP is voice over internet phone.  This will require good internet connections and faster speeds to get good sound and to not interrupt downloads.

The first alternative to Bell South we tried was Vonage.  It was so refreshing to have a phone bill come to the house for $20 approximately.  It was the same price every month with no surprises! We loved it. For more information on Vonage click the link http://www.vonage.com/.  Right now they have a $9.99 option for one year plus taxes and then it goes up to $24.95 plus taxes for the second year. We really enjoyed the service.  It was well worth the money to change.  The box is $79.00 and has a rebate right now on their website to make it free. 

The thing is this just wasn’t low enough.  My husband had listened to some talk show about a company called Ooma that the phone service was free once you purchase the box.  The box is id="mce_marker"79 and you attach your own cordless phone to the system or $239.88 with a phone.  With this comes free calling in the US., caller id, voicemail, and call waiting.  You may keep you number for a one time fee of $39.99 or get a new number.  For more information http://www.ooma.com/.

We use the Ooma.  There is no bill at all.  You can purchase a Premier service for id="mce_marker"19.00 per year.  It has some great features, none of which we need at the moment.   It does what we want for no cost. 

This means our $50 phone bill is now ZERO!  That is a $50 savings and since we changed over to Ooma we have saved at least $2400 on the home phone.  If you subtract the present cost of the set up, we have saved $2221.  Pretty cool if you can do it.  There is no pain in this change for us.

Cell phones are a whole different issue.  My friend Laura has not hopped onto the cell phone bandwagon. She is one smart cookie!  My parents can only use a home phone or VOIP because they have terrible cell phone reception.  My kids all have only cell phones. They range from basic phones to Androids.  They have plans that are all over the place too. 

For my purposes, we are just going to use talk and text information.  My husband gets texts and rarely sends one.  I have saved on my phone the two texts he sent me.  I text a bit more and my kids text like crazy.  We have chosen not to join the Iphone/Android revolution.  Part of me would like to, but the plans are crazy expensive. The phones too.

We had T mobile in 2011.  We had no issues.  In fact other than the cost and contract we loved them.  There were reliable, sound quality was great, and the phones were dependable.  We were spending $99.99 before tax for talk and 2 phones to have a limited text ability. 

The changes we wanted was no contract and the lowest price monthly. We have consistently attempted to cut every monthly contract out of our lives.  We researched every single available pay as you go plan out there.  We even tried to negotiate our monthly bill with T Mobile to no avail. The companies that do not have contracts that are available in our area are:  T Mobile (who now owns Metro PCS), Virgin Mobile, and Boost.  Walmart now has calling plans, but they were not available when our contracts were up at T Mobile. 

Metro PCS ran a promotion for up to 4 phones at $25 per line.  Unlimited calling and text.  We were paying the $99.99 plus taxes on 3 phone lines with only 2 lines getting text.  This is the one we chose.  The reception has been great since we bought our phones. I am really interested in seeing how the T Mobile merger will cause things to happen.

We went from a id="mce_marker"20 a month cell phone to $50 with my son’s line now being paid by him.  We split the plan with him and his wife.  All taxes are included in the Metro price.  Hip hip hooray!  We ended up with a $70 savings.  This was, again, painless for us. Of course we had to purchase our phones, but with a $980 savings over 14 months, that was pretty doable. 

The best thing to do is to consider your needs and research, research, research.  Find what options are available to you.  Are there any cancellation fees with your present company?  When does your contract expire?  Best buy has a great service to check if you are able to get an upgrade on your phone. This will tell you how much longer you have on your mobile phone contract.  http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Phones-Communication/Mobile-Phone-Resource-Center/pcmcat250400050012.c?id=pcmcat250400050012.  This helped us to know when we could cancel our account with T Mobile and go to Metro. 

What is good for our family may not work for you so it really is best to use this internet to find costs of changing, what others think of the company they are using, even what phones are liked the best.   Don’t pay for minutes you don’t use, but be aware of the cost of going over the minutes, texts, or data usages. 

Comments

In order to comment on BlogHer.com, you'll need to be logged in. You'll be given the option to log in or create an account when you publish your comment. If you do not log in or create an account, your comment will not be displayed.