Budget Limbo: Saving Money on Phone Service

Last week we talked about alternatives to cable. This week we’re going to look at saving money on phone service. This is an area many people make cuts by getting rid of their landline; but why stop there?

Do you need a landline and mobile service? There are many good reasons to keep a landline, but have you done your research? Maybe you’re keeping your landline because you have an alarm system that requires one; there are many systems that use cellular technology and no longer require a landline. Look into your options, maybe you don’t need the landline as much as you thought.

Look in to alternatives to traditional landline service. Services like Vonage, Ooma, MagicJack, or Nettalk Duo might save you money. These alternatives don’t always work with alarm systems, but if you have a landline just because you want one, these might be good alternatives.

Research available bundles. If you have internet service and cable TV, it often doesn’t cost any extra to add a landline. Call your provider and make sure they are giving you the best possible deal on your services.

Cell Service is not one size fits all. Most people I know use AT&T for their cellular service. This is usually a good fit for families because they can get a package that allows each member of the family to share minutes and data. I have been with T-Mobile for years; their individual plans are perfect for those of us not looking to share minutes with anyone.

Do you really need a new cell phone every two years? Do you know that on average Americans replace their phones every 21.7 months, while the Fins hold on to theirs for six years? T-Mobile has discontinued offering free phones with service. This ultimately will save me money; I can use my phone for a longer period and save money on my plan since T-Mobile isn’t subsidizing a new phone every two years.

Look into prepaid service. Prepaid service is not what it used to be. About a year ago, I switched from a regular plan with T-Mobile to a prepaid plan. I pre-pay $50 every month for unlimited calls, unlimited text messages, and unlimited data (throttled at 500MB). The only drawback is that prepaid plans don’t have conditional call forwarding so I can’t use YouMail anymore, but I have a better package and am saving about $10/month.

Are you paying for services you don’t use? This is something to explore with landlines and cellular service. With a landline, you could be paying for caller id, call waiting, voicemail, long distance service, etc. If you’re just keeping the landline to use in emergencies and primarily use your cell phone, opt for the no frills basic package. And with cell service, are you really using what you’re paying for? Compare your minutes or data usage to what you are paying for, maybe you can drop to a lower priced package.

Review your bill. This is especially important if you have multiple people on the plan. At my old job, we had a plan for many of the employees. One of them was always accidentally signing up for horoscope texts. Call your phone service provider and see if you can disable those services to prevent it from happening. Providers will also sometimes refund those charges.

Explore discount programs. If you attend college or work for a major corporation, you might be eligible for a discount on cellular service. Research discounts with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon.

How do you save on your phone service?

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.