Our landline is $17.95 a month, not including long distance which averages less than $4 a month. It’s the lowest I could find for a non internet phone line but from experience contributing to MDJ, my guess is that many of you have found even better deals. Share your stories here on how you keep your phone bill low.
Here are 6 ways to lower your phone bill:
1) Get rid of features you don’t need or use
I confess I still miss caller ID. It was nice to know who was calling and be able to screen our phone calls but at almost $100 a year for this feature alone, we found it just wasn’t worth it. We don’t have any features on our landline now. I never liked call waiting and we replaced voicemail with a digital answering machine.
2) Try Yak for long distance.
When something sounds too good to be true, it generally is. I was extremely skeptical when I signed up for Yak and only did so on the advice of a friend who had a great experience with them. I committed to trying it out for 6 months before recommending it to anyone else. I’ve been very impressed.
- 3.5 cents a minute to Canada and the US
- no contracts
- no monthly minimum
- no number to dial first … dial like you would any other long distance plan
- no long distance plan needed through home home provider. (This has been our biggest savings.)
- no system access fees
- same rates 24/7
Every month it gets charged to my credit card and the bill has never been over $5. For those who call long distance over 500 minutes a month, a flat rate plan is probably a better deal.
3) Bundle your services
The $17.95 rate for our landline includes a $5 discount for bundling our home phone and our internet connection through Bell. Bundling services can be a great way to reduce your expenses. Just be sure to do the math on it first to confirm bundling will save you money.
4) Consider dropping the landline
We seriously considered dropping the landline but with 4 people in the house and only two cell phones, we decided to keep the landline for now. If you have great cell plans and you have as many cell phones as adults or teens in the house, you may want to consider dropping the land line altogether. For some, prepaid cell phone plans may be more cost effective, see the MDJ prepaid cell phone plan review here.
5) Call your phone provider and ask if they will lower the bill.
This ties in with the Ask For a Discount article. Many people I’ve spoken with have had great success calling their phone companies and asking for a lower rate. Phone companies have retention departments whose job it is to do what it takes to keep you as a customer. It can’t hurt to try.
6) Try VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) / Vonage
I have friends who swear by Vonage. It’s not something I’ve ever tried but their rates seem really good. For $19.99, it includes fourteen phone features and 500 minutes of long distance and only 4.9 cents a minute after that. Overall it seems like the best deal. I don’t like Skype. When someone calls me on Skype the sound is echoey and distant. I can tell immediately that they aren’t calling from a regular phone line. We were with Rogers internet phone for years but every time the phone rang, the internet would disconnect, a problem they tried to solve for years and never could. In my line of work I need to be on the phone while online. For this reason, I’ve been skeptical of VoIP and have stayed with a regular landline. For those who use Vonage, what has been your experience?
Reducing a phone bill is just one way of saving money in one area so we have more money to spend it on something that is more important to us. A recent article on evaluating the purpose of money reminded us that we should be spending money where our values are. For me, I’d rather have a frugal phone line so that I have more to spend on things I enjoy.
Share with us here how you have lowered your phone bill?
Kathryn is a regular contributor on Million Dollar Journey and has a passion for personal finance. She volunteers her time as a money coach meeting with ordinary Canadians, teaching them the basics of budgeting, no fee banking, saving for the future and other basics of personal finance.
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