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A simple way we just reduced our expenses by $15 per month

After seven and a half years of marriage, we are officially landline-less! It’s something we’ve been hoping to be able to try for the last few years, but once we finally were able to afford a cell phone plan in our budget, we found it was less expensive to have an internet, cell phone and landline bundle than separate plans.

We’ve repeatedly priced all our options, and it has always continued to be less expensive to have a package deal, than to drop the landline.

Recently, however, our phone company finally started offering lower-priced a la carte options. So just this week, we ditched the landline — and will be saving $15 per month to do so.

Not only is this a simple way to save money, but I’m also thinking it’s going to save time, too, because I’m pretty sure we’re going to have a lot fewer sales calls.

Though, at times, I’d almost be willing to pay $15 per month just to avoid the terribly obnoxious middle-of-dinner debt consolidation sales calls. However, come to think of it, I’m going to kind of miss getting to answer their “How much debt do you have?” question. The response, “We don’t have debt” always completely threw them off-script and it was quite amusing to hear them fumble around trying to figure out what to say next. More often than not, there was silence and then a click on the other end. 🙂

photo by Tim Manteau

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  • Sarah says:

    We have been land-line-less for over 6 years. But we just had our first child. My concern is if we would leave him with a babysitter (which has only been family so far, and it’s not often!), they would not have a phone unless they have their own cell phone (my mom’s isn’t always charged, etc.). I guess we could have an old phone plugged in for emergencies, and just make sure the babysitter knows where it is. I also see the point that kids could grow up not knowing how to answer the phone. But for example if you have caller id (or favorite numbers stored) and see that Grandma is calling, it’s easy to hand it over to the child and give them some practice.

  • Jessica Claire says:

    It has been well over 7 years since we have had a land line! I have needed to call 911 a few times due to my grandparents (who I take care of) being ill. Every time, regardless of where we were at, the dispatcher knew where we were before I told them! Guess we just live in an awesome area or something.

  • Lori says:

    We have debated this at our house too. We are in a rural area and our landline is $40 a month (I KNOW!) but it’s worth it for 911. It does not have 911 service if not connected and you have to dial a 7 digit number from cell phones (with 911 as the last 3 digits) to get emergency services in our area. As much as I would like to be free from this extra amount, I have little ones who know 911 but would not be able to remember the 7 digit number or be able to give the complex directions to find our house out in the middle of nowhere.

    • Courtney says:

      @Lori, Could you program the 7 digit number into the cell phone and teach the little ones how to fin it in your contacts in an emergency? Most cell phones have GPS built in and turning the GPS off only affects others ability to track, not 911’s.

  • Courtney says:

    We still have a landline, not only for safety reasons, but for health reasons – specifically, the studies linking cell phone use to brain tumors. I know there is some controversy about this topic, but until someone is able to definitively prove that longterm cell phone use has no ill effects, we use ours as little as possible.

    • @Courtney,

      This is why I’m hesitant to go landline-less when my fiance and I get married later this month. We’re going to be on a very tight budget, so we’re trying to cut costs as much as possibly and since we HAVE to keep our cell phones for safety reasons because we’ll be out in the country, I still want to have a landline for our primary phone because of health reasons. Like you said, there’s still a lot of controversy, but until someone proves that cell phones are indeed safe, I’d prefer to go with a landline. (I’m also accustomed to losing power due to hurricanes, etc., so it would be best to have something that doesn’t require electricity.)

    • Lyn says:

      @Courtney, we actually just last week decided to up our landline phone’s services to unlimited long distance for that very reason. For us, talk time on the landline phone is better than the equivalent time spent on the cell phone for health reasons.

  • Meghan says:

    We got rid of our landline when we moved over a year ago, and we don’t miss it at all. We bought a Panasonic “Link to Cell” set, which basically turns your cell phone(s) into a sort of landline when you’re home (if your cell phone has bluetooth). There’s a base for the system that works for two phones, and when we get home our cell phones automatically connect into the Panasonic system. Then, if we get a call at home, 3 handsets in our house ring (as well as the cell phone). If I want to make a call, I can use one of the handsets and it makes the call wirelessly through my cell.

    I was concerned about dropping a landline because, if there was an emergency in our home, I didn’t want to have to rush around trying to find a cell phone. With this system, the handsets stay in the same place (master bedroom, kitchen, and basement), and I can get to them quickly and easily. The system cost about $60, and we have been very pleased with it.

  • After hurricane Katrina in August of 2005, we were unable to use landlines for long distance calls, not because we were in the affected area, but because Bell South’s switching, etc, was all routed through New Orleans. We were glad to have cell phones available. A month later, hurricane Rita hit our area (SW Louisiana) dead on, and cell towers were down for weeks-so we were grateful for our land lines. I personally don’t ever want to be dependent exclusively on either system.

  • Mar says:

    I haven’t read all of the comments, but I think this is a BIG mistake, especially in a house with small children. What if something happened to you and one of your kids had to call 911? They may know your address, but it would be very easy for them to forget in a medical emergency. Having a landline means that emergency personnel can find your home without depending on anyone, especially your children, to give them the address or directions.

    PLEASE rethink this decision.

    • Marnie says:

      @Mar, Not only that, but some small children would have a hard time even knowing HOW to use a cell phone! Some of them are complicated! I will never give up my landline!

  • Heidi says:

    Here is my hangup on the landline: It takes away from the idea of a “family phone”. Only one person can be on the phone at a time. We take turns. We can only use it when we are at home. It won’t ring or buzz while outside the home. (Your kids are little, but they will use the phone as they get older. My kids receive calls for homework questions, playdate calls or calls for church/school/sports activities.) Technology has made us all more separate from our family members. This is the same reason our family only has one e-mail account. I believe that my husband and I are one and that our mailboxes and phones should be one as well. We only use our cell phones for family long distances calls and emergencies. I just read today that 100 years ago (1910), only 8% of households had a phone. Oh, the simple days.

    • brookeb says:

      @Heidi, Very few people had indoor toilets either… 😉

    • Deanna Hans says:

      @Heidi, I completely agree with you. That’s why, after a few years of cell only, we went back to a landline. As our kids grew, we found out that having one family phone worked out so much better for us. Also, on the off chance that we have a babysitter, I don’t have to worry, because I know there is a working phone in the house for emergencies. BTW, by switching to a land line we saved $10 a month in expenses.

  • Michele says:

    We have been land-line free for about 3 years now! My cell phone is always on me, as is my husbands. I have had to call 911 once for my son and they responded and were at the house in 6 mins. We don’t live in a huge city, but it is definitely not a small town either. It all just depends on your coverage, where you live and what age your kids are. We keep the address listed right on refrigerator for the kids, so they know if they would get nervous.

  • irma says:

    We also cut our landline and only use our cell phones to save money.
    Another way to save money is to not have any kind of cable. We watch DVDs from netflex and we down load movies to our PS3 station. We have been able to see movies that I grow up seeing when I was young.

  • Lisa says:

    Reading everyones responses highlights that the thing everyone should do is to assess their personal needs and situation, then decide how to meet those needs. There are a lot of great ideas in the comment section. As MoneySavingMom says “the season of your life” will influence your choices. I only have a cell. I dropped my landline when I became an empty nester.

  • Cara says:

    We have NOT cut our landline because cell phone service at our house is very touchy. Now, granted, this is an isolated situation because of the location of our house,. But at the apartment we lived in before it was impossible to purchase internet and cable service without the landline included in the bundle. It seemed that the cable companies could not offer you the cable or internet services alone. With cell phones basically taking over our society, it seems that companies now would capitalize on offers of internet and cable. But it is a breath of fresh air to hear that you can now purchase the a la carte services. But do all companies offer thsi and if so will they charge an arm and a leg for sole internet service????

  • Wendy says:

    Ug – we have been debating this issue too! We recently got cell coverage at our home that is more reliable (before our calls would always drop). Our land line is $25/ month including all taxes and fees which is a lot for a line that we don’t use too much but the safety issue still concerns me. After reading all the posts, I think we’re going to stick with the land line for now – it’s a lot of money but like health and life insurance it’s worth it to me for peace of mind.

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