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52 Different Ways to Save $100 This Year: Ditch Your Landline {Week 21}

Every week in 2013, I’ll be sharing a different way you can save $100 this year. If you do all of these things, you’ll be able to save over $5,000 this year alone! Many of these things will likely be things you’re already doing, but hopefully all of you will pick up at least a few new ideas or some inspiration from this series.

In July of 2010, we ditched our landline for a year. It saved us $15 per month — and countless minutes of dealing with telemarketers! 🙂

It was really freeing to do it, although I readily admit it was also a little weird since we’d always had a landline. But it was a worthwhile experiment — and the $180 we saved that year was great, too.

Here Are Three Things We Learned

1. Calculate the Savings

When we dropped our landline, it was because our phone/internet company finally started offering a la carte packages. Up until that point, we’d priced things and it was actually less expensive to go with an internet, cell phone, and landline deal versus just an internet and cell phone package.

So if you’re thinking of ditching the landline, be sure that it’s actually going to save you something each month — and not end up raising your rates.

2. Check Your Options

When you’re calculating your savings, also check into your options. If you ditch your landline, how much will it cost you if you decide to add it back on? Would it be a better alternative to just cut back on the bells and whistles? There are so many things offered along with landlines that most of us don’t need.

Consider stripping down to the barebones instead of ditching the landline altogether. Many times, the call waiting, caller ID, and other features can cost as much as $10 extra per month, if not more. If you don’t really need these options, don’t pay for them!

3. Count the Costs

I really didn’t seriously consider some of the risks involved with dropping our landline until I blogged about it back in 2010. And so many people shared their concerns and reasons as to why they wouldn’t ever drop their landline (read the comments on that post here).

The biggest concern raised was that you need to always have very, very easy access to a phone to dial 911 in case of an emergency. Cell phones can sometimes be hard to find (or maybe that’s just a problem we have at our house sometimes! :)) and they also have to be regularly charged.

The last thing you want to have to do in an emergency is be running all over trying to locate a phone or trying to charge up a phone. In a life or death situation, those minutes spent could be devastating. It’s never worth it to risk safety just for the sake of saving money.

However, there are options out there for calling 911. For instance, Mary from OwlHaven commented on my post and said:

We solved at least part of this issue by keeping a cheap Tracfone plugged in AT ALL TIMES on the kitchen counter so it will be charged and easily located. My teens use this phone when I am gone or when my unlimited-minutes phone is otherwise unavailable. The cord is long enough to stand next to the outlet to talk, and unplugging it is against the rules. I think I’ll also type our street address on a card taped to that phone, so the address can easily be read off to dispatchers if my teens were ever too stressed to remember our address.

Why We Ended Up Paying For a Landline Again

We thought we wouldn’t end up bringing our landline back, but after a year of being landline-less and having a few times when I couldn’t find my phone and Jesse had no way of getting ahold of me nor me him, we decided it was worth the $15 per month to add the landline back in. In addition, because I do a fair number of radio interviews that require a landline, this gave us another reason to make it worth the expense.

But we don’t regret the year we went without a landline and if our budget is strapped sometime down the future, we know we could always cut the landline and just go with the Tracfone idea.

Do you have a landline? Why or why not?

photo credit; photo credit

Other posts in the 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year series

  1. 52 Different Ways to Save at Least $100 This Year: Bake Your Own Bread (Week #1)
  2. 52 Ways to Save at Least $100 This Year: Make Your Own Coffee at Home (Week #2)
  3. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 This Year: Ditch Your Cable Package {Week 3}
  4. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Order Prescription Glasses Online {Week 4}
  5. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Make Your Own Homemade Cleaners {Week 5}
  6. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Make Your Own Homemade Mixes {Week 6}
  7. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Become a One-Car Family {Week 7}
  8. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Surround Yourself With Frugal Friends {Week 8}
  9. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 a Year: Eliminate Disposable Products {Week 9}
  10. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 a Year: Cut Your Own Hair {Week 10}
  11. 52 Different Ways to Save at Least $100 Per Year: Use Cloth Diapers {Week 11}
  12. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Become Best Friends With Your Freezer {Week 12}
  13. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Rent Movies for FREE {Week 13}
  14. 52 Different Ways to Save at Least $100 Per Year: Ask for a Discount {Week 14}
  15. 52 Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Cancel Your Gym Membership {Week 15}
  16. 52 Ways to Save at Least $100 Per Year: Get the Best Bang for Your Buck at Yard Sales {Week 16}
  17. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Grow Some Of Your Food {Week 17}
  18. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Cut Back on the Soda Pop Habit {Week 18}
  19. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 This Year: Buy in Bulk {Week 19}
  20. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Price-Match at Walmart {Week 20}
  21. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 This Year: Ditch Your Landline {Week 21}
  22. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 This Year: Refinance Your Mortgage {Week 22}
  23. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Follow a Local Deal Blogger {Week 23}
  24. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Use a Coupon Database {Week 24}
  25. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Plan a Weekly Menu {Week 25}
  26. 52 Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Strategically Use Daily Deal Sites {Week 26}
  27. 52 Different Ways to Save At Least $100 Per Year: Shop at Aldi {Week 27}
  28. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Buy Used Books {Week 28)
  29. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Buy Used Clothing {Week 29}
  30. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Shop With Cash {Week 30}
  31. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Eat Less Meat {Week 31}
  32. 52 Different Ways to Save at Least $100 Per Year: Is this really a good deal? {Week 32}
  33. 52 Ways to Save $100 Per Year: 3 Ways to Save on Online Orders {Week 33}
  34. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Turn Your Clutter Into Cash {Week 34}
  35. 52 Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Get Organized {Week 35}
  36. 52 Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Have an All-Cash Christmas {Week 36}
  37. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Sign Up for Swagbucks {Week 37}
  38. 52 Different Ways to Save at Least $100 Per Year: Cut Your Fuel Costs {Week 38}
  39. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Frequent the Library {Week 39}
  40. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Simplify Birthday Parties {Week 40}
  41. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Brown Bag It {Week 41}
  42. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Make Your Own Snacks {Week 42}
  43. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Use a Programmable Thermostat {Week 43}
  44. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Limit Eating Out {Week 44}
  45. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Get a Bang for Your Buck on Travel Expenses {Week 45}
  46. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Don't Pay For Pre-Made Baby Food {Week 46}
  47. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Eat More Beans {Week 47}
  48. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Make Homemade Cards {Week 48}
  49. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Shop At More Than One Store {Week 49}
  50. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Eat From the Pantry {Week 50}
  51. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Stay Home More {Week 51}
  52. 52 Different Ways to Save $100 Per Year: Develop Contentment {Week 52}

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  • Rebecca says:

    I’ve been re-considering our old land line. But, I don’t want digital, I want the old fashioned land line. I was part of a disaster preparedness team for a corporation when I worked full time and that was a requirement for many – because if the internet has a problem, you can’t contact anyone. great post

  • Hannah says:

    Another idea is magic jack. It’s like 19 dollars a year and its basically a landline through your computer….we have it and love it

  • We actually added a landline last year. We have dinosaur cell phones, so we downgraded them to pay-as-you-go (instead of paying $70/month for a package we never used half of) and added a landline to our cable/internet package. Our cell phones are now ’emergency only’ and we primarily use the landline since it’s a flat rate each month. We worked out the exact numbers last year, but I think we’re ending up saving between $30-40/month. Works for us!

  • Mel says:

    I haven’t had a landline since 2005, and never miss it. But I’m also single with no children, so relying on a cell phone (and email and Facebook* and Twitter…) is easier than it probably would be for those with kids in the house.

    *When I sustained injuries last October that immobilized me for a few weeks, I once had to post a message on Facebook asking someone to call my mother to come help me because I couldn’t reach the phone and didn’t have the strength to move the laptop off of my lap and hobble over to get the phone. Yay, internet!

  • Linda says:

    I use Ooma (internet phone). Besides the upfront cost of $200 for the box, and purchasing a home phone, my bill is approximately $4.17 per month. Those are the charges Ooma is required to charge for state and federal fees. I LOVE IT and would never get rid of it!

  • We do still have a land line because every time we get hit by a hurricane the cell phone towers are the first thing to go but the land lines usually work through the whole thing and if for some reason they don’t, they are back on line before the cell phones are. We’ve experiences this a lot and have determined it’s worth keeping.

  • Karen R says:

    We use MagicJack and love it – never had a problem!! And only $1.95 a month – can’t beat that!

  • April says:

    My husband hates cell phones! We won’t give up our land line. I rarely use my cell phone (I keep it only for emergencies (my son has a peanut allergy and the school needs to be able to get in touch with me if something happened). I did switch to a pay as you go phone. All of our family is out of state and our land line includes long distance and our internet is also bundled in it. I personally think that a land line is necessary-at least for our house.

  • Dona says:

    We have used this company..voipo for over 4 problems..and about $6 a month
    We get call waiting, call forwarding, caller id, and it retains my voicemail and even forwards voicemail to my email automatically.

    Since we share minutes between my husband and two teens..I need a phone for daytime minutes.

  • deseray says:

    I haven’t had a home phone in 7 or 8 yrs, and haven’t missed it one bit!

  • WilliamB says:

    I don’t expect to ever ditch my landline. A corded phone (not cordless) on a landline works even if the power is out, as the power comes from the phone line. To me it’s just basic emergency planning.

  • Rose says:

    Just a consideration: land lines work even when the electricity is off during a bad storm. Cell phones don’t always work in really bad weather. We found this out the hard way a few times. We don’t live that far out of town, but our reception isn’t always the best.

  • Christie says:

    One of the reasons I love my good old (non-voip) landline is simply the call quality. The old lines transmit a wider range of frequencies than Voip or cell service. I personally have a hard time understanding people on cell phones.

  • Ginny says:

    One reason we will never get rid of our landline – even though it costs us $30/month (that’s without caller ID or any of the bells and whistles) – is because we know that if my husband were to have to go back on dialysis (a distinct possibility), we would be required by the electric company to have a landline in order to have priority for having our electric service restored in the event of an outage. Maybe not all electric providers have this stipulation, but if you have a member of your household with a medical problem which requires lifesaving medical equipment, you need to check into this. More and more families end up having older relatives live with them, so it’s worth thinking about.

  • Darlena says:

    Our cell phones do not work in our house. I have to stand in the middle of our front yard to get a connection and then it breaks up. I live within a mile of 3 towers, yet I can’t get a signal and I’m told that I will have to pay $200 for a microtower that may or may not help with my signal. So a landline is our only option. And now our phone has gone digital and I found out that I need to purchase a battery backup for the modem so that I can still have phone service in a power outage. 🙁 That’s another $55 that they didn’t tell us about. I found out about a month ago when our power went out. Thank goodness we can text, but that doesn’t help with 911. But who knows, since our 911 now has a twitter account, that might be an option.

  • Phyllis Greenspan says:

    When Hurricane Ike hit Galveston/Houston, Texas in 2009, I lost connection to computer & TV but NOT to my Landline. I figure it’s on a different kind of protection. I’m keeping mine right where it is.

  • Tamara says:

    We use ooma which is phone service thru the internet which mimics a landline.It is $4 per month.Our profile is set up with 911 with our address.Our little one(age 3) accidently called 911 without us knowing it a few weeks ago and 911 dispatched a patrol car within 5 mins.

  • Lois says:

    We keep our landline for the child who is home alone for an hour before we get home from work. He is required to call when he gets home and to pick up when ever we call. I’ve heard stories of children calling from their cell phones but not being where they are supposed to be. This way, we know exactly where he is when he calls.

  • CypressMom says:

    I have used Magic Jack for a couple a few years now and it is great and CHEAP. I think it was $70 for five years prepaid. The kids aren’t getting cell phones so they need some way to talk to their friends. And with Magic Jack, I could even take the device with our laptop on vacation and it would be the same phone number. Cool.

  • Christine says:

    another consideration in favor of land line. during a power outage (or terror event like boston bombing when cell service shutdown) your cell, wifi, cable and digital telephones won’t work. having a land line allows you to plug in an old analog phone (pick up at yard sale). you’ll have outgoing 911 and incoming reverse 911.

  • Angie says:

    We have a landline — and a good deal. 🙂 We have Sprint cell service and if you do that you can get a Sprint home phone connection for a very low price. So nice to have that phone in the house when we have babysitters over or the grandparents without a cell phone are over watching the kids.

  • Kim says:

    We initially dumped it when we moved since all of us have cell phones, but since we moved into a two-story house, I began to feel uneasy that I did not have a phone in my bedroom should there be an emergency–a fire, suspicious noise downstairs, or a teen out late trying to reach me when I’m asleep. However, I will look into the idea of getting a cheap trac phone to keep on each level of our home. Thanks for the idea!

  • Sharon says:

    We will not get rid of our landline because 1) I have a tracphone and I use it for people to be able to get ahold of me when I’m working, I’m self-employed. It cost me $125.00 a year for approximately 1300 minutes. I use my landline for most of my talking at home. 2) My grandson gets off the school bus at my house sometimes, if no one is at home when he gets off the bus we have a list of phone numbers he can call to let us know he is there. His mother only has a cell phone, no landline. One day my grandson was walking down the road crying because no one was at home. 3) We live in the country and my husband’s family owns a farm, whenever the cows get out (not just ours) people call my father-in-laws house or our house because everyone else has gotten rid of their house phones and people don’t know their cell numbers. 4) After a hurricane (Ivan) we still have a working phone, we don’t have to worry how long (17 days) the electricity is out.

  • SJ says:

    We keep our landline for emergency preparedness purposes. We had an ice storm in our area that knocked out cell phone towers for 1 to 2 weeks; our landline worked without disruption. My friends in California say their landlines work after an earthquake but their cell phones don’t.

  • Marge says:

    In our area, if your landline is with Mediacom, police dispatch will ask for your address as it does not show up on their screen.

  • Maria says:

    One point that I didn’t see commented on yet is collect calls. We had a friend that wound up getting arrested, and the only way he could connect to anyone was to call collect. His wife and family all ditched their landlines, so ours was the only way he could find out about the progress of his bail and court dates and such. You just never know when/if you might wind up stranded somewhere and the only way to call is to call collect.

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