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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

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  • Candace says:

    Another thing to consider is a security system. If you have one and ditch your landline, there’s a big fee to convert the system to a cell phone, and I think a monthly fee after that.

  • Carrie says:

    One other thing to consider about 911. I talked to a dispatcher who said told me that calls made from cell phones won’t show a location, they show the location of the closest cell phone tower. So, If you tried to call 911 for help and weren’t able to communicate where you were, they wouldn’t be able to find you, whereas when you call from a landline your location comes up on their computer. Important also for kids who may not know address yet or when babysitters are there….if they don’t have the address memorized, it could save precious time trying to get that information to the dispatcher.

    • Kate says:

      Our cell phone service, through T-Mobile, allowed me to set up a 911 emergency address. I was able to program our home address to my phone, while programming my parents address to their cell numbers (which are also on our account).

    • Marty B says:

      In my area we now have what they call Smart 911 and you can put all your info in for your cell phone and then when you call all that info comes up for the dispatcher. Very helpful info. Had they not come to our HOA meeting I would never have known that existed. I am sure it’s not in all areas yet but I imagine it’s going to be everywhere soon.

    • Sis Of RN, PHRN, EMT-B says:

      Actually, at least in IL, It does show the address (unless your cell is not equiped W/ GPS, which your phone would have to be very old to not have it. Most have it even though the people who own them never know). GPS has been in even the basic TracFone for at least five years. First, It shows the cell tower address. Then, after it “finds” the phone it changes the address. Normally, they are still talking to you, because it happens rapidly. Occasionally for some unknown reason, It takes longer and they have already paged EMS. As soon as they know, they contact EMS and tell them the new address. Especially, in Volunteer communities, this normally occurs before they even leave the station.

      Also phones are supposed to keep enough reserve battery for a 911 call. If you are in a bad coverage area, it will also boost its coverage power when you dial 911

  • Tanya B. says:

    Most places you can dial 911 from a home phone even if you don’t have landline service. We keep one corded phone plugged into the jack for just that reason.

    • Jenny says:

      This actually isn’t true anymore (it was a few years ago). Many phone companies keep a “soft tone” for 6 months (which allows you to call only 911 and the phone company), but then no longer. Unfortunately, the one time we needed to call 911, we found this out the hard way. (thankfully, it all turned out okay, but that was a scary moment)

      After that situation, I did some research, and it seems that there are only a few places that require phone companies to maintain a soft tone for lines without service, so check on this before making the decision.

  • Ro says:

    When I took a Concealed Carry training, we were told by our instructor (who is a current or former police officer – can’t remember) that getting rid of a landline phone is not wise…Especially if you have small children, who know how to dial 911, but can’t tell the operator where they live. Contrary to what we all think, police don’t have the ability to tell exactly where a cell phone is located – they can only tell the general area. With a landline, if the person dials 911, the police will be able to tell what house it is coming from. And people can train their children all they want, but in the event of a true emergency that does not mean they will remember their training.

    Just some thoughts…

    • Elizabeth says:

      My husband is an over-the-road truck driver. I’m home alone with our children quite often. Our son is 10 now, but I still feel better knowing there’s a landline for him to use if something happens and he needs to call 911.

  • Amy M. says:

    The Tracfone idea is smart! We went a few months without one and then also got a landline again, partly because my parents were visiting from out of town and there were times they babysat our boys and since they didn’t have a cell phone of their own, they had no way to call. Same with other baby-sitters; I don’t want to assume they will have, bring, and have charged their own cell phones before they come. But the Tracfone plugged in, always in the kitchen, would help. The one other advantage of a land line is 911 can instantly trace your address and know where to go.

  • We ditched it in CA, but when we moved to TX we added it back because of the bad storms. In TX they use reverse 911 to alert you.

  • Jenae says:

    Try Ooma! You can still have a landline (via internet connection) for the cost of taxes only after you buy the Telo (about $3 per month). We have had it for a year-and-a-half now and have never had any problems with it and we get FREE Caller ID now (something we never would pay extra for with our AT&T service)! I have saved myself countless of hours on the phone with telemarketers and well-meaning organizations looking for donations just by having Caller ID! 🙂

    I wrote more about it here:

    • Jenae says:

      Oh, and we have a security system too! We use Frontpoint. You can read more about our experience in the link above.

      • Jenae says:

        One more thing: Whenever you call 911, it automatically gives the dispatcher your home address, even if you say nothing over the phone.

        Don’t ask me (or my 5-year old) how we know this. 🙂

    • Jennifer says:

      We have had Ooma for about 8 months now and love it! You have to purchase the little box which is around $150, but it has already paid for itself. We used Vonage for many years but our bill was around $35. Now we only pay $3.76 a month. If you have high speed internet Ooma is the way to go.

      • Cathy says:

        We also have had Ooma for a few months now and it works well for us. Other than the upfront cost for the box, the cost is very low…$3.71 per month where we are.

      • Jill says:

        We tried Net Talk Duo (similar to Ooma) last year and had a horrible experience. Most calls had a 10 second delay between me speaking and the other person hearing it. Also, the phone service would just go out and we had no way of knowing that nobody could call us (our internet service was still running fine). We even paid more to have a faster internet speed thinking that would solve the problems but it didn’t.

        Have you had any of these types of problems with Ooma? I would love to have such an inexpensive phone bill again but not if the phone doesn’t work more than half the time. Thanks for any input you can give me! 🙂

        • Jennifer says:

          The only thing I notice is sometimes your voice echos for a few seconds at the beginning of the call. I can handle that.
          I do know for some reason my sister and neighbor could not call us from their cell phones for a couple of weeks. They both have Sprint and the issue resolved itself. We do not think the problem was on our end because all other calls went through fine. Other than these two things, we have not noticed anything negative. Hope this helps!

          • Jill says:

            Thanks for your help! My husband and I will have to talk about this tonight and see if we want to give it a try.

  • Heather says:

    Another option is getting a Google Voice account. If you have a desktop computer, you’ll likely never lose that and you can immediately log onto Google Voice and make a free call.

    • Janice says:

      I LOVE Google Voice (mainly for texting), just know if you choose this option as an alternative to your landline, this is one service that Google is planning on cutting…(maybe they will offer it for a fee, I’m not sure)

      • Heather says:

        Google isn’t planning on cutting Voice; at least they aren’t as of a month-old article on I think because Google has slashed so many other products, some are worried they will cut Voice. However, Google hasn’t said anything to this effect and in fact recently just made updates. My husband works remotely and uses Google Voice on an almost-daily basis.

        • Heather says:

          Quote from Google spokeswoman Iska Hain: “As a company, we’re very invested in real-time communications. Google Voice is obviously a prominent part of our communications team.”

  • Melissa says:

    We still have a land-line simply because it MAKES SENSE for our family. While my husband’s family lives close by, my family is scattered. I have family in Korea, Alaska, California, Missouri, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Oregon, Washington, and Tennessee; and long distance calls get pricey on a cell phone. We pay a $50 flat fee for unlimited local and long distance calls, and 30 mbps internet(which is super handy for homeschool, skpeing with long distance family, and many other things); and we each have an emergency/out of town Tracphone which we put 800 minutes on each year(and rarely even use that).
    I have four children under 7 and it gives me more peace of mind knowing that we ALWAYS have a phone handy for emergencies in or out of the house, and for us it’s worth paying for a landline to have unlimited ability to chat with family near or far away.

    • Rachael says:

      small note: one should *never* pay for long distance on a cell phone. If the company is charging you for it, change companies. It makes no difference to them, I believe.

      • Melissa says:

        Yes, I am aware that most cell phone companies do not charge extra for long distance anymore; however, for the same price we pay for internet and phone service right now, I would have a very limited number of minutes, and (in our area), I would have to pay extra for long distance or call only between certain hours for free long distance. When your family is scattered over 5 different time zones, it just doesn’t make sense.

  • I don’t have a cell phone, but I do have a landline.

    I don’t have long distance, caller id, or call waiting. 6 years ago, I had call waiting (but nothing else in addition to my line), which cost me $5 a month.

    It has saved me over $360 by ditching call waiting. That $5 a month adds up over time!

    Almost half of my bill is taxes, and the taxes just went up another $2 a month, so I know spend $17.45 a month to have a home phone with nothing extra–no long distance, no caller id, and no call waiting.

    A LOT of people that I have spoken with thought they HAD to keep all of those other things; they believed they could not ditch caller id and call waiting. Call the phone company; you can go bare bones, even though they want to upsell you.

    • Have you looked into the ooma?

      We love our ooma and it costs us about $4 a month (after the initial telo purchase) for unlimited long distance. I used swagbucks for Amazon giftcards- which helped cover the cost of the Telo.

      We went with a pre-paid cell through t-mobile. It costs $100 a year. We would of ditched cell phones all together; however, my husband regularly takes public transit and we have had a few cases where he had to take a different bus home and needed me to pick him up. (We just have one car).

      We also keep an old cell phone that just dials 911.

  • We have gone back and forth with this one, but ultimately we have kept it since we have small children in the house and live in the country. If an emergency were to happen who knows if they could figure out how to use the phone. It’s worth the money.

  • Tami says:

    We do have a landline because we live in the middle of the mountains and we are at home we can’t get a signal to call out or receive phone calls on our cells. I wish we could but with 5 kids we need a phone that we can get in touch with someone if we need to and we use our land line a lot as our family members all live in other states.

  • Kristin says:

    We did the opposite…we ditched the cell phones! Saves us over $100 a month, $1,200/year. 🙂

    • Tammy says:

      Cell phones are way more expensive than a land line! We haven’t had a cell phone contract for years! The last three years we’ve had a Tracfone that we load 1,000 minutes on *annually*, which we use very sparingly throughout the year (we never get close to using 1,000 minutes in a year!). It’s nice to have in case of an emergency and for quick calls while we’re out.

  • Kris says:

    With what provider do you find $15 a month phone service?

  • Teresa says:

    We still have a landline with no fancy additions. I have “measured service” which allows 3 hours per month of outgoing calls (incoming does not count). It only costs $8.77 per month and then you add the Federal Access Charge and taxes (that is where they got you) I am up to about $18 per month. We use Tracfone for our cell. I have had Tracfone for 1 year and it cost us $100 and I still had extra minutes leftover. I was paying $50 per month with Sprint – so really loving this savings!!!

    Off this subject….but another great way to save is change to monthly garbage pick up and recycle and compost as much as you can!

  • laurie says:

    I don’t have a cell phone , i have a land line thats how i save money . I really don’t understand why people feel they must yammer on the phone all day.

    • Kim M says:

      For me, its not so much a need to talk all the time. I have a very basic net10 phone that I really only use to keep in my car for emergencies. I have a 1 hour commute round-trip which includes dropping my kids off to their sitter in the middle of the country. We have it primarily just for ease-of-mind in the car.

  • Donna says:

    In a power outage, an old fashioned land line – with a real corded phone – will still work, long beyond when the cell phones are dead and unchargeable. Plus I consider it dangerous for my children to be hired to clean houses or babysit and they are left without a phone, and not told upfront there is no phone. I find out later the phone number listed as the home phone is with the parent at a movie or restaurant. And really, a land line is far cheaper than multiple cell phones.

  • Su says:

    Yes, we have a landline. However, it is only because we have an alarm system. If we didn’t have that, we wouldn’t be spending the money on a landline!

    • Lori says:

      We also have a security system, but no land line, it actually calls our cell phone. Try Smith Thompson, it’s $16.95/month. Same price for landline or cell.

  • Victoria says:

    We keep a basic Vonage package that is hooked up to a corded phone (so it too cannot get misplaced) that my husband uses to call his out of country family and the children use to call me when I am out on an errand. But I never thought of using a tracfone as a home phone. That just might work now that they are offering out of country packages. We have Tracfones as our cells and love the service we receive, sure our cells are not smart phones but at $10 a month for service for our cell usage you cannot beat them.

  • cj says:

    I gave up the land line 9 years ago and have lived with just a cell phone. It happened innocently enough when I had to move in with family during a divorce while trying to find a place to live. I didn’t want to disturb my family with phone calls for me since they were so kind to let me move in with them during my time of need.

    During that time, I talked to friends for hours, usually having to plug the phone in to get a charge, placed orders for carry out, made travel arrangements and never had an issue. So, when I moved into my own place, the land line wasn’t even a consideration.

    The only thing that was a bummer was I had an e-reader that worked off a modem (do you remember those? Loved mine) and I would go to my parents for dinner and get a book or two but then I started using the library, which was free.

    Don’t miss the land line.

  • Katherine says:

    We have a landline for 2 reasons: babysitters without cellphones and flaky power. Our power situation is much better in that last few months but I’ve had enough power outages with low battery cellphones to make me want to keep the landline forever.

    I like the idea of ditching the cellphone instead. Wish I had the courage to do that.

    • Marie says:

      One thing we do if our babysitter doesn’t have a cell phone is we leave one of ours with her since my husband and I are together.

  • Jessica says:

    Yes, DH is insistent we keep it. We’ve had several 5 day + power outages here in Columbus OH in the past 10 years. We had one last year… while I was pregnant and with 2 little kids at home. Cell phone service was down due to a derecho that caused extensive damage throughout the state. In 2004, we had a severe ice storm and during it, our neighbor’s tree fell onto the transformer in our yard and caused an explosion. I had to call 911. Cell service was down then as well.

    • Ginny says:

      This is an excellent point. It seems that extended power outages happen more and more frequently these days, and while you can use a car charger to charge your cell phone, it might not be convenient for any number of reasons. Cell phones often need to be charged at the most inconvenient times, and in the event of a protracted power outage, you could be without a working phone for several weeks. I haven’t researched it, but often, landlines maintain service during power outages, but cell towers are down. Just something to consider.

  • Brooke says:

    One way to reach your spouse when you lose your cell phone is to call or text via Skype! This only works if your spouse is connected to Skype most of the day (via smartphone or computer), but it has saved my sanity many times. I also call my cell phone using Skype to find it when it’s lost. 🙂

    • me says:

      You don’t need to pya for skype. You can call and text through your gmail account. I use it all the time to call my phone and then to text my husband throughout the day. Much easier to type then use the phone.

  • Sarah says:

    We ditched our cell phones instead of the land line – since we call family in Europe A LOT it made more sense for us – HUGE savings.

  • DebiMax says:

    We have a landline with local calling only, which costs us about 15$ a month, then we have a Tracfone, which has triple minutes for life, that I spend about 30$ on every 4-5 months, and Google Voice for sending text messages and making long distance calls for free when we are home. I give out only the Google Voice phone number, that way when someone calls me, it rings both the house and the cell phone. If I am at home, I answer it with the landline, which costs me nothing. If I am out and about, I answer it with the cell. On top of that, if I don’t recognize the number, I let GV’s voice mail take a message instead so that I am not wasting time with potential telemarketers!

  • Kathleen says:

    If you do not have a landline and want a “free” one — Google has a free option on a gmail account to have a landline through the internet. You would need a microphone for your computer (standard on most new models — and only about $20-30 if you have an older computer). I have found it VERY invaluable to simply use that to call my own cell (to find it) if I am the only one home. It is free –and fixes most of the problems you would have without a landline. 🙂

  • Rachael says:

    We’ve never had a landline since getting married. I did, briefly, with one roommate who insisted on a landline, but since moving out of my parents house, its been all cell phone. We have cable internet, bare bones cell phones and my line is an add on to Hubby’s account (easiest way to do it, and cheap!) You do have to be disciplined about keeping the cell charged and you’ve got to keep track of the phone (pocket, left side, always). The plus side is that we’ve moved a few times and we’ve always had the same phone number (yes, we live in Texas, and still have a California area code). And when we travel, there’s no extra or special number to share with family.

  • Andie says:

    i have used google voice for a 5 day class that was 10 hours a day. It works quite well. My work pays for my landline but when I retire I will keep the landline but drop the long distance and use google voice (if it is still around). i will never get rid of the landline for the simple reason that the area I live in loses power for multiple days at a crack and the internet only works as long as you have power. It takes some effort though these days to find a simple corded phone. apparantly the phone powers that be dont live in Chicago or there would be tons of corded phones still around 🙂

  • We have been in our house since 1986 with a land line. I cannot imagine us not having one. This is something I would not eliminate to save money, especially since so many of our relations and friends call this line.

  • Sandy says:

    $15 a month for a landline? Wow! That’s a steal. I pay $37 and I too, have AT & T. I would love to know how you have one for such a reasonable price.

    • Crystal says:

      It’s usually less when you have a package deal (internet/cell phone/landline). I’d recommend calling them to see what they can offer you. Do you have any upgrades or bells and whistles (call waiting, caller ID, etc.)? That will also cost more.

      • Anne says:

        Verizon/Qwest bundle here in minnesota. We too have to pay qwest $37 a month for our landline. Qwest won’t budge with our current options. So we’re looking into busting up the bundle altogether and start from scratch.

    • susan says:

      In Los Angeles are, we pay $30 per month for the basic phone, no call waiting, the only thing we pay for is $1.00 per month not to list our phone number but no other features. We pay a different company about $2.00 per month for toll and long distance calls. There is no way to make it cheaper that I have found. I don’t drop it because if we have an earthquake, the cell phone towers may be down or at least overloaded so that we couldn’t call out. Plus, I have a family plan w/ 4 cell phones with less minutes so if I ditch the landline, we would have to go up on the cell phone minutes although I can see that the landline still costs me more.

  • Diana says:

    We need cell phones because my husband is a pastor and people need to be able to get a hold of him no matter where he is. We are on a family plan with my sister and bro-in-law and parents, so we pay $69 for unlimited minutes and texting for both of us to have a phone. Sometimes, I lose my phone here at home and so I have a $10 credit on skype just in case I can’t use my phone. My son is 4 and I haven’t taught him how to call 911 yet, but he knows his address and my husband’s cell phone number. If you can teach them how to call 911, you can certainly teach them their address. A HUGE benefit to no more landline is no more telemarketers!!

    • Jennifer B. says:

      Sadly, even with listing the numbers on the government’s no-call list, you will STILL get telemarketing calls (just more of the robo-ones) on a cell phone.

  • We have been without a landline for quite a while now. So far, we haven’t had any reason to miss it!~TJ

  • Tara says:

    We just added our landline to our cell phone carrier. It is through Verizon. So the number stays the same. You plug the phone into this small box provided by them. We share its minutes with our cell plan minutes which is fine since we hardly use it. It is $9.99 (plus tax,etc). It has worked well and saved money for us.

    • Anne says:

      hmmmm. When we talk to our Verizon in Mpls/St.Paul area we would be charged $30/mo for the ability to plug into that box.

      I just don’t get this phone service pricing. It’s giving me an aneurism!

  • Anne says:

    Very timely post for us.

    We are reimbursed $104 a month for cell phone charges through my husband’s company, but locked into Verizon and Qwest as a result with a total monthly bill about $288. We have a 2 teens/1 tween, a landline, DSL 1.5 speed, his iPhone and 3 addtional cell phone lines with unlimited text. Our youngest just turned 12 and her brain seems to have turned a “clue” corner which may be giving us the new option of dropping landline service.

    Up until this spring the math didn’t give us any financial advantage. After calling Qwest, if we drop the landline but keep DSL, our speed increases from 1.5 to 7.0 for no additional charge. We thought we’d have to add a $10/mo extra line for that 12-yr-old tween. But thanks for the tracphone idea (got one of those in a drawer). That’s a $120 per year savings.


    • Anne says:

      oh, and by not giving the 12-yr-old a cell phone early before our 9th grade household rule, the tracphone idea saves me the almost 20-yr-old kid from rolling her eyes and telling me ‘I told you she would get one early’. tee-hee

  • Rachael says:

    We do have a landline because it is provided free to us in as perk for our apartment. About six months ago, we had an intruder in our home. My husband had just left to bring the kids to daycare and I was still home getting ready for work. Apparently, the intruder thought we were all gone for the day. He ran out when he saw me come out of the bathroom, but I was absolutely terrified. Fortunately, I was able to locate the landline right away, locked myself in the bathroom and called 911. In a situation like this, you don’t totally understand what you will emotionally be capable of telling the 911 dispatcher. I couldn’t even remember my husband’s phone number for them to call him. Had I not been able to locate the phone right away, it would have made a really bad situation much worse.

    • Jenny M. says:

      We have had a home intruder as well and that’s one of the reasons we will not get rid of our landline. We keep a landline phone in bedrooms and living areas for emergencies. Plus, we have had the experience with storms/earthquake where the cell phone tower was overloaded, or the power was out & we ended up on the old corded phone standby for a few days. We have a 2 year old & just in the last few days the kid has taken a couple spills that could have sent her to the emergency room, but for a little grace. We also have a few close relatives with serious medical issues so we need to be easily reachable.

      I use my cellphone more for the internet & apps as a life mgmt tool (running apps, shopping lists/coupons at various stores, calendars/reminders, email, books) & I barely use the minutes, except when there is a family emergency then I use a ton of minutes dealing with our large families. What is the best plan for someone like that?

      This is one area where I know that we are paying too much for cable, internet, home & cell phones & I plan to overhaul it this month.

  • Robin says:

    We use Ooma for our home phone – it is through our internet and costs between $3.00 and $5.00 per month.

  • Blessed Mama says:

    We have a landline but it is internet based. We have had some bad experiences with the internet going out and then our phone doesn’t work. (We also happended not to have minutes on our cell phone at that time and had no way to make calls- kinda scary being without a phone). It makes me think about switching back to a regular land line, so our phone always works. However for now, we just make sure to keep minutes on our cell phone.

    Our internet based phone through Time Warner Cable is only about $10 a month (in addition to paying for the internet). There is also a special program for low income people in each state that credits $10/month to help keep charges low. It is called the Lifeline program. The Lifeline program can also help people get cell phones if you don’t use the credit on your landline too I do believe. Here is a link about it from AT&T:

  • Melissa S says:

    I worked for 911 for many years. I live in IN. PLEASE be advised that even if you don’t have a landline, if you have a phone hooked up, if you dial 911 or even 91, it will still go thru to 911. You don’t have to have working service for it to go thru. I haven’t had a landline for over 6 years. I just keep a phone plugged in to the outlet and no worries. Hope this helps if someone was on the fence about it:).

  • Kate says:

    We live in an area that has severe floods that can knock out power for a week at a time, and cell phones only work as long as they’re charged. If we didn’t have a landline, we wouldn’t have a phone after a few days. I’d get rid of my Tracfone long before I’d get rid of my landline. 🙂

  • Melanie C. says:

    We’re debating this very thing right now. Just moved and using cell only, but have had similar problems as Crystal described about losing phone and hubby not being able to reach me. Considering getting a home phone thru our cell service (uses a base that picks up the cell signal but uses a standard cordless phone), but still unsure because it has same limitations about service…but a landline here from AT&T runs about $45/month and the one thru cell service is just $10/month extra (it acts as an additional line on our family plan).

  • Meghan says:

    We haven’t had a landline in 5 years. I have small children and was concerned about always having access to a phone, so we bought a Panasonic device that has handsets and bluetooth. When our cell phones are in range (inside and around our house), the Panasonic system automatically connects and we can use the handsets. The handsets stay in the same locations (kitchen, basement, our bedroom), so we know exactly where a phone is and don’t have to look for our cell phones. When we have babysitters, we remind them that they need to use their cell phone in case of an emergency (they all have them), and we leave our address right on the front of the fridge. I guess you can “what if” all kinds of situations, but we are comfortable with this setup and it’s worked well and saved us a ton of money over five years.

    • Hannah says:

      We too have only a cell phone, no landline, that is connected via Bluetooth to handsets all over the house in convenient locations, so it acts just as if we had our normal phones. When we switched from the landline, we simply kept our same home number, transferring it to the new cell phone. It has worked quite well for us, and the money saved from cancelling the landline service paid for the Bluetooth setup quickly.

  • Laurie says:

    Straight talk from Walmart now sells a box for around a $100. You hook it into your home phone keep your same number and it works by picking up the Verizon signals. It is only $15/mos and you can set your acct to auto pay and have it deducted every month. So if I did that I have the ST plan for call phone for $45/mos and then the ST home phone for $15/mos. This is super reasonable. I could then end my phone contract with all the added taxes and fees and sill be ahead. I will always have a land line as I have 2 kids that are starting to stay home from time to time.

  • Lori says:

    I called not to long ago about dropping my landline, and was told that it would raise our internet and cable bill, so in the end it was only going to save us about $15, and with the bundle I only pay $15 for the phone. I was also told that if you are on WIC or any other assistance program then you can reduce your phone bill down to $1.50.

    • veronica says:

      I am curious about the WIC since we have it. Was it through At&T or another company? Thanks

      • Lori says:

        I have Cox here in Oklahoma, but to my knowledge all the phone companies offer this because it is a government thing. The guy told me they want to keep landlines in homes with kids for the 911 service. They didn’t offer it right away, so I would just call and ask specifically about it.

  • Terry says:

    We have MagicJack Plus and we love it!!! You plug it directly into your modem and have unlimited local and long distance calling. (Your computer does not need to be on). You use your regular phone. (We have a cordless phone with another handset). If you already have high speed internet and don’t plan on getting rid of it, this is a great option. After the initial cost of the MagicJack itself, we pay $20 per year for the MagicJack. You can also transport your old phone number to the MagicJack. Also, you put your address in so that if you call 911, they know where you are.

    • Gyenyame says:

      Same here! We love our MagicJack Plus. We don’t use that phone for incoming calls except for parents of foster children (so we don’t have to give out our “personal” numbers). GREAT for having a CHEAP phone for emergencies and when a babysitter doesn’t have a phone or the kids are home alone. I also use that number then when filling out forms that require a phone number for freebies and such – I know that whenever it rings, unless we currently have foster kids and I’m expecting a call, it is not a call I’m interested in taking – but it never rings.

      • Gyenyame says:

        Another thing I LOVE about MajicJack is when my husband travels internationally, he can just hook it up to the computer or internet and call me – for FREE!!!!!!!!

  • Kemi Quinn says:

    We’ve gone back and forth on this over the past couple of years but just for the reasons you gave we have stuck with our landline. We’re more apt to cut services on our cell than get rid of the landline. With small kids in the home we felt it was best to keep the landline. My mom has ditched her landline and she regrets it.

  • Wendy says:

    A landline is absolutely invaluable if you live in a rural area like we do. Last summer we had a wildfire near our house (it got to 3 houses behind us and then was contained by the firefighters – my heroes always!) We were evacuated before hand and received a reverse 911 call to our landline calling for immediate evacuations – our near neighbors, who do not have a landline, did not hear about the evacuation and had to be told to leave by a fire truck crew (who’s valuable time could have been used fighting the fire.) Cell phone service can be very spotty where we leave, depending on the type of phone and carrier, so a landline is a must.

  • Sarah says:

    I’m surprised that no one has mentioned the health risks of using cell phones full time. I use my cell for emergencies or texting, because I’m not comfortable having it up against my head for long conversations.

    • Julie says:

      I’m with you! This is the main reason I’d never consider ditching my landline. Talking on a cell for too long gives me a headache as well.

    • Michele says:

      I was thinking the same thing. I do not know the health risks of cell phones, so I try to minimize my time on them. My husband laughs at me, but I bought one of those old-fashioned handsets at the store “$5 Below” that I hook into my cell phone, and I talk using that.

  • anna says:

    Hey Crystal! Not sure what the phone companies have updated where you live (of if someone else has already said this), but if they have upgraded the hardlines to fiber optics, then you should know that they DO have to have power!

    My brother works for the phone company and spent years putting in the new optics. Typically there is a new box in your garage or attached to your house that is backup power for a power outage. My brother says his company uses back up boxes that last about 4 hours. Four hours is great in a little power outage, not so great in a hurricane-there’s-no-power-for-days situation.

    Basically, if you are having to set up a generator, you either have to figure out how to rig it to the box, or you have no landline. (They beep horribly before they die though, at least ours does!)

    Just a thought!

  • Another thing to consider about keeping a landline is that after a natural (or manmade) disaster, cell service can be spotty. We live in a hurricane prone area, and after we were hit almost directly by Hurricane Rita, cell towers for miles around were down and stayed down for a while. I personally had no power for three weeks, and landlines operate on their own residual power (unless you have a cordless). Another reason we keep an old-fashioned non-cordless phone around–it works, even when the power is out.

  • Carisa says:

    I have been researching Straight Talk wireless home phone for my mother inlaw
    ~ No contract- buy the device for about $99.00 from Walmart or StraighTalk
    ~ $15.00 a month gives you unlimited nationwide calling, caller ID, call waiting, voicemail, 3 way calling, and 411 calls.
    ~ $30.00 a month gives you unlimited international long distance
    ~ Can port your home phone # over to this phone
    ~Portable wireless device- take it with you when you travel and you always have your home # with you.
    ~ You don’t need internet
    ~ You use your old corded or cordless phone
    ~ Does not work when power is off

    We dropped our landline at least 2 years ago and had the home # put to my cell phone. The only reason I felt totally comfortable doing this was that we do run our business from our home and to be in the yellow pages a business landline is a must have. We have 2 phones on different floors but phone jacks in 3 other places. Reading these comments made me realize that if we ever needed to shelter in the basement like for a tornado it would be a good idea to grab a phone to have for the jack down there.

  • 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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