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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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131 Comments

  • Carrie says:

    This is one step that we will not take, for safety reasons. From everything I’ve read, a landline continues to be the fastest way to reach 911 and have them know your location. For instance, last summer I was out walking and saw a woman fall from a ladder. When I called 911, I was routed to a Chicago dispatcher even though we live in a suburb, and it took several minutes for me to realize that they were not familiar with the landmarks I was referencing because they were not in my town. That’s precious time I am not willing to waste if one of my children was hurt.
    Also, and I’m sure you are WAY more organized than me, but I need to have one phone in the house that I know exactly where it is for emergencies. My cell phone, half the time I can’t even find it or it has run out of battery power. Having only cordless landline phones also didn’t work out because we would forget to return them back to the base. So with our latest phone set, we got one with a phone attached by cord to the main base and answering machine. That way, in an emergency, I don’t have to hunt around.

    • MJ says:

      @Carrie, I understand people’s. concern with having access to 911. I think in most areas however (I know it is the case in my area) even if a home doesn’t have landline service, if there are landlines installed, you can use a phone to dial 911

      • jen says:

        @MJ, True…but like us, we are routed to 911…in San Fransisco and we live in Nevada. I have tried for the last year for them to get us routed to the correct city and the phone company can’t figure out why it won’t work. So we pay for a line from one company AND the 2 year contract for the VOIP company because of this issue. I can’t take the chance to not make it to 911 correctly.

        • Cindy says:

          Yup! I agree! I will never “NOT” have a landline. I don’t want myself or someone who needs emergency care to have to wait the extra few minutes it takes to find me. It’s all in good if you are capable to verbally give 911 your exact address, but what about those who can’t. I’m not willing to wait for a GPS to acuire my location. By then it might be too late. Too many precious seconds wasted, when for about 50 cents a day you can have that landline. I’m stickin with the 50 cents a day. Well worth two quarters!!!

    • owlhaven says:

      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 an address.
      Mary

    • Kimberly says:

      @Carrie,
      Have you considered a Magic Jack? We just moved to a new state and didn’t want to change our cell phone area code, so we got to pick our new area code and use our land-line phones. We also sat down and typed in the address we would want 911 to be directed to in case we used the phone in an emergency. The quality of sound isn’t quite as good as a regular land-line, but we payed 40 buck for the magic jack and get the first year of use free. After that, it’s only 20 bucks a year. MUCH CHEAPER than a land line!

      • April says:

        @Kimberly,
        We have magicjack and love it. I like it that if anyone calls and I can’t get to it they can leave a message that I can retrieve on email-love it when I get those automated messages. We live in a rural area so calling for pizza (or anything else delivered is not even an option).

      • laura says:

        @Kimberly,
        I have to agree with the magic jack thing – I wanted to get rid of my cable company phone for some time but thought magic jack was a bit too good to be true, I assumed the quality would be terrible or that there must something about it that would be a turn off because of of how cheap it is.

        You pay around 30 dollars for the adapter, with that comes the entire year for free – that translates to about $2.50 a month for unlimited long distance the first year, then its only 19.99 a YEAR afterwards, which makes it $1.66 a month for unlimited long distance.

        They have it at many stores but I decided that I would save my RR’s from walgreens so that Id be able to pay for it with ‘free’ money, if you purchase it in a store you can return it within 30 days if you find it isnt for you – If you order from the website you arent even charged until the 30 days is over so you can send it back anytime you want within those days.

        I was seriously 90% sure that I would end up returning it because it just seemed too good to be true, but I adore it!! Since it uses the same type of connection that the cable phone did I honestly have noticed no difference in the sound quality.

  • Wendy says:

    We have a landline due to the fact if power is out and your cell phone is dead you have no phone and for 911 purposes….I do wish it was cheaper and not as many taxes and fees with it!

    • Crissy S. says:

      @Wendy,

      Wendy, I completely agree! When Florida went through the 4 hurricanes in 2004 and Charlie specifically hit our area, cell phones were unreliable because the towers can only handle so many calls. We had generator power for 4 days and we had no internet so the new internet phones would have been worthless. My landline was the only way I could stay in touch with family and make sure everyone was okay.

      In addition, when I have to pay for my minutes, I would have issues with non-family/friends calling that line and wasting my precious minutes!

    • WilliamB says:

      @Wendy, same here – I consider it a safety issue. I want to be able to communicate under as many circumstances as possible: power out, phone out, blackout. Since the local power company is stupid enough not to advertise its emergency number in print – being able to find it online doesn’t do me any good if the power is out – I wrote the number on the corded phone.

  • I agree with Carrie. I won’t get rid of my landline for safety reasons. It is MUCH easier in an emergency to reach the proper authorities on a landline & every second counts in those scenarios.

    Plus, if I’m ordering something on the phone (say….pizza) I’d rather use my corded phone when giving my credit card info over it than a cell phone (or cordless landline for that matter). It reduces the risk of anyone tampering with your credit cards.

    I know many people go landline less, but the small savings aren’t enough to convince me it’s worth it.

    • Dawn says:

      @Heather@BecauseMoreIsMore, Money Saving Mom would pay for the pizza with cash!

      • LOL…true! While I follow Dave Ramsey, I disagree with his theory that credit cards are evil. He states that money isn’t evil it’s what you do with money. I think the same applies with credit cards. We pay ours off every month religiously, yet earn cash back with our Costco American Express card or miles with my Visa. In Feb. I received $558 in a cash rebate from my Amex card & I didn’t pay a dime in interest on the purchases made on it.

        For us, charging & paying off in full & repeaping the rewards makes sense. But I realize it isn’t that way for everyone, so my motto is go with what works for you. 🙂

        • Amy says:

          @Heather@BecauseMoreIsMore, I totally agree that it’s what you do with a credit card. We use it often, but only for stuff I know I have the money for and have ALWAYS paid it off each month and earn rewards at the same time : ) Though I’m sure some people might not be able to handle the temptation……

        • For me, if I have cash in my wallet, I’ll blow it. I’ll grab an iced mocha, buy a trinket for my daughter, etc. If I have to pull out my card, I think twice about it. I suppose that’s the opposite of many who charge away, but if my hubby or I have cash in the hand, it’s gone. And I’ll admit it: I’m a rewards whore. I love the rewards. 🙂 (It’s worth noting that I don’t buy things JUST to get the rewards. But if I need something, I’m gonna charge it to get the rewards….even my tithes at church!)

        • Angie says:

          @Heather@BecauseMoreIsMore, I get rewards for my debit card. You don’t have to have a credit card to get those benefits any more.

      • Angie, you’re right. However my bank charges me a fee for the rewards debit card. And, if you have to disbute a transaction, it’s much more difficult to do it with a debit card. With a credit card you have an extra level of protection.

        Again, I’m not advocating it for everyone. However, we’ve been debt free for many years & charge everything on our cards. It works for us, but if it doesn’t work for you, I totally understand that. Every family is unique which is why I hate the “credit cards are evil” mentality.

        They aren’t evil. It just depends on whether people have the self control to use them wisely.

    • My Boaz's Ruth says:

      @Heather@BecauseMoreIsMore,

      We tried the “use a credit card and pay it off at the end of the month” thing. we CAN do it (and still do for gas only because we can’t find a better solution for gas. And I, too, am a “cash trickles out of my fingers” person.

      But I discovered, anyways, that, when we stopped using the credit card and paying it off, somehow, there was more money in the checking account at the end of the month. “Cash trickling out of my fingers” is a character flaw on my part that I am working on. I know grocery money is in a separate envelope and i’m not tempted to touch it. Why? That would be lying to my spouse. To say the money was used for one purpose and use it for another.

      I just don’t stay on budget that way when flipping out the credit card to pay, even knowing and being able to pay it off at the end of the month.

    • Lisa says:

      Another agreement on safety issues. Want to be able to call family/friends – not just 911 in emergencies. Also what about when you have a sitter? Providing a cell for that? Besides, I need the land line for the alarm system anyway.

  • Julie says:

    I agree with the other comments. I’ve had to call 911 for an ambulance twice to my house in the past year (hubby fell off a ladder from 2nd story, toddler climbed on a table and fell off – both fine) and I just won’t risk it. Not with an accident prone husband and two adventurous boys.

  • Jill says:

    That’s awesome, $15/mth can really add up!

  • Savannah says:

    I don’t know if this is nationwide or not, but in Alabama your landline will still call 911 even if it’s disconnected. It will also call the phone company so you can set up service. Also, many cell phones now have a GPS option that you can turn on in case of an emergency. I think if more people knew this then landline companies would be put out of business.

    • Chandler says:

      This is very interesting. I need to look into this. Emergency reasons is the only reason I keep my landline.

  • Anne says:

    We just recently got rid of our landline, too, which was costing us a bit more than $15/mo. We haven’t missed it at all! We now have broadband internet for the same amount we were paying for DSL thru the phone company, and only one cell phone. Thankfully, where we live, our 911 calls on the cell phone get routed directly to our local 911 center, so we are well covered in an emergency! We just love not having to deal with telemarketers!! 🙂

    • Chandler says:

      I am wondering….what number do you give when you are required to leave a number. I am always worried about getting junk calls on my cell phone which takes up my minutes.

      • Barbara says:

        @Chandler, I use my old disconnected phone number! It is still technically my number, because the phone company had to leave it tied to my DSL account, it just doesn’t receive calls anymore.

      • Autumn says:

        @Chandler, You can register your cell number with the DNC (do not call list). Even when I sign up to receive my Free samples I never once receive any sales calls 🙂 just google and follow the step

      • Rae says:

        @Chandler, Or you could get an evoice number. It is free and when they call (sometimes the good freebies require a real phone number) it goes straight to a voicemail box so they leave a message. So then if you do want to call them back, you just call them back using your phone if not, just hit delete. I think the site is just http://www.evoice.com

        • Rae says:

          @Rae, oh shoot nevermind, it looks like they only have 3 paid plans (with more features than I have) available for new customers. Sorry about that.

      • Prathee Selvam says:

        @Chandler, How about Google voice? I use Google voice number for these situations.

      • Anne says:

        @Chandler,

        Hi Chandler! I just leave my cell phone number most of the time. I don’t answer phone calls if I don’t recognize the number; that way no minutes get used. I figure if it’s someone who actually knows me, they will leave a voicemail and I can call them back. 🙂

  • Toni says:

    We haven’t had a land line in years and it’s been one of the best things we’ve ever done! No more sales or political calls. No more wrong numbers. You can silence the phone when needed. Also, no more taking messages and playing secretary. If a call is for me, it goes to my voice mail. If it’s for hubby, it goes to his. It’s been a HUGE convenience for us. We just saw no need to be paying for three phones.

    As far as emergencies – we’ve had no problem calling 911. It may depend on where you live though. We are in a small town where the sheriff’s department is 3 blocks north and the hospital is 3 blocks south. I could walk there faster than an ambulance could get here and back. 🙂

  • Mary says:

    I live in a rural area and although my cell reception is usually at least decent. It’s not quite good enough for me to feel confident that I could always have the use of a phone in an emergency. Also, like some others who commented, I do on occasion absent-mindedly let my phone charge run down.

  • Go you! In college I lived in an apartment without a landline and with internet because we all had cell phones (well I didn’t have one at first, but got one since we didn’t have a land line). When I moved to the country I was shocked to find that the internet company would not let us have internet without the phone and it was much more expensive. They told me it couldn’t be done, at which point I let them know that I had been doing it for the past four years. They wouldn’t budge. Also, I had grown up with little to no tv and had no tv in college. However, it is very important for my husband to have tv. He would be ok with just antenna, but we are out far enough that we’d get maybe one channel at best. Also our internet is not really fast enough for us to watch tv online. I had been working and working with the tv company because their lowest package still had tons of channels. We ended up getting a triple bundle package with tv, internet, and phone which was annoying.

    Anyway, this telecom company was recently taken over and so I researched online and gave them a call. They now offer an even cheaper tv package which is great for us and we can get internet without phone. We will be saving approximately $60 a month!!! I am so excited to get rid of the landline and to save soooo much money!
    P.S. As far as emergencies go, I keep my cell phone in my pocket where ever I go, so that is not an issue at all.

    • Chandler says:

      Don’t you wish you could just buy certain channels? We literally watch 3 channels in my home…I wish I could just pay for those and leave the rest of them alone.

      • Ashley says:

        Chandler- I was just griping about this yesterday! I literally watch…ohhh..about..3 or 4 of our hundreds of channels. Grr! And we also have WAY too many to begin with because my husband swares there is a huge difference in the hd channels and the basic ones. They look the same to me!!!! Any advice anyone?

      • Lisa says:

        @Chandler, You can do this with Netflix. There is a basic $9 a month charge for the service which includes one DVD per month and unlimited viewing on the Internet, your Wii or Xbox. Then you can select Channels and/or particular programs to add to your account for an additional charge.

      • Kristine says:

        We downgraded our cable a few years ago when they hiked the rates – again! We thought we had basic cable before, but there is something called “limited basic” (probably each company calls it something different). Naturally, they don’t go out of their way to advertise that there is anything lower than basic cable. We pay $12.37/month and get all the main networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, etc.). We also get CW, PBS, and a few local and Spanish channels. I call it glorified bunny ears! Hubby does miss all the “normal” cable stations, but really we don’t need them and $12.37 vs. nearly $100 is a BIG difference!

        • Dani says:

          @Kristine, I also have this very bais cable. Not sure what its called through my company but it also includes the internet and its $20.00 a month (well $19.99). I have two kids to chase after so I don’t have time for T.V. and even before the kids I had one or two shows I would watch but nothing that important! Too many other things to enjoy. Very basic will do for me!

  • shj says:

    During a power outage in Seattle a few years ago, most people with cell phones went without service for one to two weeks (because the towers didn’t have power). My family had a landline and had uninterupted phone service. (You have to get an old-fashioned corded phone from Wal-mart because they don’t require electricity to work).

    My friends that live in California say that their landlines always work after an earthquake, and it is so much easier to get emergency help via landlines. During 9/11, many with cell phones had to wait hours to hear from loved ones. Communication was much easier with landlines.

    In many cases, you can ask the phone company to only charge you by the call for your landline, making the service much cheaper.

  • Laura says:

    We took the opposite approach — we found a way to have emergency-only pay-as-you-go cell phones for $20/year. On top of that, we have an inexpensive Vonage land line, so between the two I think we pay less than $30/month for all our phone services, and we still have cell phones for emergencies.

    We also like the side effects of our own phone downsizing: our cell phones stay off most the time, so we’re never embarrassed by them ringing at the wrong time. 🙂

    • Aryn says:

      @Laura,
      Are you sure the Vonage is a true landline? Vonage operates through VOIP, which means that you won’t have a landline if your power goes out, because the internet connector requires power to operate.

      • Sarah says:

        @Aryn,

        On your Vonage account, you can add your cell phone number for them to route calls to when internet service/power is out. Very simple.

  • Courtney S says:

    We don’t have a landline either! My hubby does cell phone testing for his job, and they have to make sure that 911 with gps works. It really is just as safe to dial 911 with your cell…they have your exact location.

    • Liz says:

      @Courtney S,

      I totally get this, but what if you can’t find your cell phone? I find that there always floating around the house somewhere, in a bag, on a random table etc.
      This is what worries me, I want my kids to know exactly where the phone is at all times in case of an emergency (and I have had to use 911)

      • Courtney says:

        @Liz,

        I can see that if you don’t keep your cell with you. I usually always know where mine is so it isn’t a concern, but I can see that being a problem especially with older children in the home.

    • Marla says:

      @Courtney S, Actually that’s not the case everywhere in the country. In our area 911 does NOT have your location. You have to give it.

  • ModernMama says:

    We’re keeping the landline too. I consider $15 for peace of mind to be a bargain.

    Thought about switching an internet phone provider, but if your internet goes down, then your phone goes down too. Pretty hard to make an emergency call from a dead phone.

  • shj says:

    During an extended power outage in Seattle a few years ago, many people with cell phones went without phone service for a week or more because the cell phone towers were without power. My parents still had a old- fashioned corded landline (in addition to cell phones) and had uninterrupted phone service. People in the neighborhood came over to use their landline.

    My friends that have lived through earthquakes or hurricanes say land lines are often the only phone service during an emergency — their cell phones didn’t work.

    You can get corded phones at Wal-mart, and ask your phone company for the pay-per-call option for your landline.

  • Ang. says:

    I recently called the phone company and reduced the bells and whistles on our landline. We live in the country and I can’t imagine not having a landline for my kids. So, I called and we now just have a phone line without anything extra. We have cell phones that can be used for long distance calls.

  • Liz says:

    While I think this is a great way to save money I just can’t do it. I want my kids to learn how to dial 911 and our cell phones always seem to never be in the same place. For emergency reasons I feel this is a bit unsafe if you have children. (If I didn’t have children I would definitely ditch the landline btw.)

  • Amy says:

    We live in Florida and have been advised by disaster relief experts to keep our landline. If you live in a hurricane or other disaster-prone area, you will want to have a landline when your cell phone runs out of juice!

  • Amy Hartman says:

    The 911 locator function may depend on the technology that your cell provider has available, as well as the call center in your area. My husband saw a huge tree down over the road on a sharp curve early one morning, he nearly ran into it. He called 911 from his cell phone, and before he could give the location, the dispatcher asked him to verify if he was at such-and-such mile marker, and that is exactly where he was.
    I agree about the telemarketers at dinner time—our phone blows up every night, and it makes me crazy! When we switched to the package deal with Comcast (phone, internet, cable) they made us “listed” when we were unlisted with our old phone company.
    Our home alarm system runs off a cell signal, so it would work with or without a landline.

  • Stacie says:

    We dropped our landline months ago and don’t miss it at all.

  • Rebecca says:

    I understand the concern about not having the best way to call 911 if needed… but, I’ve never had a land line since I’ve been married (2 1/2 years). however, my cell phone has GPS in it and always knows our location. I’ve never had a problem with it. In the end, I say “to each his own” do what works best for your family. Especially if you are someone with a bad medical history and need to have the surety a land line gives.

    I was going to give a little tid-bit suggestion to save on your monthly cable bill. we live in San Antonio, Texas and our AT&T Uverse bill was appx $50 a month!!!! yikes! we canceled it, bought a Wii for $250 (it will pay for itself in 5 months by putting the cable money towards it) and then we got netflix. since we still buy our internet service from AT&T for $34 a month after taxes, our bill went from $97 down to $34 and a netflix bill of $9.72. that’s a monthly savings of $53.28!!!
    the down side? we don’t get to watch new shows as they come out. we wait for the seasons to come out on DVD and rent them. but we didn’t deem TV shows worth $53.28 a month!
    the up side?
    we can now also play Wii games, we have unlimited instant play movies, TV show seasons, and Kids shows. Also, we can still watch new shows as they come out on the internet if we simply can’t go without! : D

    • Emily says:

      @Rebecca,

      I’m curious, are almost all new TV shows available on the internet? There are very few TV shows that we watch anymore, and we heard that this coming season will be the final one of “The Office”, which is the only show we both watch. I wonder if it would be worth it for us to do this too, especially since we already have a Wii.

      • @Emily, We watch TV shows on the internet, too, and rent DVDs free from the library. We don’t pay for cable, so we get about 4 channels with our antenna, but we rarely turn on the TV. We have DSL, so we watch shows online–usually they are posted by the next evening after they show on TV, so we just knew what day they would be on. A plus with this–you can watch whenever–like after kids are in bed–and pause it if kids are interrupting you–like coming downstairs 3 times for a drink of water or whatever else! I guess this is also true of Tivo, but we don’t have to pay for it! 🙂

        Go to the show’s channel (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, etc). Most of them have shows available to watch online for free. The Office is one of them.

        The one channel I would watch all the time if I had cable is HGTV. But I recently found that a LOT of cable shows are posted on hulu.com, so I can get my HGTV fix for free!

      • brookeb says:

        @Emily, At least this past season, The Office episodes were available online as soon as they aired.

  • birthrightrose says:

    No one has yet mentioned the danger of Electromagnetic Smog that comes from cell phones, microwaves and wireless devices. I like a “Bat Phone” ~that’s what we call our land line. I try to avoid having wireless phones, cells and even DSL wireless around (especially in our bedrooms)incase they are as dangerous as the preliminary research is showing with cancers and brain tumours and the like. Why risk it? We have even put the microwave in storage recently, and other than getting used to cold coffee ( I do have 3 kids which negates anything being consumed hot!) we are fine without it. Landlines might equal better health. What do you all think about this?

    • Christine says:

      @birthrightrose,

      Yes, that’s why we won’t get rid of a landline. We also use Safeconnect’s shields. Kids are much more susepctible to damage too. Their brains asborb more of the EMF radiation than adults.
      I actually get more wrong numbers on my cell phone than our landline. (and I rarely use my cell….only 2 people have the number 🙂 )

  • Becky says:

    Keeping my LL.

  • Agreed about disaster areas. I live in Seattle, & as a previous poster said, many were without cell service in Dec. ’08 when we had the worst winter storm we’d had in 15 years. And we have earthquakes here. It’s just not worth it, IMO.

    And my cell phone has GPS & is with Verizon…supposedly the best coverage in the nation. About 1 in 5 times it can find my house, the rest of the time it can’t locate it. And I only get about 2 bars of coverage at my house (& I live in the burbs…not the boonies). I got much better coverage with AT&T, but I switched last month & am still happy I made the switch for other reasons.

  • Carol says:

    In order for this to be a bargain, you’d have to have a cell plan that’s LESS than $15 a month. Where I live, we can only get one carrier out here and the cheapest plan is $50 per month. Not to mention the cost of the phone. My landline is cheaper than that, so no cell phone for me. I’m glad it works for you though.

  • Janie says:

    Hm, don’t even remember what it’s like to have a landline. When my hubby and I got married 4 years ago, we never even set one up. We definitely don’t miss having a landline, as we haven’t had one in years.

    As far as safety is concerned, IF for some strange reason my cell phone didn’t work and I needed help, I have neighbors on all sides of me, I could stick my head out the door and ask to use one of their phones. If we lived in the country, it would definitely be a different story, though 🙂

    Hooray for no landline, if it works for you 😀

  • Megan says:

    Can anyone who says cellphones can be just as safe point me in the direction of a good website with all the facts? I’ve wanted to go landless for years and my husband is concerned about the safety factor. Also, I’d love to hear about how to get a good deal on a cellphone. I’m in the market for a new one (mine is 10 years old at least and barely functional). We currently do pay as you go and like it, but what are the best frugal options? Thanks!

    • Marle says:

      @Megan, I can’t give you any websites, but from my own personal experience I only use my cell phone. I was in a car accident on the edge of cell service and I lost conection with the 911 operator before giving my location. But since I called from my cell with emergency gps locator they dispatched ems, fire and police right away to my location and then they kept calling me back till my cell phone worked. I had a cell number from NY and the accident happened in rural PA. My call went to the local 911 dispatch office when I called. Also my cell phone goes into emergency mode if I dial 911 from it and I have to unlock it before it leaves that mode. I personally never go out my front door without my cell in my pocket. I have a monthly family plan from verizon. For emergency purposes we have three lines on our cell plan so I always have one, my husband and the other left on the counter for emergencys. This works greast for us and as our kids get older they will get their own very basic cells to take when they leave the house. Right now our oldest is two so we have awhile!

    • Brittany says:

      @Megan, I got a TracFone online through their website. They run about $20 for a basic flip phone (mine is black, LG 225 I think, and sometimes you can get a free phone deal.) I pay about $100 for a year for coverage and 450 minutes (which can easily become 600, 900, or more with double minute options and online codes for free minutes!) I am very satisfied with Tracfone. In my area (rural southern Illinois) the coverage is just as good as Verizon was. Also, it’s pretty economical for texting. Texting takes only 0.3 units per text, while each call takes at least 1 unit, even if it lasts just a second. Tracfone is a great option for about $10 per month since I just use it for emergencies and bare utilitarian purposes

    • Heather says:

      @Megan, Try Virgin Mobile. We pay $20 every 90 days (per phone). You can get a phone for $14. Unused $ rollover. They have other plans that are better if you talk a lot. We don’t.

    • Andrea Q says:

      @Megan, Before considering it, check your reception in every room in your home, including your basement. Could you call 911 from a closet if you had to? Our house has terrible reception and we won’t be disconnecting our land line any time soon.

  • Carrie says:

    We haven’t had a landline in years.

    We have GPS tracking on our cell phones and always place them in the same location each time we arrive home so all our kids can find them. Even when I had a landline, we always seemed to be misplacing the phone.

  • We have been without land lines for over 5 years and I don’t think we will ever get one.
    We always know where our cell phones are – when they are your only phones they don’t get lost, misplaced or sunk to the bottom of the diaper bag any more than a cordless phone 😉

  • Amanda says:

    I want to go landline-less but with my husband in the military we need the local area code. When he deploys he’s able to call home to our base operator and they can transfer him to a local number. Our cell phones have our home area codes and there is no base near there to call in to and transfer. If it wasn’t for the one reason then we would do the same thing!!

  • Angie E says:

    Hey, put your name on the do not call list at https://www.donotcall.gov/. Works for us!

    • Rae says:

      @Angie E, You still get all the charity calls though… fire department, police funds, donation pickups, etc. I got more of those than I ever did of people trying to sell me stuff

      • @Rae, I agree, we’ve never had a debt consolidation sales call like Crystal mentioned, but get the fire and police depts calling all the time for donations, even though we are on the do not call list. Apparently charitable organizations are exempt from the do not call list.

  • Deanna Hans says:

    A few years ago our family dropped our land line and recently did an about face and reinstated the land line, while dropping the cell phones. (My husband does have one through work that we can use in a mobile emergency) We found that as our children grew from small to bigger sized, they had no phone skills because they never answered a phone. While cell phones have their place, land lines have their place, too. They’re just two very different things: cells are “attached” to a particular person, while a landline is “attached” to a particular location. So, while for a single person, cell only may be fine, in my opinion, for a family, landlines still work best. (Unless you want to have a cell phone for each child, which may negate any cost savings) Just relaying our family’s experience! :0)

  • Kelly says:

    I was landline-less since 2001 – up until a month ago when I got a MagicJack. Basically, for most of the years I didn’t have a landline, it was because I was never home to answer a phone – I was always on business trips or on campus for grad school. I didn’t like paying $30 a month for basic phone service (which is what it cost where I used to live) which was basically just an answering service. I finally got a MagicJack last month because I wanted a landline for 911 purposes (our four-year-old learned about dialing 911 from a phone for emergencies recently). Also, we’re reducing cell phone plan so I hope to use the MagicJack for phone calls to/from home. I know that the MagicJack won’t work if the power goes out or our internet goes down, but if the power goes out a cordless phone won’t work either and if there is that big of an emergency during one of the few times we don’t have power or internet, I can use our cell or even run to the neighbors (we haven’t had a power outage here since I’ve lived here for three years and we don’t live in a hurricane prone area or a flood zone or anything like that). I say, whatever works best for you and your family – it is good to have options, especially when there are ways to save and ways to be safe as well!

  • Amy says:

    One way we saved money with our phone service recently was checking exactly how many minutes we used. We were paying for 1400 anytime minutes for 2 phones and unlimited texting. I just happened to really look at our bill one day and we were using only 400 minutes total. This was due to mobile to mobile calling. Most of my family has the same provider. All of my husband’s family and his bff has the same provider. All of the minutes we use talking to them aren’t counted toward our anytime minutes. I reduced our minutes to 700 and knocked $30 off our bill.

  • Amy says:

    Going landline less is great if it works for you….We tried. However, due to our rural location our cell phone reception is dodgy at best. What we do to save money is cell phones for long distance (free with plan), landline for local and internet…We only have one option for phone service so all those wonderful plans advertised do us no good.

  • Tami says:

    We would totally do this, but since we live in a fairly rural area the only way we can get internet is through DSL (which needs a landline). Plus our cell phones don’t always have the greatest reception.
    However we did ditch the long-distance calling plan, and now if we need to make a long distance call we just use Google Voice or our cell phones. Works great! And best of all it’s free 🙂

    • Rae says:

      @Tami, Keep checking back, a lot of areas now have landline free dsl. I had ATT dsl for a few years without the option but almost a year ago it became available without it here. Now if only we could get cable here, the compaines would have competition which would give us more options.

  • Sharon says:

    On the subject of sales calls, I never answer my phone unless it’s a number I’m familiar with. If a person I know or need to talk to happens to call from an unfamiliar number, they can leave a message or I pick up when I hear them speaking.

  • Salinda says:

    This is one decision I will not make. During hurricane season, our land line is our one constant. During Katrina, Rita and Gustav, we lost power, cable and even cell service, but our landline never went out. It was our one connection to the world.

    • Marla says:

      @Salinda, I totally agree. I think those who are ditching their landlines must not live in disaster-prone areas. A landline is the only connection to the world in tornados too. Even if the tornado is in another city. It locks up the whole section of the state.

  • Angie says:

    Wow! What a crazy set of responses. I commend you for finding ways to save money (even if it’s only $15/month and others don’t agree). There are a lot of people who get “lazy” when they get past baby step 2 and forget the value of saving every possible penny. I’m sure, from what I’ve learned from your site, you didn’t make this decision lightly or without research in how to keep your family safe. CONGRATULATIONS!!!

    • ModernMama says:

      @Angie,

      What does this mean in the context of the replies here?

      “There are a lot of people who get “lazy” when they get past baby step 2 and forget the value of saving every possible penny.”

      • Angie says:

        @ModernMama, I’m not saying that the people who commented here were “lazy” with their budget. It was sort of separate from the first sentence there. I just know from experience, that people some times slack off on the ‘finding every penny’ part of the equation after baby step 2. It’s completely separate comment from the safety issues many mentioned. Nothing personal, just commending Crystal for always thinking of ways to save money!

      • @ModernMama, I think she’s referring to Dave Ramsey’s “baby steps”.

  • Laurie says:

    I can’t wait for the day I can say I am debt free!

  • Nancy says:

    This is a step I won’t take, either. Our landline costs us even more than this, and we do not use it all, so my husband wants to get rid of it. I won’t, however, because a) it’s always in the same place b) won’t ever forget to have it charged up c) feel better about 911, too. We only have the one landline phone, in the kitchen and the ringer is even turned off. So, we really do never hear/answer it. It’s just a back-up emergency plan, but I feel better having it. 🙂

  • Brandi says:

    We live in a hurricane prone area. We were without power for 2 weeks, but our home phone worked. Our out of state family and friends were able to contact us. It’s worth it! You can get a land line with no frills and limited calls for under $10 a month.

  • Rae says:

    The cheapest landline plan here was about $15/month after taxes/fees too so I was happy when the internet became available without it 😀 And I did save a corded landline phone because you can still call 911 with no service.

  • I’m new to your site and I have loved reading everything you have to offer.
    My husband and I have not had a landline in years. We have GPS on our cell phone so 911 isn’t an issue. In case of an emergency at home we always know where our phones are and so do our kids. This was not always the case though. We bought a cell phone charging station. We have made it a habit to come in and plug in our phones and when are finished return it to the charging station. To make it to easy we have it setup on our entry way table. Kids know where they are and my husband and I know where they all at all times.

  • Kim says:

    We keep a land line for emergencies. I’ve heard too many stories (and my husband’s experienced this a few times himself, once just last weekend) where calls made to 911 from a cell get lost and/or take a long time to get routed to the correct location. In CA, most 911 calls from cells go directly to California Highway Patrol in Sacramento. Not too helpful for those of us who live in Los Angeles. I’m willing to pay an extra $10/month for the convenience of being able to get emergency help if we need it (in a way, it’s like insurance). Also, in case someone needs to reach us in an emergency, they can always reach us at home without worrying about our cell phones being turned off or on vibrate or silent.

    • Kim says:

      @Kim, Oh, and I’ve done my research and haven’t found anywhere that says you can call 911 from a land line that has been shut off. Just something to think about.

      • Rae says:

        @Kim,

        It depends if there is a “soft line” or not. If there is a dialtone you can do it, if not you can’t. Some areas keep it a soft line and a lot of apartments/condos/etc also keep it that way.

  • Karen says:

    Crystal, after reading all the responses here, I’m glad you “don’t care what anyone thinks”! 🙂 Anyway, congrats on the savings!! As previous poster said, I’m sure you researched all the options and are satisfied that your family will be safe. Enjoy the $15 per month!

    • Marla says:

      @Karen, I don’t think anyone is trying to attack her. Just saying that in certain areas it’s not possible to be without a landline due to natural disasters and other safety issues. All things she may not have thought about.

  • Jennifer says:

    I did the landline-less thing about 6 years ago when I was single and seldom home. After I married and was staying at home, we switched to landline only and no cell phones; which, is cheaper than the opposite.

    Our basic phone service is actually free right now as we qualified for a subsidized rate. (who knew?) I doubt there are any laws for subsidized cell phone service, so doing without those is just one more way we’re saving money each month.

  • Jenn says:

    Sorry, too much going on to read all the comments. Another argument for a landline is to have a single funnel for your family’s phone calls. Especially your child’s phone calls. We’re going to hold out on getting our daughter a cell phone for as long as possible so the only way she’ll be able to get calls is through the home phone. So there’s a chance they’ll have to talk to me or my husband before talking to her. There’s a lot you can learn from how a child talks to you.

    • Lori says:

      @Jenn,

      Agreed! Also when our daughter is ready for a cell (she’s 10 and we’re holding off as long as possible), texting will NOT be an option. If we don’t hear her voice, we don’t know it’s her. Simple as that.

      • Jenn says:

        @Lori, My daughter is 7. Some friends and I have banded together to hold out as a group. We can use each other as answer to the “but everybody has one” argument. I figure my daughter can borrow my cell or my husband’s cell if something comes up where she truly needs one. I hope my daughter’s friends would be more respectful calling/texting if anybody could be carrying that phone.

        • Jenn says:

          @Jenn, The other piece of my attachment to the landline is where the calls go if there isn’t one. I’m happy to be the primary parent and all that entails. But when I realized that if we ditched the landline all those calls (doctors, schools, etc) would come to me, part of me stood up and said, “wait a minute!” Sure I answer the phone most of the time and take those calls, but it’s the principle of the thing. If they go to the family phone, they’re the family’s responsibility, not just mine.

    • @Jenn, I agree with you, too! Our oldest recently asked for a cell phone (she’s not even 7 yet!). I asked her why and she said kids at school have them. HER AGE. I was surprised, but maybe shouldn’t have been. I asked her what she would use a cell phone for and she said “to call my friends”. I responded with, “you don’t even call your friends from our home phone!” I told her she can if she wants to, but she said, “no thanks”. Are landlines just not cool?

      On a sidenote, she’s homeschooled, but I sent her to summer school so she could take some fun classes (computers, art, etc), and this is what she came home with after one week, wanting a cell phone before the age of 7. I guess it could be a lot worse. . .

  • We have to keep our landline, b/c hubby works from home and often needs the landline for calls and faxes.

    Here’s what we do to save money on some of the little things, though; I wrote a post about it a couple months ago…
    http://likeabubblingbrook.blogspot.com/2010/02/5-simple-things-we-do-that-can-save-you_18.html

    Just a few ideas :o)

  • jan says:

    I will not get rid of our land line because I have a small child and my husband has diabetes. If something happened and she can dial 911 but she would not know our address- with reverse 911 they can still find your home. With a cell phone your call goes to the state highway patrol not your local police/fire. They will not know your location.

  • 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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