Financial Challenge – Day 15

In the last couple of Financial Challenges we’ve compared rates on cable TV / satellite TV and Internet providers in an attempt to lower the price we pay for these services. One of the wonderful aspects of going after these monthly costs is that if you can reduce the amount you pay, you place more money into your own pocket without the effort of having to change any part of your lifestyle. All that is required is keeping you eyes open for competing deals and making a phone call.

Save money on long distance

We are going to continue along these lines with today’s Financial Challenge and try to achieve better rates on your phone service. The fact is that you have probably had numerous opportunities to change your phone service to get a better deal. In all liklihood, one of the reasons that you decided to put your phone on the don not call list was because you were getting bombarded with so many cold call sale pitches to switch long distance telephone providers. When it comes down to it, most people keep the same calling plan because it’s easy and the result is that many people spend a lot more on their telephone service than they need to.

The long distance phone industry continues to be quite competitive and lower priced calling plans continually appear. Finding lower prices is quite easy. You can look in for better deals in your junk mail, in your local newspaper and in TV commercials just as we have done in the last two challenges. You can also do comparison shopping for less expensive plans at such places as My Rate Plan (Note: we do not have affiliation with this site and we get no compensation if you use it to compare rates) or do a search on Google for many other sites that offer phone rate comparison .

Compare phone rates and save money

As before, if you like your current phone carrier, call and ask if they can meet the price. If you are currently with a larger carrier such as AT&T the chances are that they will not be able to match the smaller phone company prices. At this point, ask what is the best price they can offer. You will probably want to have your latest phone bill with you as the way the larger companies can lower your price is put you on a calling plan that reflects the way you use your phone. Your bill will help aid them in finding a plan that is correct for you. If you don’t mind changing phone companies, then you can save quite a bit switching to a smaller discount phone company.

In the time you have set aside for today’s Financial Challenge, do a comparison to see what the best price you can get on your phone service, look through your junk main, the paper and on TV and see what you can come up with. Once you have, call the phone company and see if you can get a better price.

If you’re able to save some money, remember not only to celebrate, but also to earmark that money toward your debt reduction or simple investing plan.

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2 Responses to Financial Challenge – Day 15

  1. anna says:

    We sat down and looked hard at our SBC Ameritech phone bill last July, and I was shocked that I was paying 15 cents per minute on long distance and 12 cents per minute on local long distance. We had (a long time ago) used to save in that area, but they folded with hardly a notice about what was going on.

    So I did a little hunting on-line, and Unitel is what we settled on. It’s a company (out of california, I think) that pretty much just plugs into the service you have. We have SBC for the local plan, but with Unitel doing our local LD and LD rates, we’re down to 3 cents a minute on BOTH. What a savings, lemme tell ya! There might be better, but with what I’m saving already… my phone bill with just SBC used to be up around $65-70 a month. Now it’s $30 for SBC local and $3 for Unitel… totalling $33 dollars. I”ve cut the bill in HALF. Woot.

  2. Andrew says:

    I dumped my local phone service (Sprint) who I used to have basic service with. I was paying about $17 a month for a dial tone. I used my cell for long distance, since it was “already paid for” minutes and was on a $4 a month plan for international dialing. I’m from Australia, so I make regular international calls. With the $4 per month, I paid 7c per minute on weekends and 17c a minute any other time.

    I dumped all of those except the cell phone. I’m currently using VOIP “internet phone” from a company called Packet8 ( This is pretty much the same service as Vonage, who advertise everywhere. I paid $60 less a $60 mail-in rebate for the VOIP box which plugs into my cable modem. I bought it from Amazon, so no sales tax and since it was over $25, I got free shipping. After activating, I got 2 months free to try it.

    Now I pay $19.99 plus taxes (about $22 all up) a month. For that I get free calling anywhere in the US, and 3c a minute any time to Aus. 2c to Britain.

    The service includes all the things you pay extra for with Sprint (3-way calling, call waiting, caller ID, voicemail, call forwarding…). Also, you can get extra local numbers in whatever area code you want for an extra $5 a month. If your kid is away at school, they can make a local call to talk to you. Pretty cool.

    I’m not affiliated with Packet8, just thought I’d share. If you are referred by an existing customer, the referrer gets 1 month free, but the new customer only gets 1 month free, so they give 1 of your free months to the person who sent you to them. The last couple of friends I set up with Packet8, I just had them buy and activate themselves.

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