Our telephone budget for this year is $55 per month. The line cost is about $25 so this leaves $30 for calls. So far we’ve made budget two months out of six.
My biggest problem is that I don’t wait until after 7pm when STD calls are cheaper. Rather than paying $3 a call, it grows to $8 or more a call. I don’t know why, I just don’t wait.
We gave Skype a go for a while, but the line quality was so poor we gave up. I haven’t looked into VoIP yet, but even if we did, we would still have to keep the landline and pay the $25 for our broadband package. If you use VoIP, maybe you can give me a heads up on what it’s like.
Unfortunately, we’re with Telstra (really expensive for us!) I would love to change, but I’ve know people here to have no phone for months after leaving Telstra, so I don’t want to take that risk.
The biggest help to keeping track of our call costs for the month is the online billing. I can check to see how much we have to go before going over budget.
Some other ways to save on the phone include:
If you’re in the market for a new provider, compare price and service to get the best deal. To easily compare providers and plans visit the You Compare website.
If you’re not calling for an extended chat, maybe shooting off an email would be just as good.
Check out businesses that you can contact via email and get them to call you, cutting cost and hold time.
VoIP allows you to make calls using your broadband internet connection rather than an analogue phone line for a fee you can also call regular landlines and mobile phones at a much cheaper rate.
To learn more about VoIP and to compare plans visit the VoIP Choice website.
Mobile phones and wireless broadband means we can live without a landline. Depending on your plans, this can give you significant savings over keeping a landline.
I’m a bit biased against this idea, because you are pretty much passing on your phone costs to your friends at at a much higher rate. An hour chat with a friend on a local call will be around 30c landline to landline; landline to mobile can be up around the $20 mark. Your friends may stop calling you if this is the case.
Getting landline, internet and mobile phones all with the same provider can save you money, not only on your phone, but net and mobile plans also. The You Compare website compares bundle packages as well as standard plans.
My mum and my nan had a routine. Every Sunday afternoon they would take turns calling each other, reducing the STD cost from 4 times to 2 times per month. Share calling long distance so you don’t have to foot the whole bill.
What features are you paying for that you don’t need? Voicemail that you don’t use? Caller id? Paying for a handset rental that you don’t have? Reducing the added features could also reduce your bill.
Phone providers offer a range of different packages to suit your phone usage. For instance, if you make a lot of long distance calls, getting a package that offers cheap long distance calls will save you money. Compare packages and get the right one to suit your phone usage.
It can be surprising (or maybe not) just how many mistakes providers can make on your bill. Check over each bill and make sure they aren’t charging you incorrectly of for services that you didn’t use. If you’re in a contract, check the charges against the contract that you signed.
10. Phone Cards (couldn’t think of a one word title!)
Phone cards can often be cheaper than standard overseas phone charges. If you make regular overseas or long distance calls, investigate whether you can save using a phone card.
How do you save money on the telephone bills?
Melissa Goodwin is a writer and the creator of Frugal and Thriving who has a passion for living frugally and encouraging people to thrive on any budget. The blog is nine years old and is almost like her eldest baby. Prior to being a blogger and mum (but not a mummy blogger), she worked as an accountant doing other people’s budgets, books and tax.