Because we have high-speed DSL through our home phone line, I have been ignoring the high amount we have been paying on our home phone.
However, even with DSL, $120 a month is just too much to pay for a home phone when your household already has 4 cell phones.
So, I called and spoke to a representative to see if I could find a way to lower my home phone bill. I found out that my bill is not the problem. It’s the phone users who have been causing me headaches.
Here are my charges for AT&T phone and Internet service:
$32.95 for DSL internet (Not bad, I am happy with this price.)
$24.99 for my local package (I canceled the messaging service and call waiting years ago. I don’t see anything wrong with a busy signal. Anyone who might need me for an emergency has my cell phone number.)
$36.83 for one collect call (I had collect calls blocked. My brother will have to pay to call me and give me a number to call him back.)
$11.00 for long distance at 5 cents per minute (If my husband’s cell phone does not work from the house, he should use my phone or the kids’ phones. I asked if I could block long distance, but they said it would cost me $4.95 a month to do that.)
After accessing the bill, I realized that it was our habits that drove up the bill.
In a last ditch effort to lower my base bill, I brought up the fact that many companies were advertising a low unlimited local and long-distance rate. The operator confirmed that they, too, had such a rate. For $49.99, plus taxes and fees, I could get unlimited long distance and local. But she reminded me that even with my per-minute long distance plan, my base bill was normally less than that $49.99 (plus taxes and fees of $30.00).
In the end, we both agreed that I had the best phone bill I could possibly have. All I had to do was manage phone use in my home. So I called my brother and gave him emergency calling instructions (that does not include collect calls since they are blocked). I called my husband and told him to take my cell phone if he had to make long distance calls from the house. Plus I will make it a point to never forget to pay my phone bill on time again because reinstatement fees are $30.00. ( I forgot to pay my bill during the busy holiday season.)
I have been a certified tightwad since I became pregnant with my first child and decided to find a way to stay home with him. I enjoy sharing my experiences in my journey back to financial health and planning for a future — which will include sending 2 kids to college and early retirement.