Thursday, January 25, 2007

Dropping the Cell Phone & Saving a Bundle!

A family friend from upstate New York (real country living) has recently ditched his cell phone. Why? The reception is poor in his region and he doesn't feel like paying for unreliable service. He's sticking with the land line at home and using pay phones on the go. Big savings.

I can relate. Two years, I attended a writing conference on Long Island. We were very far out and the reception was really spotty & annoying. I had to use the pay phone to complete a few calls.

The old school pay phone-on-the-go route, is also featured in the book Treasure Hunt by Michael J. Silverstein. He writes about a 20-something banker, (Arnold Piso), with a six-figure investment portfolio. Ditching the cell phone is one of Piso's money-saving strategies:

"He is a self-professed skinflint. Arnold says he does not need a cell phone because he doesn't make that many calls and anyway, 'it's cheaper to use a pay phone.' He doesn't drink soda...[waste of money.]"

On the other end of the scale, a former neighbor of mine -- a 20-something Realtor -- totally unplugged her land line and relies completely on her cell. Another friend (a 58-year-old grandmother) uses her computer -- voice over Internet phone (VoIP technology) to make long distance and international calls. She saves a bundle.

In my home, we use cell phones, land lines and computer lines. But we've cut our bills, by bundling our Internet and land line service. We studied the costs and bundling helped us to cut back. We don't have cable and watch a limited amount of television programming via the Internet, a subject I addressed last year in this post and more recently, in this story about Ugly Betty.

Getting Green offers an excellent rundown on reducing the costs of technology in your home, including cell phones and other gadgets.

Getting Rich Together also has a strong how-to post about shopping around for the best cell phone deal.

And my First Million at 33 posted an great piece about his pre-paid phone deal.


The Frugal Duchess Boutique


LongBeachBabe said...

I wish I could get rid of my cell! We don't have a landline, but work provides me with a cell phone so it's kind of a waste having mine around. I haven't cancelled it yet because I have a "contract" and it's like $250.00 to cancel (although at $60.00 a month or so, I am probably far exceeding that amount to cancel).

I did recently reduce our cable package which saved quite a bit. But with the Sopranos starting in the Spring, it will be back up there again. *Sigh*

Frugal Duchess: Sharon Harvey Rosenberg said...

Your fortunate to get a cell phone from, especially if the company lets you use it for personal reasons.

Your existing cell phone contract is about $720 annually versus $250 to cancel the package.

Congrats on cutting back on the cable.
Thanks so much for the comment.