Author Topic: Misc ways I save money every month with communications stuff  (Read 1871 times)

Offline Going Galt

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Misc ways I save money every month with communications stuff
« on: November 15, 2009, 03:30:34 PM »
I'm new here so sorry if any of these have been listed before, or if some seem too obvious.  (But, what is obvious to one person is not always obvious to another.)

Cell phones:  Until a year ago, I was with Verizon Wireless.  I wasn't sure why it costs $100 a month (more or less) for 2 phones in a family share plan that we hardly ever used, and if we wanted the phones to actually DO anything extra, there were yet additional fees per month ($20 per phone for text msg????).  I was also paying for a 3rd phone for my mother "for emergencies", even though she always leaves it off and doesn't even know how to answer the phone (despite me showing her many times).  So, needless to say, her usage is almost 0.  Anyway, in comes the prepaid phones from Net10 and Tracfone.  They are the same company but the plans are a bit different.  Net10 is always 10 cents per minute, and Tracfone varies but can be as low as 10 cents per minute (usually somewhat higher).  It only costs me $15 a month to keep my Net10 phone loaded with 150 more minutes each month (can't go lower or it deactivates).  And, the Tracfone is only $7 a month for low usage -- best low usage deal is to buy one of the phones that says "Double minutes for life".  Then, once every 3 months load it with a $20 "60 minute" card, giving it 120 minutes to last 3 months.  They don't have their own network but borrow whatever the local one is in your area; mine are locked into AT&T, which is a pretty reliable network around here.

TV:  Kill it!  OK, actually I can't do that because it comes with my Internet access, and they'll actually charge me more per month if I remove the 22 "basic" channels from the plan.  So, I have those.  "Premium" movie channels are a massive rip-off at like $10 a channel.  If you must watch movies, pay $9 a month to NetFlix -- you'll get all the DVD rentals you could want, plus a very good selection of online watching you can do -- unlimited, all you want, including many of the popular TV series are all online (normally every season up to the current season).  So, that's a pretty good deal.  The only thing I am really missing now is that I used to like to watch those Discovery* channels.

Phone:  I have good luck with Vonage, which is $30 a month (the $25/month advertised forgets to mention taxes -- thanks all you rich farmers out there that need phone subsidies!).  I could still go cheaper by using Skype ($3 a month), but then the PC has to be left on all the time.  That may be OK for some people, and the cell phone can still be used if something urgent comes up.


Offline bubtech

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Re: Misc ways I save money every month with communications stuff
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2009, 09:48:03 PM »
Check out the T-mobile prepaid plan.  If you buy $100 worth of minutes they are good for 1 year.  Just before the year is up you buy $10 worth of minutes and it will roll over any old minutes AND the new ones will be good for 1 year, do this ad naseum.  My wife has had her phone for 3 years now and we have spent a grand total of $170, $50 for the phone, $100 for the first year and $10 per year for the next 2 years.  If you don't use many minutes it is a great deal.
B

Offline Going Galt

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Re: Misc ways I save money every month with communications stuff
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2009, 07:00:37 AM »
I had looked at T-Mobile.  I don't know if things have changed, but when I looked the phones in the stores were very expensive (like $250).  They would only give me a reasonable price if I bought the identical phone online -- made no sense.  The call pricing otherwise didn't seem too unreasonable.