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11 ways to cut phone expenses

1.

Every few months, comparison shop to see if you're paying too much for your telephone calling plan. If you find a better deal, contact your phone company and negotiate -- or switch.

2. Cancel all the extra services you don't use such as call waiting, caller ID, voicemail, call forwarding and three-way calling.
3. Switch to a smaller, lower profile company for long-distance service. Not only is the service cheaper, but usually there are fewer fees.
4. Check your long-distance carrier's call-rounding policy. Many smaller long-distance companies offer six-second call rounding, rather than rounding up to the next minute. The more short calls made or faxes you send, the more you save with six-second rounding.
5. Some low-cost carriers may charge a fee if you receive a paper bill. Sidestep this fee by paying your bills online.
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6. If you make a lot of long-distance calls within your state, choose a calling plan with a low intrastate rate.
7. Drop your long-distance carrier altogether if you make infrequent long-distance phone calls. Instead, use a prepaid phone card, a dial-around service or even your cell phone if you've got the minutes.
8. If you're always on the run, consider swapping a land line for a cell phone. You'll save on the monthly service fee, taxes and long-distance fees for a land phone that's rarely used.
9. Don't exceed your allotted monthly cell phone minutes. Zero in on your calling needs to find the best plan for you.
10. Cell phones can be expensive, especially if you're footing the bill for a houseful of users. Do a "needs analysis." Dump the phones that aren't absolutely necessary.
11. Go wireless at your weekend or vacation home. Occasional but pricey cell phone calls may still be cheaper than the cost of installing and maintaining a bare-bones land line.
 
 
 
-- Updated: April 29, 2005
     

 

 
 
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