Decide to ditch or keep your landline
Frugal families sometimes splurge on technology. For example, it might seem odd for a family on a budget to have a landline phone and multiple cell phones. But there are plenty of valid reasons to have both phone services. If you’re considering dropping your landline, think it through. You might want to cut back in other areas. More and more households are cutting the cord. Have you ditched your landline?
Here are a few reasons why even frugal people have both.
Many people can’t get great cell phone service from any carrier at their home. In my own home, I can be in only a few rooms in the entire house if I want to use my cell phone.
Some people don’t want a cell phone contract or can’t get coverage where they live, so they have prepaid cell phones for when they’re away from home and keep their landline.
It’s nice to have two contact numbers. One reader, Kara from New Hampshire, shares: “I like keeping the landline. I prefer not to have the vet, doctor’s office, other appointments and such calling my cell constantly. Few people have my cell; they can call my landline. I never have to worry about my landline needing charging, and I never have to worry there’s an emergency in the middle of the night and my cell phone’s out in my purse in the living room.”
Many jobs require their employees to have a cell phone for work purposes. Some people prefer a landline to be able to fax documents, too. Another reader, Saule from Illinois, adds: “When my husband was unemployed a few years ago, he had to call in weekly to report his job-searching efforts, etc., to continue benefits, and that could only be done on a landline. This involved answering specific questions by pressing keys on the phone.”
Some homes keep their landline because they have DSL (and don’t want to pay more for naked/dry loop DSL, or maybe it’s not available), or a bundled package with their satellite or cable television provider.
Many households have both services for emergencies. Another reader, G.G. From Greece, shares: “We don’t have a landline anymore, but when I used to live in the United States, I lived in a high-crime neighborhood, and I needed the landline for my security system to function (so it could automatically call for help).” Many new alarm systems/services have wireless service now, but if you haven’t updated your system, you’ll need that landline.
Consider 911 emergencies, too. D.F., an emergency 911 dispatcher from North Carolina, adds: “I would highly recommend those who choose to have only cell phones teach their children their address, along with directions to the home from a known location. Many 911 communications centers have what’s called “phase 2″ capability. This means that we can locate a cell caller within a certain number of feet. Most of the time we are able to get help to the correct location (with phase 2). That is only if you are within that agency’s wireless reach. If you are not within that agency’s reach, such as in another county, you will have to know your location. Do not expect every 911 center to be able to locate you, because that might not be the case. And GPS on a phone is a wonderful thing, but if the 911 communications center that you reach does not have GEO mapping capability, you will still have to know your location and not depend on something in your phone to work.”
Some people don’t have unlimited cell phone plans. They use their landline so they don’t exceed their cell phone minutes or rack up a high long-distance phone bill.
photo by lukalsntluka