Is your phone bill getting out of sight, like ours did? With two teen-agers, a self-employed hubby, and the internet, we had to find ways to get our phone bills under control. Here are a few tips for bringing that phone bill back to a manageable level.

Tip 1.
Shop for a company in your area that will provide a bundle pack of services such as local phone service, Internet access, and cable service.

Tip 2.
Get rid of those high-cost calling cards which can charge you anywhere from 25 cents to over a dollar per minute. If you need a phone card, use one of the prepaid cards that charge less than 5 cents a minute. Good deals on prepaid phone cards can be found at Costco, Sam’s Club, and Walmart.

Tip 3.
Search the Internet for the best phone rates in your area. You can start at:
www.saveonphones.com and
www.onesuite.com


Are you thinking you need a second phone line? Perhaps you have a home business or a talkative teenager or two. Here are a few options to consider before handing out the cash to cover putting in a new line and the monthly line charges.

Tip 4.
If the one phone line you have always seems to be busy, there are a couple options you could try. Call Waiting will let the person talking know that someone else is trying to get through, and it has improved over the years so that the person at the other end of the line is not rudely interrupted.

Tip 5.
Call Waiting will not work, though, if you have a computer tying up that phone line, then you might try a voice mail system to answer calls and take messages when your line is busy.

Tip 6.
If you are thinking of getting a second line for a fax machine, you could try a “distinctive ring” option. Many fax machines can be programmed to recognize and answer a ring that is different from your regular phone’s ring. This “distinctive ring” will require a different phone number from your regular one, but does not require a second line.

Article by Naomi Knudsen
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