Now is a great time to re-evaluate your household budget. A good place to start is by taking a long, hard look at the ways to cut down on household expenses. Perhaps the easiest way to cut down on household expenses can be realized by canceling your current phone company service and switching to a carrier that lets you cut household expenses by making calls over the Internet using a technology called Voice-Over-Internet Protocol (VOIP).
VOIP provides the same or more features as your traditional phone service. While features vary by provider and plan, features such as call waiting, caller ID, voice mail, call forwarding, call block, and 3-2ay calling are common features, usually at no extra charge (unlike your phone company). Additional features such as virtual phone numbers ( alternate phone numbers that ring the same phone), music on hold, voicemail to email, voicemail online, speed dial, and others may be available for free or added cost, depending on plan and provider.
Our Personal Experience with VOIP
We converted our home phone over a year ago and have been quite pleased with the result. With our unlimited long distance, voice mail and other features from our local telco, we were spending over $60/month plus taxes. We replaced this with exactly the same features from a VOIP provider for $24.95 per month. In a year, we’ve had no more outages that from our regular phone service, call quality is great and we have no complaints at all. We save at least $40/month and get great service!
For those who work at home (like us), VOIP is a great and inexpensive way to add a 2nd phone line for business that can easily have your company name as the caller ID! With the Find Me/Follow me feature, your business phone can automatically find you at whatever phone you may be – great for having calls roll over to your cell phone if you don’t answer the business line.
Great VOIP Plans Under $25
While some providers give you a set number of minutes in exchange for a monthly fee, most Internet phone calling providers advertise free local and long distance calling. Depending on the package you buy, you can make free or deeply discounted calls anywhere in the world. There’s usually no difference between the fees charged for local or long distance calls, and international calls can be made for a fraction of what they’d cost otherwise.