Hard look at the cell phone bill

I would like to decrease our cell phone bill. This month it is a whopping $125, and it is time for this to change! I am trying to create a new "baby friendly" budget which will work with our reduced income from June onwards. We have been making good progress reducing our debt, and now it is time to look at reducing expenses.

So here's the bill broke down this month for our two cell phones:
$35 Couples Plan
$22 (2 x $11) for voice mail, call display and text messaging
$40 (2 x $20) 200 minutes of long distance for each phone
$1 (2 x $0.50) for 911 service
$13.90 (2 x $6.95) for system access fee
$5.59 GST
$7.83 PST
------------
$125.32

The two optional charges (not part of the service fees, taxes, or basic plan) are highlighted in bold. Clearly, getting rid of the long distance would immediately reduce the bill by $40. We started paying this because we were traveling in the field and finding the bill was getting more and more expensive because of long distance. However, I am not traveling at all so should remove this charge immediately. Mr W is traveling, but I have purchased a long distance card he can use instead. He and I have 1000 minutes of free long distance with the Couples Plan, so the long distance is just for phoning clients or family/friends while he is away.

But what about the $22 for voicemail? I used to only have call display on my phone for a charge of $6 a month. Then I gave my number to clients and felt I better have voicemail too so we each got a bundle package which included text messaging.

This is a tough one, voicemail without call display is a possibility, which reduce the charges by $10 a month. But for now, I think I will leave it as is, I like the call display so I know whether the call is urgent to answer when I am out.

Overall I will remove the long distance, reducing the bill to $80.53 for next, but will wait to decide about the voicemail package. Isn't it crazy that the minimum cost of our $35 cell phone package is $55.88?

2 Comments:

  1. nancy (aka money coach) said...
    Couple ideas:

    1. You're quite web-savvy. Have you signed up for Skype? It's free from member to member and cheap from member to non, and incredibly easy to use - a quick download, account sign up and that's it.

    2. I have my cel forward to my landline's vmail. Do you have a landline? Or, could just one cel have the vmail, and the other the forward feature? I don't know that not having vmail is an option these days (but willing to be proven wrong)

    ps - sorry I haven't been popping by as much recently. Struggling to keep a balance with my new job plus my own business, plus dogs!
    La Femme said...
    I was spending quite a bit on long distance a few months ago, and I ended up switching to calling cards - $5 for 300+ minutes. You have to use the minutes up within a few weeks, but it's pretty hard to beat that price!

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