Ring, ring—that’s the phone, but which one you ask. Whereas many of us were raised in a house with perhaps two telephones today it’s not uncommon for people to have two cell phones a land line and multiple voice mail boxes to monitor.
Voice mail, caller ID, and three way calling can be nice features but what would life be like if you live without these?
The phone company wants to make money. Their support staff, who fields the customer calls, is trained to be helpful but also to answer your questions a certain way with the bottom line foremost. For instance I called to ask if our DSL service would be had without a phone line and I was told no. A few days later I called back another day armed with the phrase “DSL raw” and was told there was no way to lower the bill. I had greeted the operator with kindness and went into the “can you relate to me” mode asking if there wasn’t some way I could lower the bill that like so many families we were trying hard to cut back our monthly expenses. By the end of the call I learned there was something they called “stand-alone DSL.” Ordering this reduced the bill by half. You may well have to use the various words to get down to the kernel of truth stay calm but kind and determined. The utilities are required to offer these simplified services but they certainly don’t promote it.
Because I have a cell phone and can use the MAGIC JACK for VoIP calls (our address is registered for EMS) the only reason we could see for a land line was in a natural disaster since we have a regular phone plugged into the computer. The Magic Jack has voice mail and notifies you by e-mail when you have a message waiting, pretty clever indeed.
If you want to keep a land line ask for a “naked” land line, usually this is just a simple phone line and costs between $10-15 a month, get an answering machine (most have message retrieval like modern voicemail) and call it good. I’ll bet most people you want to talk to call you on the cell phone anyway. Sit for a few minutes and think these changes through. If you have many people in the house it may require a meeting to explore the pros and cons but everyone will feel involved and valued in the process of saving money.
Ben says, a penny saved is a penny earned
In these belt tightening times it is even more important to examine what are the essential costs of daily living and what are the extras that got added on when wallets were thick. You may quickly dismiss the fact that there is anything that can be trimmed but perhaps that just means you have to think with a tad more intention. Maybe you’d look stylish in your glasses instead of the disposable contact lenses. Instead of feeling too busy all the time you should turn off the cable and spend more time visiting with family and friends, or more time outside moving around for health.
think of how smart you’ll look in your glasses
Re-occurring monthly bills—-we all have them and these are likely the vampires that arrive twelve times annually that we just leave on autopilot without a thought. The companies count on this, that our lives are too full to get competitive bids on the car insurance, or the fuel bill, or the internet service.
Consider raising your deductibles on your car insurance or health insurance. Call around and make sure that the insurance you have is the best value. Ask your agent if she or he can suggest some ways to cut down the costs.
Compare the costs per gallon for your oil or propane bill that is likely delivered while you are at work without much thought and possibly without examination of the unit costs when you pay the bill.
Consider eating a little lower on the food chain and think of yourself as not only thrifty but ahead of the environmental curve (more…)
For those who are most familiar with classroom maps with the USA in the middle should try a look see at this map and the link to where the oil is.
This is a fascinating look at the world from an oil perspective
This map below more properly shows the size of the continents:
A friend told me that the best way to keep water is to get liter bottles from Coke only, fill them with water absolutely positively to the top, turn it over to make sure there is not even a bubble of air in it (this takes practice) and then they can be stored without additives for up to eight years without rotation. Think of how much water you might use where you in an emergency without your regular source of water.
I recently added Lifestraws as they will make almost any water drinkable and are easy to store. I also added some mylar blankets and a crank powered radio.