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Tips for a Thrifty Lifestyle: Your Cell Phone

Tips for a Thrifty Lifestyle is a guest post by Lisa.

Your cell phone could be the foundation for saving money and living the thrifty lifestyle.  How?  Follow along for some tips and information on the possibilities that the cell phone presents.

Remove the Land Line

To make an analogy to the world of banking, having a land line is like writing paper checks – yes, actually and physically writing each and every check (for bills, etc.).  What’s the point?

Indeed, the cell phone is like the presence of online banking that your bank likely has. Yet the thought that remains is one of need: do you really need the landline?  Certainly, there may be some users out there that truly make use of theirs – to fax documents, or use dial-up internet in some rural areas.

According to a recent article in the LA Times, 20 million U.S. households exclusively use a cell phone. On average, as the article also states, the average landline costs $40 a month. By getting rid of a landline and maintaining the cell phone for their calls, users are saving money; the cell phone takes the use of the landline – and then some.

“And then Some”

If the cell phone was only a replacement for the landline phone, you might not be pocketing that much in the way of savings.  Especially with the wealth of package deals (i.e. Internet, landline, and television), the cell phone will need to compete with costs that are a touch higher than a landline (an average of $6.69 a month more than the landline, according to the article).

What can a cell phone do, though?  Here’s a short-list of tasks that may be accomplished via cell phone:

  • Actual phone use, with free long-distance calls, unlimited texts.  In general, you’re probably getting more for your cell phone service than the landline offers because you can take it with you wherever you go.

  • The Internet and computer functions.  Some packages are extremely powerful, offering Internet functionality on the phone.  This opens up so many possibilities and advantages. Some users combine a smartphone with a tablet/netbook to take care of all phone/Internet/computer needs; it can work.

  • Apps. Smartphones are able to replace the computer for basic (task manager, calendar, email, etc.) and advanced (word processing and other ways to do work on a smartphone) functions.  Add in great apps and you can have your own minicomputer on your smartphone.This means that the cell phone –the Smartphone – can present a powerful amount of savings.  You might not need a landline anymore.  You can possibly allow the cell phone to take care of many needs, pocketing the overall savings that can take place with this solution.

Do you maintain both a cell phone and a landline? What are your thoughts on eliminating the landline entirely? Leave your comments below.