Tip: How to Weather the Economic Downturn, Mobile in Hand

If looking at your monthly bills as the headlines continue to show the economy plummeting leaves you debating about how to scale back, some analysts predict it will be your landline you let go of, not your cell phone or smartphone.

That's right. Ditch the mobile? Most agree Americans aren't ready for that.

Rather, you can save money by either dropping your landline altogether (not really practical if you use DSL from that provider, but if your high-speed comes via cable maybe you've already dropped a landline) or reducing it from a full package with long distance, call waiting, etc. to a basic local line.

Then, make all your long distance calls from your mobile, where you can still be interrupted by call waiting and, depending on your packager, perhaps even conference with three-way calling. Of course, you'll eventually be left out of the phone book, but that might reduce the dinner time telemarketing calls anyway.

If you do away with a landline altogether, you will want to check that your mobile can get you 9-1-1 coverage at your home and that your home has reliable cell coverage. Also, consider what's available at home when you're out with your phone�does the babysitter bring a cell, for example?

Ways to reduce your cell bills include reviewing your use and determining whether a different data plan would work out better in the long run, whether your household should be on one family plan versus two or more individual plans and assessing whether you're mostly calling people who use a different carrier.

Some carriers, like Verizon Wireless, offer free calls among users. That's an incentive to join the same carrier as the bulk of the people you call most.

As you contract comes up for renewal, it's worth investing a little time in figuring out the best next move.


wireless, economy, Verizon, data plan, landline