Can I save any money and keep a similar setup as descibed

iggieSeptember 5, 2006

I spend $185 pe4r month for cable,2 phone lines, one has unlimited long distance, the other is used exclusively for my computer. my ISP provider is msn also I have HBO & Showtime on the cable setup. Is there any way I can keep the same service conviences and save money? Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Iggie

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Is there a reason why you are not utilizing the cable for your computer (high speed) and dropping a phone line? The cable co. also offers discounted phone service and you can also use skype to make free long distant calls.

dunno if any of that helps.


    Bookmark   September 5, 2006 at 9:00AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

Where are you located? State?
What is the approximate use of LD in minutes?

What is the breakdown of expenses?
Phone line
Phone line with unlimited LD
Cable with HBO and Showtime?

How many movies do you/family watch (and enjoy) each month? Possibly you could rent a few of your wants cheaper than paying the extra for Showtime and HBO.

Does your cable company offer ISP service? How much if it is packaged with your cable service?

How much if it is Cable ISP only? (I'm thinking possibly satellite TV may be cheaper than cable.)

I have mine down to the minimum cost (I think) but my wants/needs are different than yours.

I recently got Dish Tv (on special) and they threw in Showtime for free for 3 months (then I can cancel it). I have had it about 6 weeks, and haven't watched the first movie yet. Most of them just don't appeal to me, and I don't really have a window of spare time (2 hours) very often. If it was winter, I might find I liked it a little better.


    Bookmark   September 5, 2006 at 9:03AM
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The break down is 29.95 for basic cable, the premium channels bringing the bill to 75. Basic phone lileasne is 19 the unlimited Ld line is 49.95 the rest of the 90 total is taxes etc. We have 5 kids scattered over the country, so our long distance use is quite heavy 10 hrs per month. My ISP provider is MSN the cost is 21.95 per month. I am located in Missouri. Also we watch 1 or two movies per week and many times none. Iggie

    Bookmark   September 5, 2006 at 10:08AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

As Kim asked b4...Does your cable co offer internet service?

Does your phone co offer DSL, or does anyone else in your area?

Is there possibly a local broadband wireless service in your area? I thought I was going to be able to get it ($30 a month) but found out due to the terrain since I am in the boonies, that it will require an expensive and tall (50 ft) pole set

Would it be cheaper than the $41.90? (which is the cost of the extra line and MSN combined)

I have Verizon phone line (retired from there (special rate)
A T %& T Unlimited Plus Plan $35.71 and that includes taxes.
I have pagoo, an internet answering machine which means I don't really need a second line to keep from missing calls.
ISP-Earthlink-dial up 21.95 plus tax
Dish TV-2 tv's Top 60- 19.95 a month and Free installation for 2 tvs (is only free for 2 tvs) and then rate will go to 29.95 plus tax after 15 months.

It seems you could save a lot with dropping the extra movie channels since they aren't used much. You might look into net flix-movies by mail...your choice.

You could also save by having one phone line, internet answering machine ($5 per month if paid by check for the year) and there is an additional charge on the phone bill for calls being forwarded to a Pagoo answering machine when you are on line. (1.70) I think.

Here is a breakdown of all mine.

$25.00-Phone-Verizon-CWT-3 way calling-repair insurance-call forward for Pagoo
$36.00-Unlimited Long distance with A T and T-WARNING-It is not available everywhere (I've heard from a friend)
$21.95-Earthlink dial-up
$05.00-Pagoo Internet answering machine-simliar to callwave
$35.00-Dish TV (approx with taxes) after promo period
$122.95 total

Seems you can maybe cut your costs significantly with just a few minor changes.

Feel free to email me if you have any questions.

Here is a link that might be useful: A T & T unlimited LD

    Bookmark   September 5, 2006 at 11:22AM
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Here are a few ideas........

You don't mention anything about having a cell phone, just two land lines.

Usually a cell phone has free long distance. It may be cheaper to use this instead of a land line with unlimited long distance. I have a cell phone plan with T-Mobile that lets me call for free in seven Great Lakes area states but charges up the ying-yang for long distance to other states. Since I don't know anybody on the East or West Coast or in the Mountain states I never pay the higher rates. You will have to check and compare cell phone companies in your area to see if something like this works for you. They have other tailored plans too. Not all cell phone companies serve all areas either.

When checking around tell tham what YOUR needs are and see if they offer a package that suits those needs. If you do it the other way around and just call and ask them "What they have?", they are likely to only mention their expensive top of the line packages that are high profit for them. Do not let them upsell you. Note: be sure to check out 'free roaming' or at least find out the roaming area around you. Sometimes the lines are drawn right through neighborhoods and you pay roaming charges to call your neighbors from the mall!

You may have to change the way you are used to doing things, to save money. Instead of all that long distance phoning, could sending a few emails suffice? Most people have computers these days and can receive emails. Snail mail is still around too BTW.

Instead of a dedicated line for your computer maybe just go with one line and get something like 'Catch-A-Call'. This will put your omputer 'on hold' and let all calls come through. I understand that your needs may be different and this may seem disruptive if you need your computer for work but if your computer is used mostly for entertainment you can get used to it.

I have MSN. A while back they were offering a $15.95 price for new subscribers. There was an outcry from longtime loyal subscribers paying a MUCH higher rate. I saw on another board I am on that if you call them up and *just ask* for the $15.95 rate, they will give it to you. Everyone said it worked and I tried it and lo and behold I got the $15.95 rate *just for asking*. You say you have MSN. It doesn't hurt to call tham and say "Hey, everyone I know is paying $15.95/mo. Why am I paying $21.95 for the same service??"

Another thing I have read, and also found out for my self is that if you threaten to CANCEL your service at a company and go to another company they will offer a new and better rate. I have heard of this being used as a tactic to get a better rate but I have never done so. I think that type of thing is a bit devious and I wouldn't feel right pulling a stunt like that. I did find out by accident, when I actually really WANTED to cancel my DSL because I was trying to save money, that they just OFFERED me a rate at *HALF* the price I was paying. I was amazed.

If you call your cable company to cancel your premium service and just stick with basic, they may suddenly "remember" they have a special. :)

A question to you would be, are you just trying to 'save a couple o'bucks' or are you in dire financial straits?? If it is the later cancel everything that is not necessary. This means your Showtime and HBO and even your cable altogether. I've seen friends 'go under' who kept their luxury items like cable right up to the end when the bank forclosed on them. This means only one land line and let your friends and family call YOU long distance to chat.

Hope this helps. I would try calling MSN right away to get the $15.95 rate.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2006 at 1:27PM
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Sometimes unlimited deals don't work out cheaper. 10 hours long distance may not actually cost more than $49.95? There are also ways to reduce the number of calls you make. You can voice and video chat over the internet for free now, I've radically cut my telephone use by doing this.

Also, paying for a dedicated telephone line and internet for a computer is often more expensive than having a modern high speed connection.

As for channels you pay for, I find their value depends on a lot of things. Like most people around here I only receive 4 channels (some parts of the country get 5), and really I don't want a huge selection. Even with this limited choice I can find things in the guide that I want to watch. To some extent being limited forces you to try out new things, and I like that. The thing is, you can only watch one channel at once and if there's nothing on the channels you do have you can just do something else or watch a cassette. I suppose the value of extra channels depends a lot on the quality of your local free channels, how much you watch TV and if one of these pay channels shows a lot of programs you can't get anywhere else. If you're uncertain about them you could show yourself if you really want and enjoy them by cancelling them. If you decide that you do then it's easy enough to subscribe for them again, and you may even get an introductory deal.

I also find it helps to think of costs as per year and not just per month. It puts thing in to a different perspective.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2006 at 3:59PM
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We recently decided to change from our regular phone service and sloooow dial up ISP to using a cable company who offered a package of high speed dsl along with phone service for $39.95 per month. We just love the dsl. We used to pay $35 for phone (one line)and $10 for ISP. We are now able to use our phone while on the computer because of this cable set-up. We also have a cell phone which costs $45.00 per month for 240 minutes that carry over, free long distance and free nights and weekends. We have children and parents who live in 5 states. We don't use our home phone for long distance. We have satellite for our tv for $50 per month. We could have had cable tv included with the dsl and phone for a cost of $99 for everything, but my husband likes his satellite! (the price is about the same.) I highly recommend a cell phone, which is also carried while you are away from home, good for car emergencies, and just keeping in touch. It makes me feel secure.
It took us months to finally decide how to work this out because there are so many options. Check on the internet for package plans for phone/dsl/cable service in your area. I'm sure somebody has a plan that will suit you. We use Cox cable in our area and Cingular wireless cell phone. Good luck.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2006 at 1:25AM
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A lot varies around the country (and world) but a few thoughts. $50/mo for 10 hrs LD service puts you at 8.3/min for your LD. Not a great deal. You can get calling cards for 2¢-5¢ easily and cut costs there. As suggested, a cell could be an option too and give other benefits, though it could be more expensive. Dish Network has a pretty good basic lineup for about $20/mo. Ever think about an occasional Pay-per-view instead of paying for stuff you don't watch? Or rent an occasional movie. MSN is a ripoff. Period. You do *not* have to use them though the phone companies push them since they get paid to push them.

Another thing to consider: Do you *really* use all of the (often mostly) perceived speed of the broadband? The reason I ask is that there are slightly slower DSL speeds available at a much better price. Many people would never notice the difference.

Do an honest sit-down with yourself. What do you need? The phone calls to the kids are probably a pretty high priority, but I'd venture a guess that the premium channels are probably lower on the rung. Then examine some options. And enjoy the shopping!

Personally, I'm still happy with my $5/mo ISP, two prepaid cell phones, one home phone line using phone cards for LD or the cells. And actually I don't have cable anymore and seldom miss it. Still think about getting Dish for a year to try it out. But I consider the savings there go to a vacation fund to take a couple trips a year and I get cable there. Yes there's some things I like to watch then but I sure don't go through withdrawal. But then again, I'm not like most!

Good luck in your decision!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2006 at 1:08PM
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Hi. I've been lurking for a while now. I have the same dilemma with cable, phone, internet, etc. I'm working on it. I have two phone lines also, one exclusively for the computer and also pay for ISP. I have verizon for my phone company, but apparently because we live in podunk, dsl is unavailable to us at this time. And we've tried it 3 times. Maybe I should check out cable. We have the dish right now. Anyhow, one thing I did find several years ago was 2.5 cents a minute, anytime, anyday. You pay for your minutes up front so there's no monthly bill. It tells you how much money and how many minutes you have left everytime you make a phone call. My son used it a lot to call home from college. You can use the service on any phone. They do charge I think 50 cents if you use a pay phone. You have to dial the 800 # then your PIN then the number you want to call, but it works for us. The only problem I had with it was this summer, traveling to GA to visit my brother, couldn't get it to work on a payphone. When the operator came on to help, they said they never heard of it so we waited til we stopped for the night and called from our hotel room. I hope this helps.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 9:49AM
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