Do you still need a landline phone? Check out these pros and cons that come with cancelling your landline phone service.
By Sarah Mueller, Contributing Writer
When we moved into our dream home, we decided we didn’t need a landline phone. We’d just use our cell phones. Now, 2 years later, this decision has saved us at least $640.
3 reasons to skip the landline and use just cell phones
- You’ll save money. Our old landline phone bill was at least $30 a month. We’re saving at least $360 each year by not having a landline. We’ve saved even more by negotiating other utility bills.
- Fewer sales calls. For some reason, we get very few unsolicited sales calls on our cell phones. It keeps the dinner hour a little more peaceful.
- It’s easier to stay in touch with people. With my phone with me, I almost never miss a call. Of course, always being plugged in is not always a good thing.
These are great reasons not to have a landline. But still, we hesitated.
Having a “regular” phone was just something everyone did! It seemed strange to not have one. There were other downsides, too.
Disadvantages to not having a regular phone line or landline:
- Your Internet bill might go up. If you get your Internet service from the phone company, they might penalize you for cancelling your landline. The phone company doesn’t provide DSL in our area, so it wasn’t an issue for us.
- Your cell phone has to be charged to be usable. In a power outage, a corded landline will still work. Our generator will charge our cell phones if necessary. You could also use your car to charge your phone in a pinch.
- Challenges using 911. Since cell phones aren’t fixed to an address, emergency services might have difficulty identifying the location of a 911 call (although most phones transmit their location automatically to 911 and the FCC says that 70% of all 911 calls are from cell phones). This means if you call 911 from a cell phone, you should tell the 911 operator your location.
- You need cell reception. If you live in an area where the reception is bad, you surely won’t want to give up your landline.
- You might want a “house” phone. Even if you don’t need a landline, you still might want a phone attached to your home. For babysitters or before my teenaged son had his own $10 a month smartphone, we wanted to have a home number to call. After some research, I found an easy solution to this need – we now have a “regular” phone that works through our Internet connection and costs about $40 a year.
Once we identified the downsides and solutions, we were comfortable not having a traditional landline. And it’s not just the landline that you can ditch.
Here are some other services you might be able to cancel:
- Cable / satellite service. We use Amazon Instant Watch (one of Prime’s awesome free features) along with Netflix streaming and some library DVDs. We’re never at a loss for something to watch. Monthly savings: $80+ a month
- Credit monitoring service. This service often costs $10-20 a month, but you can easily keep an eye on your credit yourself. Most credit card companies will alert you immediately to suspicious activity on your card. The FTC has information on how to get a free copy of your credit report. Unless you have special circumstances, you probably don’t need a credit monitoring service.
- Service plans and special warranties on water pipes, electricity, cable modem, etc. The electric company sends me a letter every couple months offering a service plan on our home’s wiring. Since our house is newer, I don’t anticipate the wiring going bad any time soon. I’ll just keep that $10 a month, thank you!
It’s easy to get into the habit of paying the same bills each month (or not even realize they’re being paid automatically). But if you take a look at each bill, you might find that some of them are no longer necessary for your family.
By eliminating bills like landline service, you can easily free up money in your monthly budget. And that’s a beautiful thing!