Reaching Out to Touch Someone
Do you have any "phone friends"? You know, those people who live too far away to see regularly in person, so your relationship stays alive through the wonders of the phone lines? Even though calling long distance can get expen- sive over time, it's still often much cheaper than the gas and time you would use to visit people. Email and traditional letter writing also help fill in some of the gaps created by long-distance relationships.
Saving on phone bills
Check your statement from the phone company and make sure you're not paying for extra services you never use or don't really need. If you have an answering machine, you probably don't need voicemail from the phone com- pany. If you have a voicemail service but no answering machine, consider buying one. Purchasing your own machine is often considerably less expen- sive over a period of time than paying the monthly fees for the voicemail service.
Here are some other ways to save on your monthly phone bill: Check to see whether your phone company offers a flat rate or a mea- sured service plan that can save you money based on how often you call or on the times and days you usually use the phone.
Put off making long-distance calls until evenings and weekends, when rates are usually lower. If you make a lot of long-distance calls, check around for calling plans that suit the amount of calls you make. Try not to use operator assistance for placing long-distance calls unless absolutely necessary.
Using one of those access numbers you see advertised ("Call this number and your first 20 minutes are only 99 cents!") can save a lot of pennies if you're careful. Just talk until your 20 minutes are up, and if you're not done, the other party can call you back on the same plan.