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Re: Increasing (?) costs for communications
Old 01-21-2007, 11:24 AM   #41
 
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Re: Increasing (?) costs for communications

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
By the way C-T...if you need to use the phone while driving, you can save a bundle on those 'hands free' devices by just using a large rubber band to hold it to the side of your head.

Then...10 and 2 and keep that dang radio turned off while you're driving!
Thanks for the Cell Phone info - I'll probably get a couple. - I did have an in dash phone in a car about 12 years ago. Even though it was hands free, it was the most distracting thing I've done in a car. More so than the navigation system that I am now playing with.
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Re: Increasing (?) costs for communications
Old 01-21-2007, 11:31 AM   #42
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Re: Increasing (?) costs for communications

Quote:
Originally Posted by larry
Would like to eventually drop the landline but old habits die hard.
When the electricity goes out, those cell phones & VOIPs die pretty hard too. That and 911 issues will keep us landlined for the foreseeable future.

Quote:
Originally Posted by larry
Nords, I had a Southwest Bell guy confirm to me that even though we had tone service, Ma bell's equipment did everything in tone anyway (even if you had pulse service) so we switched back to the pulse service and it had no effect what-so-ever on our touch tone service other than saving $1.50/mo. That was 15 years and 2 providers ago so it may be worth asking?
Oh, it can be done, but it's also also a PITA to switch back & forth between tone & pulse. Look at all the businesses who need to hear tones coming out of a phone, not pulses. (Our kid accidentally switched her phone to pulse once and freaked at the noises it was making.) I appreciate that we can save the $18/year but it doesn't seem to be worth the hassle of resetting our mental dialing behavior and reprogramming our computer fax settings.

Personally I'm still trying to understand the advantage of paying $10/month for commercial-free satellite radio vs "lugging around" a few of my favorite CDs... the car is the only place I listen to the radio today anyway, and not very much.
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Re: Increasing (?) costs for communications
Old 01-21-2007, 11:38 AM   #43
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Re: Increasing (?) costs for communications

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Originally Posted by Martha

I will have to keep an eye out on whether T Mobile's coverage improves.

I use T Mobile just as an emergency phone. It works well here in town and on major highways, but pretty much dead in the rural areas. I like the cheap $100 - 1000 minute plan, but there is a trade off in coverage.
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Re: Increasing (?) costs for communications
Old 01-21-2007, 11:41 AM   #44
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Re: Increasing (?) costs for communications

Cable TV and internet -- $97.47
Local landline -- $25.86
Sprint Long Distance for landline -- $0.10 per minute, no monthly charge
Cingular cell phones -- $57.75 for 2 phones sharing 450 day and 5000 night/weekend with monthly rollover and free long distance

I have tried without success to convince the young wife to give up the landline. She is worried about power outages and is certain the landline will always work. She is also concerned about 911 coverage. We really don't make enough long distance calls to justify adding VOIP to our cable package, and, for similar reasons, I also doubt the young wife would agree to go with that instead of the landline. Of course, the fact that her father worked for Ma Bell for 42 years certainly colors her view. Oh well, about $30 per month is a small price to pay for domestic harmony.

While I haven't tracked it carefully, I don't think that we have ever gone over 100 minutes per month total on the cell phones, so I probably should switch to a cheaper plan.
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Re: Increasing (?) costs for communications
Old 01-21-2007, 12:25 PM   #45
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Re: Increasing (?) costs for communications

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
I always wondered "Who the hell would pay ten bucks a month to listen to the radio in their car?!?"

Now I know.
Hey wait a minute. I've got XM in my car and love it. Lots of good music and (here's the good part) CNBC all the time! There's just nothing like "Mad Money" on the radio!
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Re: Increasing (?) costs for communications
Old 01-21-2007, 12:28 PM   #46
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Re: Increasing (?) costs for communications

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
Interesting. Maybe CT will end up with a cell phone or two.

I will have to keep an eye out on whether T Mobile's coverage improves.

For now, we will keep the Verizon plan and rethink when they start making us pay for a data plan.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DOG52
I use T Mobile just as an emergency phone. It works well here in town and on major highways, but pretty much dead in the rural areas. I like the cheap $100 - 1000 minute plan, but there is a trade off in coverage.
I believe Tracfone uses the "Cingular" network. Anyway their coverage map looks identical to Cingular. They are currently running a special 1 year service with 450 minutes and a free phone for $99. For $130 they have a free camera phone and 600 minutes. The minutes roll over as long as you buy a new 1 year card before the expiration date displayed on your phone. I don't "chat" so I never use all the minutes.
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Re: Increasing (?) costs for communications
Old 01-21-2007, 12:34 PM   #47
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Re: Increasing (?) costs for communications

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Originally Posted by figner
and 2) have heard 911 service is more reliable, as in they can locate you accurately faster. Anyone have anecdotes to share regarding #2?
A couple of years ago the county sheriff came to our house at 3:15 am and demanded we come to the door because 911 had a hangup call at "this address" 6 hours before. I told him that unless our dog called 911 while we weren't looking it wasn't us. He asked me my phone number and was puzzled as to why it didn't match the one on his report. We looked up the phone number in our community phone list and told him how to get to the correct house. He grunted and left. We went back to bed.

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Re: Increasing (?) costs for communications
Old 01-21-2007, 12:49 PM   #48
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Re: Increasing (?) costs for communications


Re: Internet phones and E911

First, it's probably fair to say that an old fashioned copper line into the home is the most reliable emergency phone. However, I think there's considerable FUD around the E911 issue and Internet phones.

When our house was struck by lightning a few years ago, DW was able to get the fire department here in just a few minutes using our Vonage line to call 911. Interestingly, if it hadn't been for our Vonage conversion, I probably wouldn't have made sure that our cordless phone was plugged into a UPS.

Anyhow, even though the lightning strike took out power in the house, the UPS absorbed the shock and provided plenty of juice for the Cable Modem, phone adapter, and cordless phone.

Also, if you really want the security of a copper based landline, consider the cheapest metered service for $9-10 a month just to have for emergencies. In some locations you can even call E911 from a phone line that doesn't have any active service.

One last thought - I just bought a year of unlimited outbound calling on Skype for $14.95. For an additional $20 you can get a phone that plugs into a USB port to use with Skype.
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Re: Increasing (?) costs for communications
Old 01-21-2007, 01:25 PM   #49
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Re: Increasing (?) costs for communications

Landline: About $24/month
Dial up: $5.50
No cell phones
No cable, satellite, etc.

Grand total for communication expenses: $29.50/mo.
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Re: Increasing (?) costs for communications
Old 01-21-2007, 01:29 PM   #50
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Re: Increasing (?) costs for communications

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
. . .Martha...might want to be careful mentioning the word 'inflation'...seems to invoke all sorts of visceral reactions in people.
Actually, only in you, CFB. Many of us understand how inflation affects us. We have taken appropriate actions so aren't worried about it.
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Re: Increasing (?) costs for communications
Old 01-21-2007, 01:51 PM   #51
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Re: Increasing (?) costs for communications


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
Read a little further back. Go into Target or Walmart or to the t-mobile web site and buy a t-mobile to go phone that suits you. <>
Then go to www.cheapphonecards and buy a $100 1000 minute tmobile card. Use a coupon from here:
http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/mess...hreadid=546489
Like "thanks5" for 5% more off. You should be in the range of $90 now. After successfully charging your card, they'll email you a card code good for 1000 minutes.
Bunny, can you go to T-Mobile website to keep track of your usage?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gumby
I have tried without success to convince the young wife to give up the landline.
If you have a young wife, say “Thank you sweet Jesus” and give her whatever she wants.

Ha
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Re: Increasing (?) costs for communications
Old 01-21-2007, 04:33 PM   #52
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Re: Increasing (?) costs for communications

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
I suggest that Satellite Radio is not for you.
I don't even know if there's satellite coverage out here. OnStar used to lack coverage out here too but maybe that's been fixed by now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
I would guess that my Tube amplifiers would be a hassle for you also! It's called different strokes.
Admittedly it might be pearls before swine. How does Ted Nugent sound through them?
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Re: Increasing (?) costs for communications
Old 01-21-2007, 04:49 PM   #53
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Re: Increasing (?) costs for communications

Land line about $31/mo. No long distance. Use a phone card for long distance. About $20 worth that lasts a while.

Dial-up service of $10/mo.
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Re: Increasing (?) costs for communications
Old 01-22-2007, 12:11 AM   #54
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Re: Increasing (?) costs for communications

Well. . . my payments may be lower than most of you, but apparently you get what you pay for in terms of reliability. My DSL internet connection has been out all day. I finally used my laptop to get a dial-up connection and learned that it will be down for the next 24 to 48 hours. Qwest s#cks. :P
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Re: Increasing (?) costs for communications
Old 01-22-2007, 04:45 PM   #55
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Re: Increasing (?) costs for communications

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Originally Posted by sgeeeee
Actually, only in you, CFB. Many of us understand how inflation affects us. We have taken appropriate actions so aren't worried about it.
Eh, I think some of you have taken what you THINK is appropriate actions and arent worried about it.

Which is alright with me. I just dont get the pushback on advising people to look at their spending patterns, costs of living, changes to those and make sure the appropriate action is being taken. Actually I do get it, all y'all just like ****ing with me and unfortunately, you might be blunting off some good advice to people who are still trying to figure out how to manage their finances before and during retirement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
Bunny, can you go to T-Mobile website to keep track of your usage?
You didnt use to be able to, but I think they added it in a few months ago. You can always dial 611 and have your balance and expiration date read to you.
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Re: Increasing (?) costs for communications
Old 01-22-2007, 05:28 PM   #56
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Re: Increasing (?) costs for communications

Cable Internet $45 (Road Runner)
VOIP Phone $8.30 (Sun Rocket)
Cell phones $87 (Sprint 1500 anytime minutes for 5 phones)


Those looking for prepaid phones might want to take a look at Net10, same network at tracphone but minutes are cheaper if you are a heavy user.
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Re: Increasing (?) costs for communications
Old 01-22-2007, 05:39 PM   #57
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Re: Increasing (?) costs for communications

Martha,
I spend the following on communications:

28 Cell phone
20 Land line - needed for DSL
40 DSL

88 Total

I try to justify it by thinking about what I don't spend by haveing DSL
Stamps - internet bill pay
Audio books - IPOD
Other savings - internet research
Entertainment - this board

I'm sure that the cost of communications will come down in the future.
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Re: Increasing (?) costs for communications
Old 01-22-2007, 06:18 PM   #58
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Re: Increasing (?) costs for communications

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
Eh, I think some of you have taken what you THINK is appropriate actions and arent worried about it. . .
This is starting to remind me of a ***** thread. I haven't read any inappropriate actions regarding inlfation by any posters. Several posters have looked at their spending and realized the current inflation factor is of secondary importance at best. There may be a point in the future when that changes, but until it does it seems silly to wave our hands in the air screaming, "DANGER, DANGER, INFLATION WILL GET YOU SOMEDAY." If inflation is a significant factor for you, several posters have discussed real actions you can take. It all seems like pretty good advice to me.

I will admit that I don't completely understand what you propose instead of the advice offered. I am skeptical that very many people are able to compute an accurate personal inflation rate. I have attempted to do this in the past by doing the following: 1) I categorized my annual spending in identical categories to those used by USBLS. 2) I looked at the USBLS inflation calculations by category. 3) I computed an inflation rate that included my own weighted spending. This produced a number that was within 0.2% of the CPI-U data. Of course, if you don't believe the USBLS is honest in their calculations, this is simply modifying a number you don't believe anyway.

Sorry about the partial thread hijack, Martha, but you brought on yourself with that cryptic comment about inflation not existing. Where did that come from? I may have missed it, but I haven't read any post claiming inflation didn't exist.
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Re: Increasing (?) costs for communications
Old 01-22-2007, 06:37 PM   #59
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Re: Increasing (?) costs for communications

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgeeeee

Sorry about the partial thread hijack, Martha, but you brought on yourself with that cryptic comment about inflation not existing. Where did that come from? I may have missed it, but I haven't read any post claiming inflation didn't exist.
It was a joke. I did use the
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Re: Increasing (?) costs for communications
Old 01-22-2007, 06:44 PM   #60
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Re: Increasing (?) costs for communications

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
It was a joke. . .
Oh . . . why was it supposed to be funny?
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