Get a Handle On Your Communications

How much are you paying for communications today?  Keep in mind that in today’s fast paced world you need decent and effective communications as much as you need air and water.  So take a few minutes and figure out how much you spend just on communications each month.  Try checking the various discounts from communications providers to see what savings on service rates they may offer with Groupon specials.

 Begin listing the basics.  First the monthly fee for wireless service.  This is just regular phone service; not stuff like conference calls, Skype, international calls (outside North America) and fax.  Set aside individual line items for each of these other services.  Then add any additional lines – this includes other phone numbers, computers or printer links.  Each cost extra and varies depending upon volume of use.  For example, a month of heavy faxing runs up a significant bill for the line dedicated to your fax machine(s).  You also need to add the TV fee charged by your provider.  And you can’t overlook your internet service provider (“ISP”), without whose service you might suddenly be back in the Dark Ages.  Finally add the cost of your landline phone service.  Although people are beginning to abandon landlines to rely just upon wireless, landlines may still be desirable, particularly for businesses or emergency circumstances or in locales where internet connections may be unreliable.

 After compiling total expenses for a month, you have a rough idea of how they affect your budget.  Build flexibility into your number to allow for periods of unusually high use, such as holiday seasons and major events.  Some individuals pay nearly a tenth of their monthly income for their communications.  You can control this by applying tactics to keep communications expenses reasonable.  Some people combine services – a method referred to in the trade as “bundling” – to reduce costs.  Many providers encourage this and offer reduced rates or deals – like the Groupons previously noted -for those who combine two or more services, like phone with internet and TV.  You must evaluate the quality and reliability of their service.  Other people reduce costs by using internet-related phone services like Vonage, using equipment that uses the internet to transmit standard landline phone calls.  This reduces the need for wireless service equipment and is an attractive option if you want to eliminate that expense.