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Telephone Bills: Average Cost and Getting Good Rates

written by: Nicky LaMarco•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 8/12/2010

As we've become more accustomed to having phone availability 24/7, the average cost of telephone bills has continued to rise. In many cases, the average household is now paying for a "landline" phone, in addition to one or more cell phones. Find out here how to get better phone bill rates.

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    The Cost of "Landline" Phones

    average cost of telephone bill (primary), how to get better phone bill rates Some people have begun to question whether they really need a landline phone. However, many people who have cell phones still feel they need to keep a home phone. Some of the reasons include the need for multiple phones within the household, or because of poor cell phone reception quality in the area in which they live. Some people simply feel the need to have a phone that will still work in the case of a power outage, which can make recharging a cell phone difficult if not impossible. If you just get basic telephone service in your home, without any of the extra features and frills, the average cost of telephone bills is usually between $20 and $50 a month, depending on your provider and your plan. If you are looking for ways on how to get better phone bill rates for your landline phone, the best advice is to get the most "bare bones" plan possible, especially if you also own a cell phone.

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    The Cost of Cell Phones

    The average cost of telephone bill for cell phones can get even more expensive. Although most basic plans for one person usually start at around $40 a month, most people need, or at least desire, extra features. Once you start adding additional minutes, roaming fees, overage charges, text messaging, data plans, and other features, you can really end up with a large phone bill each month. Many people with more than one cell phone in the household commonly pay $100 a month for cell phone service, or even more. With so much money being spent on cell phones, it is more important to learn how to get better phone bill rates.

    If you want to reduce your monthly cell phone charges, the first step is to take a good look at your current plan. Many people choose a plan that suits their current needs, then forget to upgrade or downgrade to a different plan if those needs change over time. Many people are actually paying for features they never use, or are paying overage charges because they use their phones more than they did in the past. You can often save money by contacting your provider, to see if there is a different plan that will better suit your needs. It's also possible to save money with group discounts, such as a plan sponsored by an employer. In some cases, you might find that you can save money by switching to a different carrier. However, this kind of switch should be thought out carefully, since there may be hidden costs such as termination fees. It's also usually cheaper to make phone calls within the same provider, so if there are a few people you call on a regular basis, you might be able to save money by switching to their carrier. You might also be able to save by choosing a smaller carrier, since they usually have lower monthly fees. However, you'll want to make sure they provide appropriate coverage for your needs.

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    Other Savings Options

    Besides those listed above, there are also other ways you can get better phone bill rates. Some people find that they can actually save money by using a prepaid phone plan. Some of these companies provide plans that average around $40 a month, without the need for cancellation fees or contracts. Many people also find that they can save a lot of money by using Internet options such as Skype, especially if the people you call frequently also use this product.

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