High Speed Internet.
We don't. We actually pay $30 for a high-speed connection and here's why. It started when we first moved here. We signed up for our phone service with the only telephone company in our neighborhood. We got internet through PeoplePC. When we got our first phone bill, it was $180. We'd made two out-of-state calls, neither more than 45 minutes. But we were also billed for other calls we made, under the highly questionable title of "local long distance." If I called my husband at work? Local long distane. The library 7 miles from my house? Local long distance. It was totally ridiculous, and there's more. Our dial-up internet, even though it dialed numbers in the same area code, was also billed as "local long distance." Basically, if our phone dialed a number - no matter where it was - we got billed an extra charge.
Now we pay the $30 for cable internet and another $15 for our phone service - the basic residential rate with VONAGE. For $45, we have internet and phone service, and no long distance fees. Even if we called no one at all, just to *have* a land line is $26 for no-frill service, plus random taxes and fees, bringing it up to almost $35. Three or four phone calls and one hour on-line and we'd be paying more for the slower service than what we pay now with high-speed.
If you're still using dial-up, I encourage you to look into cable internet. I realize it's still not available *everywhere*, but you may find that using it and Vonage (or another VoIP service) could actually save you money, too, if your local phone service is as big a rip-off as ours is!
Labels: budgeting chatter