Stretching Your Dollar: Land Lines vs. Cell Phones

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MID-MISSOURI - Have you ditched your home phone in favor of it's younger, smarter and more nimble cousin the cell phone? Does it surprise you to hear 1 in 4 Americans lived in wireless-only homes. If you're younger than 30, that number jumps to 50 percent. Wireless-only households are increasing most among those age 30 and older.

Are you holding out and paying that bill for the right reasons?

Landline phones still have advantages, especially to those who get spotty or bad cellular reception. Here are some other strong arguments for those who are leary to cut the cord:

  1. In a power failure, landlines will still work. But this is only true for the older style of corded landline phones, the ones that actually plug into the wall. Cordless phones will be no more use than cell phones during an outage.
  2. If you live in an area that doesn't get high-speed Internet service, you have to keep the home phone line so you can use dial-up Internet.
  3. Also, most home security systems require a landline phone to work. There are systems that work with a cell-like service but those are more expensive to install and maintain.
  4. Calling 911, dispatchers pick up the area of the cell tower, not your exact address, so if you plan to ditch the land line, be certain everyone in the family can give an emergency operator your address.

There's the other side of the argument to ditch the dial-tone. The strongest is it is a costly and dying breed. You can hold out and keep watching VCR tapes too, but that doesn't mean there aren't better options today.

Most people spending anywhere from $25-75 a month for something you could eliminate and not really miss afterward. According to a CDC study, the fastest growing group of phone users are labeled "wireless mostly" because they take almost all of their calls on their cells but still pay for home phones. If this is you, there is a compromise to going cold-turkey on the home phone calls. Strip down your service to the bare-bones. drop caller ID, call waiting, long distance, and anything that cost a dime beyond basic service.