Over the course of a few years I’ve created an ideal situation for my personal and business lines. Its saved me thousands of dollars and given my partners and I unlimited calling options on our personal, and business phone plans.
It started a few years ago when I was investigating how to cut back on my Verizon bill. My brother-in-law was getting a 20% discount through his employer, but I was self-employed, and I didn’t think I would be able to go that route. As I searched around I realized they offered student discounts as well. Now I wasn’t a student, but I was at one time, and still had an email address as an alumni. It was as simple as confirming a link sent to my school email address and BOOM…. Immediate 20% discount!
Tip 1: Get a school or employer discount on your cell phone bill. (Personal Savings = $264 dollars a year)
In addition to my family cell phone plan, I also had a work line which I needed and was paying for. I was paying around $25 dollars a month for a VOIP (voice over IP) phone. It worked well for me for the time I had it, but when I heard about a new service from Google, called Google Voice, I was all over it. I flatter myself to think I was one of the first to use Google Voice since Google gave me an invite when it first came out. It ultimately eliminated the entire cost of a work phone, with some added benefits I’ll share shortly.
Tip 2: Switch over to Google Voice (Personal Savings = $300 dollars a year)
I was in a pretty good situation at this point, but I’m addicted to saving, and when good things start to happen, the momentum picks up… I found an option in my google voice settings to have Google Voice forward phone calls to my cell phone from my Google Voice number. Allow me to explain- if my Google Voice number is 123-123-1234, and someone gives me a call, the phone number that forwards to my cell phone is my Google Voice number – 123-123-1234 (You may see where this is going). I realized how brilliant it would be to add my Google Voice number to my friends and family to receive and make unlimited calls. See Google, believe it or not, is quite smart. You can receive the calls from your number, giving you unlimited inbound calls. The outbound calls connect to you first, by ringing your cell phone from your Google Voice number, then dialing out once connected. This means unlimited outbound calls as well. Put this all together with the extremely easy Google Voice app, and I have unlimited calling options through Google Voice without the poor VOIP sound quality.
I still had one additional issue however. My family plan was just my wife and I, and we weren’t paying for enough minutes on our plan to have the friends and family as well. We needed to be on a more expensive plan, but I didn’t want to pay for more minutes if we didn’t need them. Then it hit me… My brother, my sister, and my brother-in-law are all in the same boat. Since we all have cell phones and individual work phones through Google Voice (we all work together), why not max out one family plan, decrease our cumulative phone bill, and take advantage of friends and family? So we did. It saved us all money, and we now have all our work lines in our friends and family, giving us unlimited minutes to use for our business.
Tip 3: Max out your family plan. (Personal Savings = $264 dollars a year)
Tip 4: Place your Google Voice number in your friends and family.
I now make unlimited calls for free for the work number I have, and its very high quality. Its even more fruitful for me because I work both from home and the office, and I’m not tied down to a physical phone stuck in one location. I can now make calls from any computer, or my cell phone, and my clients only see one number- Google Voice.
Total annual savings: $828