It's no secret I am paranoid about finances and money. One of my biggest fears of having an offspring is not having enough money. My parents raised 5 of us without a problem. They had money issues (but I never knew it) and made it work. Still....I am paranoid.
An offspring is still at least 11 months away...but I am already going into "budget cutting mode". So far I have saved $180 a year by cancelling XM radio, $380 a year by switching to Progressive Insurance (we used to have Geico), $300 a year by no longer buying a case of soft drinks a week and soon to be another $300 a year by canceling Vonage.
Vonage has been good to us. We subscribed to Vonage when we bought our house back in April 2004. We have never changed our calling plan or features. The plan started at $14.99 a month. After taxes it was $16.94 a month. That price stuck until May 2006 when the monthly bill rose to $19.79 due to new fees/taxes. The price for our plan went to $17.99 a month in 2008 and after taxes/fees the monthly bill was $20.27 a month. In 2009 the taxes/fees went even higher and we now pay $25.15 a month. Time to trim some fat.
I have been searching for a good, reliable, and affordable phone system for a few weeks. Google Voice is great, but it still relies on us having some kind of phone to use. MagicJack is decent, but it doesn't allow us to port our phone number. Skype could work, but in order to make all the phone jacks requires too much work.
Kelli and I went out with Eric & Angela Saturday night. I mentioned to Eric that I want a cheaper VOIP provider. He mentioned that is mother had issues with MagicJack. He then mentioned Ooma. Hmmm.
Ooma has been around for a few years. The idea is that the customer buys a rather expensive piece of hardware and then is set for life. No monthly feees. Of course they have optional/premium services to make extra money each month. The initial investment is $199 for the hardware plus $40 to transfer/port our number. Kinda steep. The ROI won't happen for 10 months. After 10 months we are "saving" money each month....as long as Ooma stays in business. I am almost ready to pull the trigger. Kelli could care less what phone system we use. Eh. I tossed the idea around of simply increasing our monthly minutes on our T-Mobile plan, but that wouldn't help a whole lot as we still have a home phone bill. Google voice is supposed to offer number portability at some point. If they offered it now then I would consider dumping the home phone system all together.
When I cancel Vonage I will have cut our yearly budget by $1160. My next project will be cutting the homeowners insurance bill. After that I will have to take a step back and see where else I can trim some cash. I can buy 160 Pampers Cruisers size 3 (16-28lbs) diapers for $41 (2nd day shipping free!) from Amazon. So with the money saved so far I can buy 28 months of diapers (assuming 160 diapers last month....better last a damn month!). Hmm of course I haven't saved any money for baby food, clothes, toys, furniture or college yet. Doh!