Do I Need a Land Line? No…and Neither Do You.

by Neal Frankle, CFP ®

do i need a land line

Recently, I asked myself, “Do I really need a land line?” I did all the calculations. I came to the conclusion that it makes no sense to have a telephone land line in my home anymore.

I started thinking about this the other day. I was preparing for an interview I was going to have with Ben Cope for our weekly radio show. I told Ben that guests are supposed to call in on a land line and he told me that he didn’t have one. This came as a shock at first. I’m old school as you know, and the idea of not having a land line never even occurred to me. My wife is old school too. And even if the idea had merit, I had fear of criticism from my wife, so I needed to get all my ducks in a row before I suggested this to her.

Then I started thinking about it…most of the calls I make and receive come from my cell phone. My kids don’t have a land line. I’m sure many of you don’t have one either. What’s my problem?

When I look at the numbers, the case against a land line becomes even more compelling (you have to assume that you’re going to have a cell phone anyway, so it’s a question of having a cell and a land line versus only having a cell).

I called my cell provider, which happens to be T-Mobile, to inquire how I could go without. The cell plan I have costs about $160 per month and it covers four phones and unlimited texting (I love to text my 18-year-old, especially when she’s busy…she gets very annoyed).

We never even get near our minute limit so I figure that I can easily get rid of the land line, make all our calls from cell phones and just save the dough I was spending for the land line.

Of course, while I was on the phone with T-Mobile, I asked how I could save money. They suggested that I sign up for a FAVS plan, which allows me to call five other people without being charged for minutes. Turns out that 60% of the calls most people make are to four or five people. This plan would help cut our minutes even further.

This actually brings up the only reason anyone would keep a land line…security. In a natural disaster, the cell towers and internet may go down, but the land line will likely survive. Is that reason enough to keep a land line?

The last time we had a natural disaster, the cell lines did go out, as did the electricity. But the land lines were overloaded anyway…so nothing worked for a few days.

I figure I can drop my land line and bank a cool $1,000 a year in savings at home.

Am I missing something? Have you pitched your land line? Do you regret it? If you haven’t done so yet, why not? (Neal’s note — Three years later, I still don’t have a land line. I love it because I also don’t have to take messages for anyone anymore. Nice. Next up, I’m going to axe my home protection plans.)



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