Land Line

So now that I have a new! cell phone that actually works, I’ve been thinking about What To Do About Our Phones.

We still have a land line, with a phone number that’s been ours for at least 12 years. My phone usage is about 85% land line; 15% cell phone. I have many people that I keep in touch with mainly via phone, and I do nearly all of these correspondences on my land line. Also any of my local friends always call our home number if they are looking for me. I like that having a home phone especially since it’s sort of “old fashioned” now.
Also, a land line seems safer, specifically thinking of if the kids ever needed to make an call. The older two are just getting to the age where we feel like we can leave them home alone for a few minutes, and that “home alone” time will only increase over the next few years. I’m certainly not ready to get them their OWN cell phones but maybe wouldn’t want to leave them my phone in every circumstance…. Besides, if I left them my phone, and there was a problem, who would they call?
David has been wanting to cancel our land line for awhile now. He uses his cell phone for at least 90% of his calls, and he’s not here at home as much as I am, so our land line has very little value for him.
Also, we’ve been wanting/needing to cancel our cable (simply because we don’t use it enough to justify the cost), but since our services are bundled (phone, internet, cable and DVR), canceling cable might actually cost us MORE since we’d have to pay for the remaining services individually. At the very least, canceling cable wouldn’t save us much.
HOWEVER, if we canceled cable, and our phone line, we’d only have to pay for internet. Our savings would be significant. And it does seem sorta silly to be paying for a total of three phones (my cell, D’s cell, and our land line).
Also, our home phones are dying, one by one. We have one of those “systems” of cordless phones, where a whole bunch of cordless phones are connected to the same base. However, the display screen is broken on all but one of them, which means you can only see the caller ID (another service we are paying for) on the one remaining working phone.
I’d hate to buy new phones, only to decide to cancel our line, so I’ve been putting up with these broken/half working pieces of shit for awhile now.
So tell me, do you have both a land line and cell phones? If you only have cell phones, has there ever been any problems with this? What do you do about leaving the kids or a babysitter at home with potentially NO PHONE?
Please advise.
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10 thoughts on “Land Line

  1. We only have cell phones. If we go out and have a babysitter, we usually leave my cell phone at home, and ask the person to call H’s cell phone if there’s an emergency. You could also leave your cell phone at home and do what they used to do before cell phones, leave the number of the place where you’re going. It has worked very well for us.

    I’ve heard you can also pay the phone company something like $5-$10 a month for a line, and then you only pay more if you use it. I have been thinking about doing that so that if, God forbid, we ever had to call 911, we could use a landline.

  2. Yes, the needing to call 911 thing worries me. My luck, we’d need to call and my cell would be out of batteries or we wouldn’t be able to find it… And what if something happened to ME and the kids needed to call… it would be so much safer if they had a land line to run to instead of searching for Mommy’s cell, ya know?

  3. We have DirecTV and have to have a land line. I’ve never even considered half the things you mentioned (911! Babysitter stranded without phone??!). I’m curious to hear what others do.

  4. We finally switched to Vonage after hating how much I paid for a regular land line for YEARS. We pay about $30 a month for every feature imaginable but it runs through our cable internet, so if our cable is ever out we are screwed.
    We both have cell phones but we are not “cell phone people” and so they are pay-as-you-go phones we rarely use except when on the road (and for babysitters, etc.).
    Funny sidenote about the cable: We don’t even have cable TV, just the internet. We use Dish Network for TV because it is way cheaper. I think I like seeing how many different bills I can pay a month…?

  5. We have used only our cell phones ever since we got married. Actually, our entire family does this- my parents, his parents, his sister and brother, my sisters. We just make sure to always keep them charged, bring at least one into the bedroom with us at night (easy habit: keep one of the chargers in the bedroom, forcing you to have it at your side during the night) and whenever we go out together and have a sitter, we just leave her one of our phones, one the rare occasions that she hasn’t had one of her own. Then whoever has the remaining phone keeps it on their person at all times so we don’t miss a call. VOILA!
    I’ve honestly never missed a land line. Except for maybe the few times I’ve accidentally left my phone on vibrate and then missed calls for a few hours until I remembered.

  6. Once we moved into our new house, we’ve only had cell phones. Jeff has 2 (1 through work, 1 home) and I have 1. (We also have DirecTV, BTW, so that is possible!) We don’t miss a landline, and I enjoy not having to pay for my number to be unlisted.

    Babysitters have never been an issue…every one has arrived at our house with a fully charged cell phone of their own and we leave our numbers. If we had to, we’d leave them Jeff’s and still have 2 others they could reach us at. Oue phones are brought in and put on either the kitchen table or kitchen desk so the girls could always find one. We’re still a ways from them being home alone, but in that case I’d probably buy them a cheap trac-fone to keep at home for them to call me or 911 on. Good luck on your decision.

  7. We only had cell phones until Torsten started his company. Now we also have a landline. Even if he hadn’t started a company, I think we would have gotten a landline when we had kids.

  8. I think the trac-fone thing is a good idea. Very cheap. Also, as you know I work for directv- you don’t have to have a landline.

  9. We haven’t had a land line since…hmmm…2003 or so? I rarely miss it, I think what someone else said is true: that once your cell phone is your only phone, you just get used to always making sure it’s nearby, always keeping it charged (we both have chargers plugged in at bedside and it’s just a habit to bring the phones to bed and charge them every night), and our kids wouldn’t know how to use a land line phone (they actually grab for the blue tooth when the phone is ringing). I’ve found that almost all the babysitters that we’ve had have had their own cell phones, or at least one they can borrow to bring over, and I always remind them. But then we always say that if they forgot, we’d leave them one of ours.

    Of course, I have thought of the issue that you brought up about when the kids are old enough to be left alone but not old enough to have their own phone. that might be enough justification for a pay-as-you-go land line.

    One other “con” for cell-phone-only: I feel like it takes away a leeetle bit of the family cohesiveness since my husband and I have have individual lines. For example, his mother or his buddies only ever call his phone, which I don’t answer, so I don’t have that 3 minutes of, “oh, hey, how’s it going?” before handing the phone over. But so far, that hasn’t been enough of an issue to make us get a land line. But I wouldn’t rule it out when the kids get older.

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