Monthly phone bills are the bane of peoples existence. If you want great service you have to pay an arm and a leg for it, and if you are content with getting disconnected every phone call or not having any signal then purchasing a smaller plan may be the way to go. Unfortunately it is almost impossible to go without any type of phone service and many people see how incredibly useful (and safe) cell phones can be. The necessity of these phones puts many people in a tough spot; purchase a long binding contract that forces you to pay each month, get a crappy prepaid phone for your absolute basic needs, or get terrible service. What do you do?

Well thankfully the advances in technology have offered plenty of solutions to this conundrum. You can easily disconnect your current phone plan (be it land line, cell phone, or both) and not only save tons of money with these solutions, but actually enjoy a more intimate connection with those you are attempting to contact.

There are several methods that you can use to connect with people, but combining these will give you a well rounded communication system that is cheap and highly effective.

Video Calls – There are numerous online sollutions to free video calls. This not only allows you to contact your loved ones, but you can actually see them as well. This is truly great for families that are spread across long distances because instead of simply describing things you can actually show them on camera.

Facebook, Google +, Skype, MSN, and many others offer free video calls and you can even add several people into the conversation on some. They take up very little bandwidth as well (even if you go HD), although deciding with provider you prefer will have to be done by trial and error as each of these differs from computer to computer based on internet speed, location, and many other factors.

Don’t have a camera for your computer? Well with all of the money you’ll be saving it should be easy to afford about $15-20 for a decent web camera (Walmart has incredibly cheap ones but Amazon or Ebay might have even more affordable alternatives).

Chat – Having a chat room for all of your friends or chatting with your family members is an excellent alternative to texting. Unfortunately this requires people to be on the computer, but with laptops and other mobile devices this is becoming easier to do while out of the house. You can create your own chat room with some of the free chat services, or simply use Facebook, Google +, MSN, Skype, or any other instant messenger services. This is free, quick, and incredibly effective!
Okay so you may be wondering; well all of these ‘solutions’ require me to be chained down to a computer! Don’t worry though, there is an excellent solution available for you cell phone users!

First, you need to realize how much money you will be saving by cutting the cord with your cell phone provider. There is real no set average phone bill because there are so many extra features you can get (unlimited texting, internet, bla bla bla), so lets just say you have a basic plan with some minutes to text; this will generally cost you around $70 a month (some much more, some less however). So that’s $840 a year you’re spending just on the phone bill itself, not including the actual phone itself.

So the fantastic alternative that will save you endless headaches and empty wallets is an app called Textfree.

Free Text and Phone Calls – Textfree is a free app that will allow you to send and receive phone calls/texts as long as you are connected to the internet. Not only do you get your own phone number but you can access your textfree account from your computer as well, enabling you to stay connected via texting there.

Staying connected to WiFi has never been easier; even fast food restaurants and stores have free WiFi! Simply purchase a smart phone (iPhone or Android), don’t purchase a plan, and make use of its WiFi capabilities to use this completely free app. You can do everything on WiFi that you can on a paid Internet Plan and if you have WiFi at your house (easy to purchase a router) you can stay connected all the time!

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