Times is tough. Money is tight. So we're looking at ways to make our pathetic pieces of green paper go farther.
The first was changing our health insurance. Apparently the arrival of the new year is the signal for our insurer to tack on another $100 a month to our insurance bill. This we just can't take. It's gotten to the point of absurdity. But I don't want to have no insurance at all, so we make our deal with the devil. We lower our premiums by accepting more upfront costs. A LOT more. On the up side, when you tell doctors or hospitals you are paying cash, the bill is often lower. The plan is to save the insurance for the really bad stuff.
Car insurance will be next.
Then there's the phone. The local phone lines are so decrepit that we loose 50 - 80% of our service when is rains heavily here. I can't get cell signal in our home (being underground and all) and I don't want to try a call-repeater or change our number (which is tied to our business). The answer? Ooma. Ooma is a VOIP system, like Vonage. But unlike vonage, you buy the hardware once and that's it. Voice quality is also supposedly better. It looks like a pretty sweet system. I bought the base unit and one satalite unit. But I need to get a router working in my office to hook it up to. I also need to test the system with my wonky internet provider. But if it all works, I will be able to change over my landline to Ooma (something Vonage can't do here yet) and start saving an ASSLOAD of money. I'll let you know how it's working in a few days.