Cheap Ways Of Staying In Touch With The Family

It's nice having a family that has managed to spread itself across the globe, but staying in touch can soon cost a pretty penny. Each Christmas draws a hiss of disbelief as the cashier reads the total for all the cards I send, for the price of a card abroad I'd hope it has its own private seat on the airmail plane and gets served cocktails en route.

Phoning family has also racked up a few eye-watering bills too, having a large Irish contingent in my ancestry the one thing people are never short of is things to talk about, in great length and appalling detail! As I listen to the umpteenth tale of a cousin I've never met, I can visualise the champagne corks popping at the landline company as they watch my bill rise. But no longer! Following some advice I went ahead and installed VoIP on my laptop, and now I just use the broadband line to make calls instead.

When you switch to VoIP, you get the option of making cheap calls. A few of my family and friends have VoIP installed themselves so I can call them totally free, but I also get free calls to some landlines as part of my contract, even overseas numbers. So now I can listen to every minute detail of what people have been up to, and what injections Frank had to have after the raccoon incident, without trying to hurry the other person along and seeming like I don't care. Once the free minutes have expired on my monthly limit, I can still make regular calls at much lower rates than the calls used to cost previously.

One of the other things I like about VoIP is that I can store all the numbers on my computer and check in advance what the cost rates are to the specific country codes that I need. With family moving out all over Europe, America and the Far East, it saves a lot of scribbling in a phone book, and I can also plan who I'm going to call and for how long, making my phone budget stretch even further.


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