How to save money with Skype

Skype allows you to place telephone calls over the Internet if you have a high speed connection. If you plan properly, you can save a lot of money and get rid of your local phone service.

Go to and download and install the software.
Once the software is downloaded and installed, open a Skype account.
Sign up for unlimited calling in the US and Canada. This currently costs $3 per month.
Sign up for a local phone number with Skype if you wish to receive incoming telephone calls. This service is called SkypeIn. Currently, this costs around $30/year ($2.50/month paid yearly). This price includes voice mail.
If you have DSL Internet, consider switching to cable Internet if it is similarly priced. You can generally get cable Internet without ordering cable TV, but you can rarely get DSL internet without ordering regular phone service. However, if cable Internet is too expensive, or not available, stick with DSL.
Eliminate as many services as you can from your local phone service. If you have cable Internet, you can completely eliminate local phone service.
If you eliminate local phone service, you will need a cell phone for dialing 911. Skype does not allow you to dial 911 for emergencies (since they don't know which 911 location to connect you to.) Any cell phone, even without a service contract, is required by law to allow you to call 911. You can get a cheap prepaid phone from Wal-Mart or Target for under $30 and use that as your 911 phone.
If you don't want to use a headset for making phone calls, you can get a Skype phone such as the Linksys CIT300 or the GE Skype Dect 6.0. These phones work like regular wireless telephones, except they can make calls through Skype.
Compute your savings. Skype will cost about $66/year ($5.50/month) for a phone number with unlimited calling in the US and voice mail. You almost certainly cannot do that with your local phone company.

  • Remember that you cannot call 911 from Skype. If you eliminate your regular phone service, then get a prepaid cell phone for dialing 911. Make sure the cell phone has reception in your house.

Copyright 2009 by Michael Nehring