Saving Money with Old School Technology – Answering Machines

by Debt Destroyer on May 13, 2009

As I’m quick to remind you long time readers, I took your advice and switched phone/internet carriers a few months ago.   One of my complaints was that we no longer could get a separate voicemail box anymore for my wife’s business.   But we decided we could make do with paying $5/month for just one vm box.

But then we went shopping.

phone-answering-machine-close-upOne reason our “Household Misc” category was so out of whack in March was because we spent $70 on a set of two new phones.  The handsets matched our old phones so that was nice.  But the best part was that they came with an answering machine.  The answering machine allowed us to cancel our voicemail and save $5/month.

So as long as we use the answering machine for 14 months the phones will pay for themselves.


Ok, I lied.  The best part about our new phones wasn’t the money saving feature of the answering machine.  The best part was that they were used.

I know what you’re saying, “DD, why is that the best part?”

Well you see, there was a message already on the answering machine.  It was a rather entertaining one too.

A woman was on the phone with her mother telling her that she couldn’t figure out her new phones and was going to take them back (obviously she had a little trouble since she was recording the conversation). She then spent a little while trying to decide whether or not to take a shower. The phone call ended with her yelling at her kid to “get out of the fridge” because he just ate breakfast and should be plenty full.

In addition to leaving us that nugget, they also named the handsets:

  • Youbetcha #1
  • Youbetcha #2

It’s kind of like those  Mastercard commercials.

Slightly-used Home Electronics…$70. Knowing that you’re having a better day than the lady on the phone…priceless.

Until next time,


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Britt May 13, 2009 at 3:34 pm

Excellent post.

Old technology is, in many cases, cheaper technology. I found that out the hard way.

My wife and I drive used cars because they’re cheaper than new cars. But in doing so, we hit a couple of snags…

Two years ago, the driver’s side power window motor in one car went dead. Replacement cost? About $200. In all likelihood, a car without power windows would have spared us this expense.

So then yesterday, I get into our other car. Since my wife had used it last, I had to move the driver’s seat back… a motorized function. Guess what? The motor went dead. Luckily, I got the seat into position before it went dead. But I’m not looking forward to the repair bill!


The more gadgets or upgrades something has, the more likely something expensive will break!


sid@cajungoods.com May 14, 2009 at 3:21 pm

Funny how the technology of the past that gets so easily forgotten can still be used and in a very effective way. Things move so fast these days that too many useful items get lost in the mix.


John@VDSL.de May 20, 2009 at 8:34 am

Thanks for the post. It is an excellent idea to think in terms of using old technology effectively to save money.


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