Telephone Costs and your Household Budget

Telephone, or home phone, expenses are what you pay for making calls through your fixed line or landline phone.

What are the factors determining telephone expense?

Telephone expense usually depends on:

  • How many calls do you make?
  • When do you make the calls -- daytime, evening, or weekends?
  • What type of numbers do you usually call -- local, national or international numbers?
  • Do you make more calls to landline numbers or to mobile numbers?

How to choose the best telephone deal?

An essential component of any telephone plan is the line rental. This is usually the largest part of your telephone expense. You should also check if there are any inclusive calls, or in other words, calls included with the line rental at no extra charge. An example of inclusive calls is calls made to UK landlines during evenings and weekends. Also, you should look for the different rates offered for different types of calls, such as local UK calls, call to mobile phones, and call to international mobile phones.

Example 1:

Suppose you live in Birmingham, and your postcode is B35 6AA. Primus may offer you the lowest deal with a fixed rental of £8.75 each month or £105 per year at a contract length of 12 months. This plan will not include any free or inclusive calls. Local UK calls will cost 8.40p during daytime and 5.00p during evenings and weekends. The cost of calling to mobile phones will vary between 16.00p during daytime to 12.00p during weekends. Likewise, there will be different rates for calls to international landlines and international mobiles based on the country you are calling and at what times.

Example 2:

Let's say you want to make most of your local and national calls only during the weekends. In such case, you can opt for a plan such as the BT Weekend Plan with a fixed line rental of £15.99. Under this plan, all calls to local and national numbers during weekends will be free. However, calls made to national and international mobile as well as international landline numbers during weekends will be charged. When compared to the Primus plan, local and evening calls made to UK numbers are costlier at 9.00p. Phone calls to national mobile numbers are at a flat rate of 12.00p irrespective of your time of call.

There may also be some plans that may offer you unlimited free calls, but with a higher line rental. Telephone expense as part of the household budget

Based on usage, telephone expense can be anywhere between £10-40 each month. You can save on this cost by shopping around for deals and choosing a plan that is best suited for your requirements. You should also consider a bundled plan where you take broadband, TV and telephone services from a single provider as this can provide some savings.

Use our household budget calculator to see how telephone expense influences your household budget.

iCalculator Tip:

You can save on your telephone expenses if you pay by direct debit. For instance, the deal in the second example places an additional charge of £1.89 each month on payment by cheque or credit card, whereas there is no charge on payment by direct debit.