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  How To Slash Monthly Bills  

Lower Those Monthly Bills
Question Your Phoning Costs.  The site most recommended by consumer advocates is  They compare and rate a wide range of phone companies.  A good second choice is the Cognigen Rates Calculator.  You can also check for better rates on cell phone costs, and perhaps lower your local phone bill by switching to a measured-rate plan.

Satellite TV Is Now Practical.  Satellite TV can be installed almost anywhere nowadays, even apartments and condos.  Dish Network starts at $19.99 per month.  Installation is free and you'll receive a credit on your bill of $100 ($200 if you sign up for HDTV.)  If you sign up today, you'll also receive a free digital video recorder and a free movie channel package for the first three months.  DirecTV starts at $29.99 per month.  Those prices are for 40-channel packages; most people will choose to pay about $40 to get more channels at either site.

Explore Your Internet Alternatives.  Here are three ways to save big:
1. DSL Service. Broadband DSL is available in almost all non-rural areas from Verizon DSL for about $18/month.  Their site says "$14.99 per month" but in practice their taxes and surcharges will tack on a few more dollars.  Apply online and get a $25 Target gift card and your first 30 days free, with modem included.  A survey by J. D. Power (article) shows that Verizon DSL's customer satisfaction is significantly higher than average.
2. Cheap Dial-Up. Sites that offer unlimited dial-up service for about $10 per month include NetZero, PeoplePC and Netscape.  A survey by J. D. Power (article) shows that consumer satisfaction is highest for PeoplePC.
3. Free Dial-Up. Free dial-up service is unusual now, but it's still available from  You can also use your local library.

(Next Gem: Insurance Today)

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