Friday, 10 July 2009

Money Saving Tip #3: Use Skype

Most of you probably already know about Skype. For those who don't I'll give a brief overview plus a couple tidbits you might not already know.

Skype is a program that allows you to make calls from your computer to other computers so you can talk online for free. All you need to do is download the program to your computer and make sure that whoever you want to call has also downloaded it. It is then completely free to make international calls. You must, of course, have a microphone on your computer. If you don't, though, you can always buy one separately and connect it.

The other perk, is of course, the video feature. If you and the friends you're talking to have cameras either on your computer or installed separately, you can talk "face to face".

In addition to the free computer to computer calling feature, though, Skype also has a very cheap rate for calling phones. You still have to call from your computer, but you can call phones in the US for a little under 3¢/minute (that's USD, not GBP). This is a much better rate than you'll get with many phone cards here, many of which will expire within a month of purchase. Here are a few things to note:

-You can set up your Skype account with your payment info, so that if you need to buy more minutes, you can just click a button rather than fishing for your credit card info every time. Especially nice if you're running out of minutes during a phone call.

-Your minutes will not expire as long as you make a call every 180 days. This is from their website: "Skype Credit remains active for 180 days after your last use of a product or feature that uses credit. So making a single call, or sending a single text message will ensure your Skype Credit is active for a further 180 days."

Happy Skyping!

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17 comments:

  1. Hey Jackie, have you ever heard of "Magic Jack"? We are probably going to get one instead of using skype credit.

    It is a device that you plug into your computer (need internet) and any regular land-line phone, and you can call any U.S. number for free! You receive a U.S. number with the service, and others can call it as well. If you aren't plugged in when others call, it sends a voicemail to your email!

    The service is $20/year, and the device initially costs $40 (but that includes the first year of service, so really only $20). We have spent more than $20 this year on skype credit, so we are probably going to go with Magic Jack. Just a tip! I believe you can learn more at magicjack dot com.

    (PS, if you got a comment like this twice, sorry, it erased my first one!)

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  2. Hey--no, I hadn't heard of Magic Jack. I'll check it out and maybe do a review. Thanks for the tip!

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