It’s Your Money Column – Cost-Saving Measures

Last week, I talked about some ways to save money in lean budget times. Here are a few more tips on cost-saving measures for you to consider.

It helps to find a source of information so that you can more easily compare costs. For example, the Web site at is a good place to start if you are in the market for long-distance telephone service or internet service. This site promotes the idea of "More for you – less for them" and guides you by asking a series of questions, starting with your area code.

You will see a variety of long-distance plans for your area code. You can compare annual savings, monthly fees and other choices. For area code (970), seven plans appear showing annual savings. Each rate indicates the monthly fee, price per minute and extras such as free minutes.

The least costly long-distance service was 4.5 cents per minute state-to-state and 11 cents per minute within Colorado. There is no monthly fee, but you must use at least $20 of service each month or you’ll be charged a minimum of $2.50. There are free minutes and shopping rebates associated with this plan, which also offers discounted products from major retailers. Always sort through options carefully before making a decision about long-distance service or products.

Another plan offered by a large, well-known carrier shows that you’ll pay a set $3.95 fee per month. Long-distance charges are 7 cents per minute state-to-state and 8 cents per minute in Colorado. If your calls are mostly in Colorado, the second plan may be less expensive in the long run.

You also can compare internet service plans after providing your area code and the first three digits of your phone number. Indicate if you want a high-speed or dial-up connection. One plan costs $9.95 per month for unlimited use and no set-up fee.

Another plan is $23.90 per month (with 1,000 free minutes to be used within 45 days of signing up).

A caution for this site – you do not need to pay this site to get a copy of your credit report. You can do this on your own in Colorado and get a credit report for free each year at any of the three main credit report providers: Equifax at, Transunion at or Experian at