One of the most important aspects to being human is having the ability to communicate with others. Without it, civilization would simply not exist. Unfortunately, sometimes communication can be extremely expensive. If you are on a tight budget, you may want to find cheaper alternatives. To help, below are five low cost communication solutions you should consider.
VoIP is an acronym that stands for voice over internet protocol. This technology has the ability to send phone calls through a person’s regular internet service provider. The savings over a traditional phone line can be hundreds a year. Certain VoIP services are even available for free as outlined in this CBS news article. Installing VoIP isn’t too complicated either. You just need some cheap equipment as well as a program like Google Voice or Skype to run the service.
2. Webcam Teleconferencing
In the past, teleconferencing required equipment and infrastructure that cost thousands of dollars to access. Today, the ability to teleconference is available to anyone with a computer for free. Since most computers now come with webcams, you don’t even have to purchase one on your own. Unlike most other forms of communication, you receive the benefit of a live video feed. This can convey far more than just text or sound can.
3. Instant Messaging
Text is one of the most efficient means of communication there is. It allows a person to get their point across quickly in just a few words. Unfortunately, most carriers charge for texting. Unless texting is covered by an existing plan, it can be a rather expensive ordeal. One solution is to use instant messaging. Instant messaging, in fact, has plenty of benefits over texting. For one, AIM, Yahoo Instant Messenger, Skype and other programs are free. These programs also allow you to do other things like exchange files and send video.
E-mail is another standby of low cost communication. Most internet providers give customers free e-mail accounts. If not, free accounts can be easily obtained from companies like Yahoo, Hotmail and Google. E-mail acts much like traditional mail but with many added benefits. You can send a long text message. However, due to the speed of the internet, it will be received mere seconds after pressing send. E-mail also gives you the ability to attach images, videos and other files to the message.
5. Traditional Mail
Plain old snail mail is another good cheap option. According to the US Government Publishing Office, the total liabilities of the US Postal Service in 2015 are $68.3 billion. Despite the labor and infrastructure required to send mail in the United States, a stamp still only costs 22 cents. For that amount of money, you can certainly write a long letter to the recipient you wish. While correspondence through the mail certainly takes longer than other options, it still has certain advantages. For one, it displays effort on the part of the sender. This can give traditional mail preference with businesses over other forms of communication.