Save Money on Your Phone Bill with Google Voice

Google has made their web phone service Google Voice available to everyone in the United States.  This is great news for anyone that wants to save money on their phone bill and to those looking for some privacy as well.

What is Google Voice?

Google Voice is a web-based platform to help you manage your communications. It provides you one number to ring all your phones, voicemail that works like email, free calls and text messages to the U.S. and Canada, low-priced international calls and more.

What are some of its features?

  • give out one number that will ring all your phones
  • get transcribed voicemails sent to your inbox
  • Voicemail transcription: Voicemail messages will be automatically transcribed to text and sent to you via email and/or SMS.
  • Define which phones ring, based on who’s calling
  • Works with mobile phones, desk phones, and work phones. There’s nothing to download, upload, or install, and you don’t have to make or take calls using a computer.
  • If you have a smartphone you can download the mobile app to make calls directly from your smartphone.

How can it help you save money?

Google voice allows you to make free calls to the US and Canada as well as free text messages & make cheap international calls.  Here is how I intend to use Google voice to help me save money:  Since our move to another state my husband an I decided to get rid of our land line.  That posed a huge problem for me because international calls from my cell phone are very expensive.  Google Voice offers international rates at half the cost of what I would be paying if I had a landline, let alone what the mobile rates are.  Now I can call my family in other countries and bypass those ridiculous telephone fees and surcharges.

How can it help improve your privacy?

Google Voice assigns you a number that will ring to your home or mobile phone, so people can contact you if you want.  But that is not your real number.  You can use this number to provide on websites where they ask you for a phone number like survey sites or when you order online.  It also has some great blocking capabilities.

I just signed up for my Google Voice number, so I am sure the more I use it the more I will learn to maximize its use.  If you already use Google Voice, make sure to share your experience in the comments section.

Thanks Jackie for bringing this up to me.

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  • Jen A.

    I love my Google Voice. I’ve had it before Google bought it from Grand Central.
    My kids lose my phone for me, so I love being able to text myself to find my phone 😉
    Blocking numbers is great! G.V. already has a large list of spammers that they will automatically block. I have my gmail up all the time – I love being able to read and hear the voicemails without having to pick up my phone.
    I recommend it to everyone!

  • jelynn

    Just for clarification please: A person still has to pay for a cellphone service, and a home phone? But G.V allows you to make long distance or international phone calls at cheap or free rates right?
    You still have to pay for phone landlines, and cell services?…
    Not sure where the savings is, don’t most cell plans include national calling anyway?

    Please clarify if I am missing something

  • Anikka

    I enter a lot of sweepstakes/freebies etc and I always give out my google voice number. If the site happens to be less then reputable and sells my number I can block the unwanted calls quickly and easily. LOVE IT!

    The reason I got a google voice number (I’ve had it for about 8 months) was because I moved. I kept my cell phone number because it’s a local call for my parents in another state. However since I don’t have a home phone people in my new city were horribly confused my old number. I actually had a woman who was angry at my doctors office because she couldn’t reach me and my phone number “made no sense”. The area code I had was 218. Well their are some local numbers here that are 715-218-xxxx. She put my number into the computer wrong and was mad at me because she couldn’t reach me! Anyways google voice simplified that situation as well as times when people are confused that I don’t have a “home phone”. I thought that was becoming more and more commonplace but apparently not in this town. So I can give someone two numbers and save myself the hassle of explaining that I only have a cell. People don’t realize they are calling the same phone!

    I do caution though that you play with the settings and try calling yourself from another phone. It sometimes will say “you’ve reached a google voice number”. That might scare some callers away so I’ve changed the settings.

    Recently we added a staff member at work…To make a long story short she doesn’t have a phone at her desk because we are redoing our phone system. So I set her up with google voice. She can have a number to give out to clients (that rings her cell) without giving out her personal number. This works great!

    Overall it’s a great service that I’m glad is finally available to the general public!

  • Tonya

    THANK YOU!!!!! I have been thinking of getting a second phone(Vonage,etc)for long distance,this was a Godsend:)

  • Denise

    We love our google voice. I only use it for my home phone, not cell. So, I just pay for a very basic home phone plan from my local carrier and I don’t have to pay for long distance. (I do have a cell phone, but live in a mountainous area where I don’t have cell phone reception at home, and so I don’t use it for much of my long distance.)

    Just a note, I’m working on setting it up for a friend, and it was impossible to set up with a dial up connection. The solution we found was for me to go home to my house, and use my internet and she stayed at her house to answer her phone (for the set up calls). For the initial set up you need to be able to be online and on the phone line you will be using at the same time. Most us us can do that at home these days, but if you can’t you’ll need to make arrangements for a work around. For daily use, you don’t have to be online and on the phone at the same time, you’re okay once you get it set up.

  • Jenae

    I’m also wondering how this actually saves you money since you still have to have a cell phone and/or land line?

    • Hi Jenae,

      This is how it helps you:

      If you have a cellphone, you don’t have to pay for a national calling plan to be able to make calls to other states in this country.

      If you have a home phone number, you can strip down to the basic plan and avoid fees and surcharges and use this to make your long distance and international calls. Or you can just go ahead and get rid of your landline and get a basic cell phone plan and use this for all of your national and international calls. Plus the texting is free.

      Yes, you still need a home phone or cell phone but it helps you save money by allowing you to stop paying for added services that are not free like texting, long distance calling or international calling.



  • Kathy

    Let me see if I understand this correctly. If I install this and use my cell phone can I make international calls on my cell phone without going through my normal cellular phone company? The reason I ask is because I go to the British Virgin Islands at least twice a year and it is alway such a hassle to get ahold of my family at home because it is outrageously expensive on my cell phone. Would this solve that problem?

    • Kathy,

      This is how it works: if you have a smartphone (and are connected to wifi or g3 or E networks) you can dial from your phone. when you dial, google voice calls your cell phone number and then calls the number you are dialing. If you don’t have a smartphone you do the dialing through the computer. BUT, I am not sure if it would work with your phone being in the british virgin islands.
      Maybe someone who has tried that can help.


      • kathy

        Thanks Mercedes. I will try their website and see if I can get more info about the BVI’s.

      • Rebecc Eddy

        If I may please… I LOVE GV. My cell service is with T-mobile as I have a G1 (also Google related). My telephone came with a feature to automatically use GV as the primary cell provider and allows me to select an area in which my calls originate. As I have preselected GV to serve as my cell call provider (not to be confused with cell service provider) the calls are automatically routed through an area GV exchange. Individuals with caller id see my actual number and not the area GV number. However, should I travel I can always select another GV area exchange to originate my calls. Thus saving on toll calls.

        As a bonus, I have all other telephone numbers automatically forwarded to my G1. I have not had a land line in years. Instead, I signed up with GV for a telephone number to be associated with my home address and have those calls routed to the G1. No longer do I site beside the phone waiting for a call. I have nothing bad to say about GV and highly recommend to everyone.

  • sally

    does anyone know what number show on cller ID when you make a call from home using gvoice?

    • Rebecc Eddy

      The number you are calling from is given through caller ID.

  • Zoe

    Could this be a replacement for MagicJack? I use MagicJack for long distance from my landline, but have been unable to get a local number. This is confusing for people calling me.

  • BB

    I just set this up also. I did choose an area code outside of my calling area. The person who will be calling is in the area code I set the phone up with.

  • I use Google voice to transcribe my blog posts while I am on the road. When I finally get to a computer I just copy, paste and fix all the words that the computer did not pick up correctly. When running a traveling with baby blog I hate to have to take time away from traveling and being with baby this helps. Sometimes I use code words like Apple instead of a name that it never recognizes and then I just do a quick find and replace.
    Funny name changes have included: Amber= Neighbor and Sadie=Radiator.

    • Wow Shannon! That’s brilliant! Thanks for the suggestion.


  • Gina

    Okay, so if I understand correctly, I can add my home phone to Google Voice – and use GV to call my in-laws in TN without incurring long-distance fees? YES! I always have to use my cellphone to call my inlaws – which is a PITB because it’ll be low on battery or will drop if I move my head the wrong way. My number is set up and ready to go!!! Whoo-hooo!

  • We’ve been thinking about dropping our VOIP service through Comcast cable. Could Google Voice be a substitute? Or would we need to get a basic level landline in order to best utilize this service? Thanks!

    • Rebecc Eddy

      In essence you are paying Comcast cable to provide a service that GV provides FREE. It is a difficult concept to understand as this is fairly new. I joined GV the first day offered in Beta and LOVE it.

  • ted

    So this has probably ben answered but… i want a yes or no answer for this.
    When i use GV and call long distance to another state, there are no long distance charges on my monthly phone bill at all?

  • sara

    actually you can get a free SIP account from sipgate that allows free incoming calls. If you initiate calls thru the web site so that all calls are inbound- you do not need a home phone or cell phone.

    I opted for the stripped down home line.

    Also useful if you want a number in a different calling zone so that friends there can call you with a local call.

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  • Lonnie Hensley

    I have been using google voice and like it a lot , the only problem i have is i can’t copy and paste numbers into the phone number area , and number 2. i see no way of having a txt. etc. phone book or contact list i can access to look up phone numbers . this is on a pc. not a android etc.
    Is their a contact book i can put my own list of phone numbers in to access ? (of people who do not have google voice ) .
    I hope you can answer this .
    If google voice doesn’t have this , it’s sorely needed .

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