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Ooma Safety Phone Review

2014 August 27
by Charlie

charlie_image

Over the last two and a half years many of you had heard my enthusiasm about the Ooma Telo home phone system, which has been saving my family money hand over fist. Thus far, the Ooma Telo has saved us over $750 over my previous phone service.

However, I’m not here to repeat my glowing reviews about the Ooma home phone service. No…I am proud to announce a new service that Ooma is offering! It is called the Ooma Safety Phone, and it is just as easy to setup as the basic Ooma Telo phone system. This little device can be used for elderly friends or relatives if you are concerned that they might fall or young kids that are left home alone and might need to contact a parent quickly.

Benefits

  • Ooma Safety Phone

    Ooma Safety Phone

    Answer calls from the Safety Phone, which is essentially a small speakerphone. The super cool strap lets you walk around the house with this device and not have to lug a phone around. You can answer phone calls right from the comfort of your chair

  • Long life battery
  • Can be used to contact 911 services
  • Automatic alert allows you to enter three email addresses or mobile phone numbers that are notified when 911 is dialed
  • Easy to setup
  • Super cheap compared to some of the alternative alert phone services
  • Quick dialing of a single number or a series of numbers, and won’t stop ringing until someone picks up

Requirements

  • Requires the base Ooma Telo Home Phone Service – you can’t purchase the Ooma Safety Phone without first having broadband internet service and the Ooma phone system setup
  • Ooma Premier Service – the Ooma Safety Phone won’t work without the Ooma premier phone service, which is $9.99 more per month than the basic service. In total, the premier service plus my taxes and fees are about $13/month.

Need to know

  • ooma safety registrationHow to register your Ooma Safety Phone – when you first boot up the Ooma Safety Phone you hear a robotic voice tell you, “Not registered.” In order to register your Ooma Safety Phone you need to hold down your wireless button on your Ooma base unit [see the picture to the right for more details]. Make sure you keep you Safety Phone on the charger, and hold down the wireless button for 3 seconds. Then go to http://my.ooma.com/devices and click on “setup device.” Accept the agreement, and then you should be good to go. Now you can customize how you want to speed dial when you press #1 or #2.
  • Speed Dial #1 & #2 – with these speed dial options you have the option of calling multiple numbers and/or e-mailing and/or texting people that you specify. Pretty neat if you ask me.
  • Owners Manual – I had to do some digging, but I found the Ooma Safety Phone Owners Manual, which will assist you in setting up the unit. (I even got an email from a representative at Ooma alerting me to the fact my Safety Phone wasn’t fully set-up properly and asked if they could assist!)

Costs

Ooma Safety Phone Costs

  • Ooma Phone base unit – one time fee - $129.99 on Amazon
  • Monthly taxes and fees – depends on where you live. Check here to calculate.
  • Ooma monthly premier service – about $9.99/month
  • Safety Phone – one time fee $49.99 from Ooma.com
  • Average cost over 2 years – $20.50/month

Drawbacks

  •  Setup - I’d highly recommend using the above registration steps to register your Ooma Safety Phone.
  • E-mail and text notification – when I tested out the email and text notification services it took about 25 minutes for me to receive the e-mail.

Overall, I was amazed at the ease of use of the unit and it’s definitely a great alternative to other alerting services. Plus you can save a lot more when you amortize the costs over two or three years. I’d highly recommend checking out the Ooma Safety Phone if you are in the market for alert safety phone and you are concerned about a loved one. Check it out today!

This post has been made possible by the fine folks at Ooma. Please see our site sponsors page (we only work with companies we like/trust).

Does Cub Foods Really Have Lower Prices?

2014 August 25
by Laurie

The following post has been brought to you by Cub Foods

laurieWhen we lived in the city, Cub Foods was our “go to” grocery store. The local store there was clean and inviting, the staff was great and the produce was always excellent in quality. After we moved to the country nearly two years ago, however, we had a “budget epiphany” and have since done the majority of our shopping at another store with notably lower prices.

Although most other things about this particular store are good, I’ve never been very happy with the produce selection, and have missed the great produce I always found at Cub Foods.  However, with the money savings of a good 15-20% that I get at the big box store grocer, I just couldn’t bring myself to start shopping at the local Cub Foods here.  For a big family on a budget, cash just has to be the deciding factor in where we choose to grocery shop. Cub always has terrific weekly deals, so we’d often stop in there to scoop up their great weekly specials, but the majority of our shopping was done at the big box store with the low, low prices.  read more…

How to Get Rid of Junk Mail (for Good)

2014 August 20
by Aaron

no more junk mailA few weeks ago I came home to spot a large full plastic bag sitting on the front steps of our house. I thought it may have been a package my wife ordered or some nice baked goods from the neighbor. After getting closer, I discovered what it was:

The Yellow Pages phone book.  read more…

NEW: Grab Your Free Credit Report

2014 August 18

aaron_image1I remember one of the first times my credit report was pulled for an auto loan (yes, that one that I should have never gotten into). After it came back clean, I remember feeling a sense of pride that I was “staying on the straight and narrow”. I remember the loan officer talking about how it was costing the dealership money to pull it but it was something they needed to do to check my “credit-worthiness”. Do you recall the first time your report got pulled?

FREE credit reports?

Which leads me to tell you about another new offering that our friends at Credit Karma just came up for their users: FREE credit reports. Right now, Credit Karma offers free credit scores to those who sign-up on their website.  So, the credit report is an added bonus to users.  read more…

3 Worthwhile Benefits to Paying Off Debt

2014 August 15
by Aaron

debt sucks gasThis past week I wrote out the final check that would pay off our vehicle in full. I breathed a sigh of relief and felt as though another weight had been lifted.

I tried to savor the moment. And although the amount was sizable, it was actually fun writing that check that would buy our family even more freedom.

Now, I’ve been debt-free before. In 2008, I paid the last of my school loan and entered into a moment of debt-freedom that I hadn’t experienced since high school - some 16 years earlier. Although, I eventually caved into purchasing a home with a mortgage, the feeling of being free of debt for a season was a liberating one.  read more…

Lower Prices and More Savings at Cub Foods

2014 August 13

The following post is sponsored by Cub Foods

aaron_image1With all the grocery store price wars going on (namely between the Giant (Walmart) vs. David (your local grocer), there is a concentrated effort to help customers save more at the checkout.

Plus, we’ve all seen the rise in food prices the past few years and many of us are having to tighten our budgets more and more as a result.

To help customers save more at the grocery store, Cub Foods (who are located in Minnesota and Illinois) introduced a handy new feature called the “Load to Card” program where customers can save coupons they find at CubFoods.com to their MyCub Rewards card. (Here’s a helpful video that will further explain how to use your Rewards card and the Load to Card feature).  read more…

3 Ways to Save on Textbooks This School Year

2014 August 8
by Matthew

textbooksShopping around for a good deal is textbook money management. But when it comes to actual textbooks, too many students (especially freshmen!!) pay for overpriced books at university bookstores. As I finished college and my wife and I both began purusing graduate degrees, saving money each semester on textbooks became extremely helpful with offsetting the cost of tuition and other fees.  read more…

Is Your House Leaking Money? (Like Ours Is)

2014 August 6
by Aaron

A few years ago I wrote about how our home experienced some water damage related to an ice dam that had built up along our roof which caused water to leak inside the walls of our house. It was our first experience with ice dams and resulted in my learning more than I ever wanted to about their formation.

ice dam claim(For those who don’t know, ice dams build-up when the roof deck is not the same temperature as the outside – so the snow melts, freezes and melts – causing a build-up of ice which eventually creeps its way up past your ice/water barrier – and when that happens all sorts of fun happens. Essentially, your home has an energy leak(s) somewhere which is causing the attic to be warmer than it should be – resulting in a warmer roof.)

We thought we had everything figured out after the clean-up and reconstruction efforts.  read more…

Which States Have the Best Credit Scores?

2014 July 31
by Aaron

A little change of pace today: here’s a fun infographic depicting the states with the best credit scores along with the average credit scores per age group. All of this information (and more) can be found at Credit Karma. If you haven’t done so already, log in to grab a free credit score today (it doesn’t take very long!).

Any surprises?  read more…

How to Save Money on Kids Sports Pictures

2014 July 30

charlie_imageThis summer our family had three young boys in baseball. It goes without saying, we have had an extremely busy summer. We only had two days a week where we didn’t have some type of kids sports commitment.

Along with this time commitment also came a huge financial commitment. For starters, we paid the entry fee for our kids to be in these sports leagues. Secondly, we spent a ton of money on gas by shipping them to and from practices and games. The final expense we were faced with was individual and team pictures.  read more…