Friday, April 15, 2011

Frugal Friday: Free Email

My husband and I were driving to an appointment when I mentioned one of our sisters-in-law still has an America Online email account. He said his buddy at work (it seems appropriate to point out he's in the Information Technology field) inexplicably still pays for a email account.

Why are people still paying for email addresses like it's 1995? If you are paying even 50¢ for email, know that you can now have free, reliable email. A few of the more popular and easier-to-use dinosaurs are:

These are all web-based email, which means you can access them from anywhere in the world as long as you have internet access.

When I asked my sister-in-law about her AOL account, she said she kept it because it's the one she has always had and "everyone" writes her there. I had to chuckle. I lived in Florida for 13 years, but I eventually told my friends my new address in Utah. This brings me to another practice I occasionally see.

Sometimes, I find someone has an email account set up with their phone or internet service provider (ISP), for example or Never do that. When you move out of their service area, you will lose any emails you had saved and will have to set up a whole new email account. Or worse, when a phone company or ISP raises their rates, some people resist moving to a better deal because they don't want to lose the email account attached with the company they are leaving. Why do you think those companies so graciously offer to help new customers set up their email accounts with them?

To change to a free and portable email address, choose one of the free web-based email services listed above, set up a new email address, and then email your friends from the new account to let them know to update their address books. It really is that simple.

There are a lot of things in life we must pay for. Don't let free email be one of them.

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