Although your friends and family might prefer that you keep the number they've memorized, changing a telephone number can shield you from telemarketers and solicitors and help you regain some privacy. And with all the service providers competing for your business, changing your cellphone, Internet connection or land-line number might land you a money-saving deal.

Call your telephone service provider. If you have a land line, your provider is listed in front of your phone book. If not, it should be in the yellow pages. Many phone companies have customer service departments that are open in the evenings and on weekends.

Determine what it will cost to change your land-line or cellphone number. There may be a one-time fee associated with changing your number. If you plan to keep your number unlisted, you may be subject to additional fees.

Changing your number may be easier for one service than another. For instance, Vonage, a VoIP provider, lets you change your number online. Whether it's voice-over, cellphone, or land-line service, having an online account can help you make the change and miss long waits with customer service. Many of these companies offer step-by-step instructions on their websites.

Shop around. Switching your phone service to a different company might give you the same quality of service at a reduced cost. Phone companies can change your number from a wireless account to a land line, and vice versa. You can also change your wireless number to a different wireless carrier.

Consider other options, including an unlisted number or call-blocking, for added privacy. Features like these allow you to keep unwanted callers and telemarketers at bay.