Are You Spending Too Much on Technology?
Just a few decades ago, there were no smartphones, digital cable or social media. However, the 21st century has brought us many digital amenities – which means we are spending more money. The average person spends $166 a month on Internet, cellphone plans and cable TV. This number does not even cover song downloads or new technological gadgets.
There are some forms of technology that we do need. For example, if you work from home, you will need a laptop, cellphone and Internet/Wi-Fi capabilities. But do you really the latest smartphone with all the bells and whistles or a $2,000 laptop? Probably not. It is easy to get caught up in the newness of technology, but most of us cannot afford the latest and greatest – and most expensive technology. So here is how to get the gadgets and services you need without overpaying.
Know What You Are Currently Paying
You are probably paying much more for technology than you think. That is because most cellphone and cable bills are deducted from your bank account automatically every months thanks to – you guessed it – technology. So it helps to go through your bank statements and add up all the digital and technology charges so you can get an idea of what you are paying on a monthly basis.
Do you really need 2 GB of data and 10,000 minutes of month on your cellphone plan? If you find out you using only a small percentage of what your plan offers, downgrade and you could save several hundred dollars a year. The same goes for cable TV. Do you really need the 200 channel plan when you watch the same half dozen channels over and over? By doing a thorough review, you can trim the fat and reap the savings.
Look Into Free Software
It is not uncommon for a popular software title (such as Office, Acrobat or Photoshop) to cost several hundred dollars. There are free software programs for everything from word processing to photo editing and even virus protection. If you must purchase a specific type of software, check out eBay or Amazon first for great deals. The software may not be in its original box, but you will have everything you need to get the job done.
Almost everyone has a cellphone nowadays, and sure they come in handy, but do you really need a smartphone? They look great and have so many capabilities, but they are pricey to purchase and maintain. Many feature phones have texting capabilities, so if you do not need 24/7 Internet and email access, buy one of these instead. You will not have to purchase a data plan and deal with all the headaches that come with one.
With technology, prices go down over time because products become outdated quickly. If you are in the market for a new computer, wait until a major sale (such as Black Friday, President’s Day or Memorial Day weekend) to score one at a great price. If you have your eye on a specific one, you can use a price tracker to keep tabs on it. Patience can help you save big.