Three ways to cut down on your tech spending, as prices rise everywhere
With rising food, gas and electricity prices, we have no choice but to spend more. But we have more control over the amount of dollars we allocate to one of our biggest ticket items: personal technology.
Compared with a 48 percent increase in oil prices from March 2021 to March this year, the price of high-tech products such as smartphones, computers and apps rose just 1.3 percent over the same period, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. .
But any increase is significant because high-tech products such as televisions and telephones, ranging from a few hundred to thousands of dollars, are too expensive to get started. Moreover, some luxury devices fall as fast as cars, says Jully-Alma Taveras, a personal finance expert.
“Technology is advancing fast,” said Taveras, a YouTuber called Investing Latina, who gave a conference on investing and saving money. “If we spend a lot of time on the computer, three years from now there will be another chip, an update, something else.”
In addition to hardware, we tend to lose track of other types of technology such as online streaming services, cloud subscriptions and mobile billing.
Here are some suggestions on how to look or get an appointment for antique items.
Take control of online applications
A few dollars a month to watch your favorite items on Disney + and a few dollars a month to manage your data with an online service like Dropbox may seem like a bargain. But these costs are rising rapidly.
On average, people will spend $ 640 in 2019 on digital subscriptions, including streaming services, cloud storage, appointment apps and production tools, according to an analysis by Mint, an online budget tool owned by Intuit. That’s the equivalent of buying a fancy smartphone every year.
Here’s how to reduce it:
Create an alert to cancel. Many of us used to use streaming services like Apple TV Plus and Hulu to watch specific programs, but we forgot to cancel when the program ended. We will save valuable dollars if we search the release schedule of the show and create a calendar reminder to cancel the service in the month the program aired last.
Set goals throughout the year. If Creating a Listening alerts is too boring, there is a broader approach: set regular savings goals, like every six months. Taveras says a few book reductions will save hundreds of dollars for the rest of the year. Of the year.
For cloud storage services, try to select only one. For most people, there is no real reason to back up data on many cloud services, such as Dropbox, Box, iCloud and Google One. Try to choose the one that suits your device and the type of software you use the most. A good rule of thumb is to choose a cloud service that works well with multiple phones and computers, such as Google One, in case you switch to a different hardware product in the future.
Shave your wireless bill down
Mobile phone bills can easily eclipse the cost of the mobile phone itself if we are not conscious about the plan we choose. Last year, Americans who subscribed to the Verizon Wireless package paid $ 1,342, and those who subscribed to T-Mobile paid $ 891, according to an analysis by The New York Times by Mint.
But plans offered by a major provider are not the cheapest option. There are other brands that offer budget phone plans. WalletHub, a personal finance website with a phone plan calculator, found that Visible, which operates the Verizon network, offers the best deals for individuals with a package that includes unlimited minutes and data for $ 40 per month. In contrast, Verizon’s basic 5G plan costs $ 70 a month.
What is the catch? You will not receive customer support from an established provider. In addition, non-branded carriers will usually only support a limited number of mobile devices. The good news is that many of them now tend to include the most popular devices from Apple and Samsung, so trading out is minimal.
“Basically you get the same coverage for a much lower price,” said Jill Gonzalez, an analyst at WalletHub.
Be careful about hardware upgrades
The cost of smartphones continues to rise, though their upgrades are constantly increasing. (For example, the iPhone SE, launched earlier this year, costs $ 429, $ 30 more than the 2020 model.) So, it’s a reminder of the best time to invest in a new device and how much you spend, rather than upgrading automatically.
– The lifespan of our technological devices can be extended for many years with some maintenance. – Just be sure to change the battery every two years and wipe out unnecessary apps and photos that clog your device’s storage.
When it comes time to upgrade, the newest and fanciest things are not always the best for your budget. Taveras says it is common for her students, some addicted to computers, to spend $ 5,000 on a computer. She says it may be a chore for some, but many can survive without the hassle and significant net savings.
It is worth remembering that when something new arrives, it is also an opportunity to buy last year’s model – which is generally more capable – for a cheaper price.
“I’m good to get a second-generation phone because the technology is still very good,” Taveras said. “These small financial victories are really important.”