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10 Ways to Save Money when you Love Technology
Living frugally is tough when you really enjoy the use of modern technology. Many tech toys rapidly become outdated so that you constantly needing to upgrade to newer models. (Raise your hand if you still have the same cell phone that you had five years ago!) As technology gets more and more advanced, the newest items are often pricier than the older items were when they were first released. It’s tough because this technology can be really useful in your every day life but you need to find a way to save money on it.
Here are ten ways that you can continue to enjoy the technology that you love but start saving money on it at the same time:
1. Become a technology blogger / review writer. If you truly love technology then you can be an asset to others by writing about the technology that you are using. There are several ways that this has the potential to save you money. They include:
o Earning an income. It is possible that you can make some money by writing tech reviews for blogs and magazines that pay you for your work.
o Affiliate income. You could also earn some income for promoting items on your blogs using affiliate programs.
o Getting free stuff. You may be able to get free items or get discounts on tech items in exchange for writing your reviews.
This requires a commitment and you do need to consider the value of your time. However, if you enjoy technology and you like to write then this can be a great way to save money on what you love. There are also other similar jobs available for specific industries. For example, did you know that it’s possible to get hired as a cell phone tester?
2. Wait in line for other people who also love the hottest new technology. When the iPhone gets released, there are always hours-long lines outside of the Apple stores. There are also people in those lines who are there to purchase an item for someone else who doesn’t want to wait in those lines. If you’re going to be in line anyway, you might as well get paid for your time. You can earn money picking up an item for someone else and it can greatly offset the cost of the item that you are buying for yourself.
3. Sell your old tech toys before buying new ones. This is a really important habit to get into if you regularly upgrade to the newest versions of hot technology. When you know that you’re about to make an upgrade, clean up your old item and sell it on a site like eBay. Use the money to pay upfront for the cost of the new item, offsetting its cost and avoiding interest charges that would accrue if you bought the item on credit.
4. Be smart when using credit cards to purchase tech items. Some of the rules that you’ll want to follow when buying consumer electronics on a credit card include:
o Always pay the balance off in full before interest charges begin. Otherwise you’re paying more than sticker price for the technology that you’re buying.
o Use a cash back rewards card. This allows you to actually reduce the cost of the item that you’re buying because you get money back.
o Shop through your credit card’s online mall. If this is an option for you then it can sometimes offer you a better price as well as rewards that aren’t available through the manufacturer’s website.
5. Track your spending. An important part of living frugally is to always know how much money you spend. It’s important that you keep specific track of what you spend each month on tech toys. Include small expenses like app downloads and software purchases. Look for areas of spending where you could cut back.
6. Look for free options when they are available. For example, there are many free mobile phone apps that do the same job as other paid apps. You may only save 99 cents but that’s a savings amount that can start to add up over time. Looking at open source software is another way to get free alternatives to something you might be for your technology. Free isn’t always the best option but it should always be considered as a viable option until you’ve determined that it’s not right for you.
7. Use smart money-saving shopping habits. Just because you’re interested in buying a hot new tech item doesn’t mean that the frugal shopping habits you use for other purchases should be put on hold. Always shop around to get the best price. Look for sales and deals. If a rebate is offered, make sure that you cash it in immediately so that you don’t lose out.
8. Ask people for gift cards. If you have friends and family members that always give you gifts for birthdays and other holidays then let them know that what really makes you happy is a gift card to your favorite high tech store. You can get what you want and save money on it when it’s time to make that purchase.
9. Stop being such a loyal customer. One big problem with people who love technology is that they become very loyal to a specific brand. They may purchase items from that brand without ever looking to see if there are comparable items available at a lower cost from a different brand. If you truly love technology then you know that different companies do sometimes surprise the market with amazing items. Be willing to at least check out alternatives before going with the brand that you purport to love.
10. Stay in touch with your inner self. Sometimes we get so sucked in to the allure of new technology that we stop paying attention to what we even really like or want. We get a rush from getting the most cutting-edge stuff and don’t realize that there are items coming out on the market that we really don’t even need or want. Stay in touch with your true values, desires and interests in order to get the tech that you do want without wasting money on stuff that really isn’t for you.