These days, new innovations are coming onto the market faster than we can keep track of them. And while it’s easy to say no to the latest developments in, say, kitchen appliances or high-end fashion, technology is an integral part of society – and our need to stay up-to-date and connected is often essential to our everyday work and social lives. So how can you keep on top of the latest developments without spending a fortune?
Firstly, whenever you invest in a new product make sure you look after it properly. It sounds like obvious advice, but millions of dollars worth of computer equipment is thrown our every year because of easily preventable viruses and malware. With laptops and home computers, make sure your machine has good anti virus software installed – great free ones include AVG and Avast for PCs and Sophos for Macs. If you’re a clumsy person like me, it’s also worth investing in a hard-wearing case for your tablet or mobile phone to protect it from any accidental bangs, drops or spillages. Simple steps like these will ensure your devices last as long as they are supposed to, cutting down on the money spent on expensive replacements year after year.
Next, think about what you really need from your personal technology. It’s easy to get caught up in hype and think how much you want a new laptop with a super-fast processor or a mobile phone that plays videos in HD – but do you really need all of these features? For example, most of us only use the connectivity on our smart phones for updating our social media and checking our email on the move. If you’re the same, you probably don’t even need to upgrade your phone when the time comes. You could make big savings by keeping your existing device and buying a pay-as-you go SIM card with a data add-on, allowing you to perform exactly the same tasks on your smart phone without having to face a large bill at the end of the month.
Also, don’t forget that just because something is outdated and useless to you, it doesn’t mean everyone feels the same way. Have a proper clear out of your home and see what old technology you can find – everything from disused mobile phones to old games consoles and their accompanying games can be sold off or traded in for cash or discounts on new items. You can even get cash for broken or damaged laptops and PCs, by selling them to companies who break them up for parts. Why not take the money you make from this and keep it in a special savings account, so the next time an essential piece of technology breaks or needs upgrading you’ll have some funds to help you pay.
Today’s digital world is a fascinating and exciting place, with new discoveries around every corner. But being on a budget doesn’t have to mean being left behind – with a little thought and attention you can keep up to date without breaking the bank.