It’s easy to focus on how much money a new type of technology will cost you. But have you ever really looked for the ways that it can help you save? Yes, seriously! There are all sorts of ways to use technology to your advantage and to help you save money all over the place. Here are just a few things can you try.
It wasn’t that long ago that installing Internet, cable, and a phone line meant dealing with three separate companies--four if you decided to have a cell phone (remember when that was still a choice?). It got expensive fast. Today, you can choose to use one company for all of these needs. More importantly, when you do choose to get your services through a single company, you can bundle them up to reduce their costs. For example, Verizon triple play offers you Internet, cable access, and a phone line via one program. That’s one bill instead of three. Not too shabby, right?
It doesn’t feel like all that long ago that if we wanted to watch our favorite shows and movies we needed a TV, a cable box, a DVR, and a DVD player. That’s a lot of hardware. That’s a lot of ugly cord tangle to try to hide. Instead of buying each of these things separately, work with companies that offer you more options with less equipment.
For example, the company you use for cable and Internet can probably run everything through a single router. And you don’t really need a DVR anymore thanks to On Demand programming and the fact that all of the major networks stream their shows online the day after they air. And forget DVDs. Today the idea is to have less physical media. So you buy movies in the form of data that can be downloaded or streamed to your devices.
Computers become obsolete after a few years of use, but don’t throw them away! Find a place to recycle them for cash. You probably already do this with your phone; you turn it back into the dealer for a steep discount off of the new device. There are also a few different programs that offer to pay you for your old computers and other devices. For example, Amazon has a setup where when you send in your machine, they credit your account. Obviously the older the machine, the less you’ll get, but something is better than nothing, right? Just make sure you’ve wiped the hard drive and reset the system.
The days of being stuck paying whatever price the store wants are done. Never assume that the shelf price of anything is the lowest price for that item. Search the web for cost-effective alternatives. There are even sites that, in addition to getting you a good discount, will pay you to shop through them, like Swagbucks, InboxDollars, etc. These savings aren’t just for clothing, books, and electronics. You can also order grocery and pantry items online for delivery; often at lower (or at least comparable) prices than you’d pay locally. Not only will you save money on your groceries, you’ll save money on the transportation you’d need to use to get to and from the store itself!
Coupons are older than every person who will ever read this. Even so, many people don’t use them because they don’t want to wait for them to come in the mail or because they forget their coupons at home. This is why many stores have switched to membership and loyalty cards/programs. These programs are set up to allow you to download all of the coupons they offer to your account. Then at checkout, you either swipe your loyalty card or have the cashier scan a barcode you bring up on your phone. Easy peasy! You can also use the web to find coupons (and coupon codes) for brands you use via those brands’ websites.
These are just a few of the ways that technology has been helping you save money and, in many cases, earn money! Which method is your favorite?