Three Ways to Cut Your Tech Spending, as Prices Rise Everywhere

With rising costs of food, gas and electricity, we have no choice but to spend more. But we have more control over how much we spend on our biggest ticket items: personal technology.

Compared to a 48 percent increase in gasoline prices between March 2021 and March of this year, prices of tech products such as smartphones, computers and apps are rising only an inch – 1.3 percent over the same period, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. .

However, any increase is significant because tech products such as TVs and phones, which range from a few hundred to thousands of dollars, are too expensive to start with. What’s more, some luxury devices depreciate as fast as cars, said personal finance expert Julie-Alma Taveras.

“Tech is moving very fast,” Cue said. Taveras, a YouTuber known as Investing Latina, offers workshops on investing and saving money. “If we spend so much on computers, three years from now there will be another chip, another upgrade, another thing.”

In addition to hardware, we lose track of spending on other types of tech, such as online streaming services, cloud subscriptions and cellular bills.

Here are some tips on how to plug some of the biggest sewers into our budget.

A few dollars a month to watch your favorite shows on Disney + and another few dollars a month to manage your data with online services like Dropbox seems like a bargain. But these costs are rising rapidly.

In 2019, on average, people spent $ 640 on digital subscriptions, including streaming services, cloud storage, dating apps and productivity tools, according to Mint’s analysis, an online budgeting tool owned by Intuit. That’s the equivalent of buying a fancy smartphone every year.

Here are some ways to reduce those costs:

  • Create reminders to cancel. Many of us subscribe to streaming services like Apple TV + and Hulu to watch certain shows, but we forget to cancel once the program is over. We’ll save precious dollars if we find the show’s release schedule and create a calendar reminder to cancel the service the month of the program’s final broadcast.

  • Set goals throughout the year. If To make a Reminders seem too boring, there is a comprehensive approach: Set saving goals periodically, such as every six months. Leaving a few subscriptions will save you hundreds of dollars for the rest of the year, Ms. Tvers said.

  • For cloud storage services, try choosing only one. For most people, there is no practical reason to back up data in multiple cloud services like Dropbox, Box, iCloud and Google One. Try to choose the one that best suits your devices and the type of software you use. A good rule of thumb is to choose a cloud service that works well with many types of phones and computers, such as Google One, if you switch to a different hardware product in the future.

Cellular bills can easily absorb the cost of a cellphone if we are not careful about the plans we choose. Last year, Americans who subscribed to Verizon Wireless plans spent $ 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 big carriers 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 on Verizon’s network, offers the best deals for individuals with packages that include unlimited minutes and data for 40 per month. In contrast, Verizon’s basic 5G plan costs $ 70 per month.

What is a catch? You will not receive customer support from an established carrier. Also, off-brand carriers generally support a limited list of cellphones. The good news is that most of them now include Apple and Samsung’s most popular devices in general, so trade-offs are negligible.

“You’ll basically get the same coverage at a much lower price,” said Jill Gonzalez, an analyst at WalletHub.

The prices of smartphones are constantly rising, though their improvements are increasingly increasing. (For example, this year’s entry-level iPhone SE is priced at $ 429, $ 30 more than the 2020 model.)

The lifespan of our tech devices can be extended up to several years with some maintenance – just be sure to replace the battery every two years and stop storing unnecessary apps and photos on your device.

When it comes time to upgrade, what’s new and fancy isn’t always the best for your budget. Ms. Taveras said it is common for his students, some of whom are in debt, to spend $ 5,000 on a new computer. It may make sense for some, but many more frills and nets can survive without significant savings, she said.

It’s worth keeping in mind that when something new comes along, it’s also an opportunity to buy last year’s model – which is usually very capable – cheaply.

“I’m getting another latest phone, because the technology is still good,” she said. Tvers said. “This small financial win is really important.”

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