Technology moves on at an incredible speed. Staying ahead of the game can cost you a small fortune. But, when the time comes to cut back on spending, it is usually things like technology that go first.
The trouble is, what if you love your gadgets and technology? Is there a way of saving money and staying in touch with the latest tech trends? Well, follow this guide and you might find that there is.
Upgrade Your Software
Sometimes updating your software to the latest version can make you feel like you’ve purchased a new device. Updating your software won’t cost you a dime. For example, Windows 10, OS X El Capitan, iOS 9 and Android 6.0 Marshmallow are all free upgrades.
Buy Slightly Used, But Not Old
You might think that buying the cheapest tech is a great way to stay in touch, but it’s a false economy. The latest, up-to-date gear will easily last you several years while the bargain basement stuff is all four to five years out of date already.
In fact, some of it may not even be supported by the manufacturers anymore, which means that it won’t last long at all. So keep yourself in the loop with industry developments and you’ll be in a better place to spot a fantastic deal.
A perfect example is buying an older iPhone. The latest operating system iOS 9 won’t run on older phones like the iPhone 4. Even if it did, installing it would slow the phone down to a crawl. Not only that, but apps may no longer be compatible so you’ll have a nearly worthless device.
So while you may spend more on a newer gadget, it may last you 3 years. Had you bought an older gadget you could be replacing it by years end.
Buy Refurbished Gadgets
Manufacturers of tech products such as televisions, computers and tablets get returns all the time. It could simply have been that the customer changed their mind. Or there could’ve been a minor (or even major) fault with the product. It could be a broken screen, bad power supply or loud motor.
All of these issues are fixable and can return the product back to like new condition. The manufacturer will fix these items and then resell them at a steep discount.
It’s very difficult to tell refurbished products apart from new ones. Refurbished products have been repaired and tested, they may come in the same packaging as a new item and they come with a manufacturer warranty to boot.
As long as you don’t mind buying an item that isn’t technically new you can buy refurbished products at a much lower price.
Sell Off To Upgrade
A lot of us buy new gadgets and toss our old ones to the side. There’s no need to have a drawer full of aging gadgets. Those items are worth something and should be sold instead.
You won’t get anything for your old flip phones and PDA’s, but you could make a pretty penny from selling off your Galaxy S5 to buy the S6.
You can get reasonable prices for your old gear by finding a private buyer such as a friend or relative. Post a message on Facebook or Instagram and see if there’s any takers. Although it will be nowhere near what you paid for it, it will still be a good discount off your new purchase. If you can’t find anyone, eBay is a surefire way of getting your item sold.
Use Freeware / Open Source Software
One of the biggest costs of buying a new computer is the software you need to buy along with it. If you want to edit photos, create a spreadsheet or protect your computer from viruses you’re going to need to shell out hundreds of dollars. That is, unless you look for freeware software.
You can find freeware antivirus programs like AVG or freeware office products like LibreOffice. Google offers plenty of free products like Picasa to manage your photos, Gmail, documents, spreadsheets and presentations as well as Google Drive to store your files.
One suggestion is to get a Mac. Then you’d get free operating system upgrades, free productivity apps, a free photo management app and a free video editing app. Macs may cost a lot to start, but you’ll see the savings throughout the years as they stand the test of time.