If you’re a techie, you know the truth: it’s an expensive lifestyle. Wanting only the newest, fastest, and shiniest gadgets means high fees and constant upgrades. Not an ideal hobby if you’re trying to stretch your paycheck!
But there’s good news: you can spend less and still live that techie life you love so much!
1. Be Okay with Switching
Keep an open mind about switching carriers. Most cell phone carriers lure you in with the promise of low fees and new phones. Once the initial contract is over, though, it’s time to shop around. You’ll probably find a lower monthly bill, and you may even get a new phone in the deal.
Another option: go prepaid. Depending on how much you use (or don’t use) your phone, you could save hundreds of dollars every year!
2. Skip the Store Warranty
Before you buy that warranty, check with your credit card company - it’s possible they offer a free warranty on your tech purchases. Even if they don’t, think twice about buying the store warranty. Unless it’s an extremely expensive item, most warranties just aren’t worth it. You’ll end up paying either a monthly fee or a high one-time cost for a service you’ll probably never even use.
3. Shop the Sales.
Sure, it’s tempting to splurge on the latest tech gadget on the spur of the moment. But you’ll probably end up paying much more money than you would have if you’d been a bit patient. Bookmark the sites you shop at the most and keep an eye out for their sales. Whatever tech product you like will probably go on sale several times a year. Waiting for a sale can save you hundreds of dollars!
4. Stop Upgrading
Ouch. This one’s going to hurt. If you’re a techie, the constant upgrades are probably part of your life. But those upgrades - latest phone, newest headphones, buzziest camera - aren’t free. And while the new features might be exciting, they probably aren’t necessary. Give your wallet a timeout and take a break from upgrading.
5. Say Yes to Repairs
Stop using a minor glitch as an excuse to buy a whole new gadget. These days, almost everything is fixable, up to and including a shattered screen. If possible, take your tech to the store/company where you bought it. They will know exactly what to do for whatever needs to be fixed. Bonus: you might even find out that you’re still under a factory warranty, meaning the repair is free.
6. Don’t Buy New
Buying refurbished electronics is a great way to save money easily. For the most part, it will work so perfectly that you won’t even be able to tell it’s not new. Just make sure you get your refurbed tech either from the original manufacturer or one of their recommended dealers. This will give you the assurance that all repair work has been thoroughly tested, and that your tech gear will be as good as new.
7. Check for Quality
Don’t be distracted by trendy brands- as long as the quality is there, that’s really the only important thing. A generic, store-brand item could work just as well as an expensive brand-name one. Compare companies, products, and even model numbers to find the best gadget to fit what you need.
8. Go for the Second in Line
That doesn’t mean second in quality! But often when a new version of a phone/laptop/tablet/ any other electronic comes out, the current one goes on deep discount. Of course, there could be a valid reason why you need the latest in tech. But if there’s not, then remember that even the almost-newest is still going to be newer than the one you currently own.
9. Sell Your Old Tech
You probably have at least one or two old cell phones sitting around the house, especially if you are a techie. If you trade them in, you’ll at least be able to make some money from them. You can use this unexpected cash to shore up your emergency fund or even save up for something shiny and new.
Don’t despair, techies! You don’t have to choose between the tech lifestyle and a balanced budget.