Technology has reached the point where the science fiction home of automation and entertainment depicted in countless movies is basically a reality for all the things that are actually practical: smart TVs, robot vacuums, voice-control systems, tablets, refrigerators that do the shopping, and etc.
Although, if we’re being honest with ourselves, living the life of the Jetson’s is still not quite as ubiquitous or practical for those of us earning less than we used to or what we would like to be earning right now.
That doesn’t mean living in a high-tech life is only for the privileged few — you just have to dedicate a little more time and energy. You don’t need to be that household that feels like they’re a decade behind technology; it’s all about when you buy new tech, where you buy it, how you buy it, and what brands you buy.
I’ll show you a few easy ways you can save money, make money, and enjoy this golden era of technology, guilt-free.
Never Buy New
Okay, for 90% of the time, buying a new device or electronic is rarely advantageous to the consumer. People buy new for one of three reasons: to get it first, to get a product with no wear or tear, and to have the product under warranty.
The reality is: you can have your cake, keep all the benefits of buying a new piece of tech, and buy another cake with the leftover savings.
If you don’t want to buy a used product from someone else online, you can go the refurbished route and still save a lot of money (plus, the manufacturer’s warranty). You can likewise get brand new products at great discounts if you are patient enough to wait until after Christmas.
Sure, retail stores do hold sales after the holidays, but the real steals are found on eBay and Amazon, where people are trying to get rid of presents that they don’t want or need.
In the UK alone, there were over 115 million unwanted Christmas gifts last year!
Fix It or Sell for Parts
Don’t be so quick to toss that old laptop, tablet, or game console. Just because it’s broken beyond easy repair, it doesn’t mean you can’t revive it on the cheap or, at the very least, get a few bucks back to go towards its replacement.
Professional repairs can be expensive, especially when it comes to phones. Broken or cracked screens are the number one repairs that you can actually do yourself if your phone is no longer under contract.
Getting a little electronic repair kit like this can not only make tech repairs more feasible, you might even be able to earn a little side income from just being able to fix your friends’ and family’s gadgets.
Upgrade a Gen Behind
Yeah, we know, having the latest phone and/or computer is the best, but just take a step back and realize where we’re at right now, in-terms of innovative technology.
Smartphones aren’t upgrading their specs in the same gigantic leaps that we saw just a few years ago, so you’re not going to be sacrificing functionality if you decided to grab an iPhone 8 when the new iPhone X dropped, for example. What you will have is more than a few hundred extra dollars to spend on cool stuff, like new headphones or Bluetooth speakers.
High-Tech Smart Energy
Knowing when to buy and how to buy the electronics you want is only part of what it takes to live in a modern home on a budget. You should be looking at investing in gadgets that you can use in your home to save you time and money.
Let’s start with something small, like smart appliances and wireless-controlled power strips, for example. Smart appliances that are not only awesome to use, but Energy Star certified — meaning, they pay for themselves in about a year or two with energy savings.
Wireless-controlled power outlets allow you to “unplug” devices not in use with no effort.
You would be shocked at just how much energy is wasted by devices when left plugged in and not in use.
If you really want to make a dent in your home energy savings, invest in a high-tech thermostat like the Nest, which can lower your bill by up to 10–15%. That will get you a lot of new tech gadgets every year.
The Future is Frugal
Don’t ever feel bad for going the extra mile to save a few bucks. Those few bucks add up over the year. When birthdays and holidays come around, you can splurge without feeling guilty.
Outfitting your home with tech that not only looks cool, but contributes to your efficiency is not only doable, it’s practically required if we want the future to be a high-tech world based on renewable, smart, and accessible technology.