As technology becomes more entrenched in our society, it’s easy to lose track of how much we’re spending on it. From hardware and software to subscriptions and data, a significant portion of our budget could be consumed by technical expenses. To counter this, take a look at these eight ways to cut technical costs now:
1. Evaluate your expenses
Before making any changes to your spending habits, it is important to find out exactly how much of your budget is being used for technical expenses. Chances are you’ll be surprised how much you spend on technology over the course of the year.
Gather your bank statements and identify all of your technical expenses to get an accurate count of your usual technical expenses. Then you can set clearly defined financial goals and find ways to reduce your technical expenses.
2. Identify labor or business costs
If you’ve recently worked from home, don’t be surprised if your tech costs have increased. If you run your own business or have a lucrative side job, this could be why you are spending more on technology than you think you are.
However, if you spend money on technology for work or business reasons, you may be able to limit the impact on your finances. Talk to your employer about recovering your expenses while you work from home. Most companies allow their employees to do this, or they may provide you with the hardware, software, and supplies you need to work remotely.
If you buy technical items for business purposes or to do your sideline, they may be tax deductible. Taking advice from an accountant can help determine exactly how much of your technical expenses can be written off, which could reduce your tax liability at the end of the fiscal year.
3. Beware of “free” trials
Many technology companies offer free trials to encourage people to sign up for their products or services. However, these deals are rarely as good as they seem. If you read the fine print, you may find that after the trial period ends, you are bound to a long-term, expensive contract. Alternatively, you can forget to cancel your subscription during the trial period, which means you end up paying for something you may not want or need.
While a trial is a great way to try out a product or service that you’re genuinely interested in, be sure to carefully review the terms and conditions before signing up. Also, make a note of when the trial ends so that you can decide in advance whether you want to cancel the subscription.
4. Switch to a SIM-only plan
The running costs of a cell phone are a huge expense for many people, but they don’t have to be. Instead of paying a high monthly price and being tied to an expensive contract for years, take a look at SIM deals instead. If you only use one SIM tariff with Lebara, you can cancel at any time, limit the bundle costs and even use your data volume for tethering.
In addition, SIM offers only give you the freedom to use any handset. Since your mobile phone does not depend on the tariff you have chosen, you can keep your current handset if you do not want to upgrade. Alternatively, treat yourself to a new handset of your choice and still keep costs low with a budget-friendly SIM monthly plan.
5. Take out insurance
If you’ve ever had to replace a cell phone, laptop, or tablet, you know how expensive technical hardware can be. While technology is capable of many things, it doesn’t always stand up to physical damage well. For example, if you drop your phone or damage your laptop screen, it can become unusable. In this case, you will have to pay a large bill if you want to replace the hardware.
However, by taking out insurance, you can ensure that you can quickly replace damaged units or have them professionally repaired. Even if you do have to pay a premium when you use your policy, it is usually much cheaper than paying a replacement out of pocket. In addition, insurance for phones, laptops, and other tech devices is often only available for a few pounds a month.
Remember that some home insurance policies actually include technical coverage. So check if there are any policies that cover your technical equipment, and if so, what their terms are.
6. Compare the utility providers
The more tech you have, the more electricity you are likely to use, which means your utility bills could go up. While charging a single cell phone doesn’t use a lot of power, keeping multiple devices fully charged or turning on a smart home can increase your utility bills.
Many homeowners find that switching to a different utility is a great way to cut their expenses. With a simple comparison search, you can find out which providers offer services in your area and which tariffs are available.
Additionally, using a smart meter to monitor your usage can be a great way to keep track of your home’s electricity usage. Not only will this help you keep costs down, but it can also be an easy way to incorporate more environmentally friendly practices into your lifestyle.
7. Reusable ink cartridges
In an increasingly digital world, the need to actually print documents may have decreased, but there may still be times when you need to make hard copies of documents or pictures. In this case, you can cut your costs by using reusable ink cartridges instead of buying disposable ink cartridges.
Once you’ve bought a reusable ink cartridge, you can take it to a store to refill if needed, or send it to an ink company for it to be refilled. Alternatively, you can buy wholesale printer ink and refill your own cartridges to cut your costs.
8. Minimize subscription costs
Many technical services are now available through subscription. This can be a great way to spread the cost of an otherwise expensive product or service. Don’t spend more than you need, however. Look out for discounted subscriptions and coupon codes so you can cut the cost of membership. Likewise, signing up for a multi-person subscription instead of individual memberships can be a great way to reduce overall costs if more than one person in your household is using the same service.
Make technology affordable
Whether you love the latest gadgets or just rely on technology to watch your favorite TV shows, at least part of your monthly budget is likely to be spent on technology in one form or another. Knowing how much you’re spending on technology and making some changes to the way you approach your spending can easily bring your costs down. That way, you can free more of your disposable income and reach your financial goals even faster.