Keeping up with the latest tech trends can be expensive. Some of us can overdo it a bit and needlessly update tech that doesn’t need to be upgraded (or alternatively buy gadgets that we never use). However, going entirely tech-free in this day and age is an impossibility – our working lives and our home lives are becoming more and more digitally reliant. If tech is draining your bank accounts dry and you want to spend less but still stay with the times, here are some money-saving tips that could help.
Rent Tech, Don’t Buy
Need a laptop for your studies but living on a student budget? Need industrial machinery for your business but can’t afford to take out another business loan? Renting tech is becoming a far more popular option for those who want to save money. Instead of having to fork out hundreds or even thousands of dollars, you can pay a small monthly fee of a couple of dollars to use the piece of tech. You may still be able to have it in your home or office – the only disadvantage will be that you don’t own it so not looking after it properly might lose you a deposit or result in you having to pay for repair costs. You may also be limited to a lease of a few months. Renting tech is ideal if you only need it on a temporary basis, and you could save huge costs.
Time Your Purchase Right
If you do go down the buying route, there are still a myriad of ways to cut costs. The first is to time your purchase right. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the January sales are some of the best times to get killer deals. You can also find some good deals on men’s gadgets in the lead-up to Father’s Day and good deals on laptops in the Back to School sales.
Generally, new tech is brought out at the beginning of the year in February and March. Prices generally don’t drop until mid-summer. That said, you may be able to find deals on older models in the early months of the year when the focus is on the newer models.
Buy Second Hand
Previously-owned tech can often sell for much cheaper, even if it is a new model. The likes of CeX are popular places to look for such gadgetry – the condition of products is thoroughly checked before selling them, making these second-hand gadget stores a reliable place to buy from.
You can save more money by shopping online from independent sellers, but this can often be more risky, especially if you don’t meet up with that seller in person. If you’re buying second-hand through Amazon or eBay, always ask questions about the condition if it isn’t already specified and get them to send images showing the gadget switched on and fully working with photos of different angles as proof that there isn’t any serious damage.
Facebook Buy and Sell pages can be a good place to look as you can find local second-hand tech and then arrange to meet in person so that you can examine the condition with your own eyes. Remember – if something seems too good to be true, it generally is.
Collecting coupons can be a great way of saving tech. There are many coupon sites such as DontPayFull.com where you can find these offers. Tech magazines and catalogues can also be a good source of coupons. Always check dates so that you know when the promotion ends – you don’t want your coupon to become defunct.
Avoid Extended Warranties
Many sellers of electronics will offer extended warranties to customers. These are generally not worth the added cost unless you feel you’re particularly clumsy and have a track record of breaking gadgets. Besides, many people often forget they have these warranties and then end up paying to get their device fixed elsewhere anyhow. Warranties can also often have carefully constructed terms and conditions that may not include certain repair costs.
Don’t Always Opt for Big Brands on Small Accessories
When it comes to chargers and cables, don’t automatically assume that an Apple charger or a Monster HDMI cable is going to be more reliable. Your cheap generic brand products will often be just as effective. When it comes to big brands, you’re only paying for the name. This is especially the case with HDMI cables – some big electronic brands will sell these for an extortionate price of $40 when a $10 HDMI cable is often the exact same design.
Research Before Repairing
Too many of us go straight to the computer doctor when our PC is playing up. However, you could save money by trying to fix the problem yourself. There are video tutorials on Youtube and detailed How To Wiki guides on everything from repairing a laptop screen to getting rid of a virus. In many cases, IT technicians themselves may use these online sources (perhaps not on regular faults, but certainly on obscure computer problems). Even if you do have to buy parts, you’ll save a lot of money on the service charge. Always try and run a diagnosis yourself and if the repair process looks to complicated, then go to a technician. Remember that tech-savvy friends and family can also be a way of saving money.
Sell Broken Gadgets for Parts
Once something is officially broken and you don’t want to repair it, don’t immediately reach for the trashcan. Most broken gadgets can still be sold for parts. You’ll often have to specify what works and what doesn’t. Many companies will offer a quote – it can be sometimes worth shopping around to find the best deal. Always make sure that you’ve wiped the device before selling so that no personal details can be stolen.