The world of technology surrounds us 24/7. And at some point you’ll have considered a purchase or a decision that involves using a gadget or service as part of your everyday life. As with anything we think you can save money. So here are our top money saving tech tips.
Use free products
There are many free products you could use for your laptop, tablet or smartphone. This includes anti-virus software and productivity tools for word documents and spreadsheets. A copy of Microsoft Office will cost around £100. This is even more if you buy Office 365 which requires a yearly subscription. Google do a range of free office software. A quick example is Google Docs – which is an alternative to Microsoft Word.
If you need pointers on antivirus software look at AVG and Avast. They offer different packages for desktop, tablet and mobile.
Don’t buy gadgets on the day they’re released
So it’s launch day for that must-have gadget you’ve been reading about. You decide to buy it on day one. But then six months down the line you’ll find that your new bit of kit costs 20% less. People who buy new technology before everybody else are known as ‘early adopters’. While they may have shiny new tech from day one their wallets may be considerably lighter. The advantages of waiting at least 6-12 months before new products are released include a potentially cheaper price. Or if a rival manufacturer is releasing something in that time then it could even spark a price war. If you’ve bought anything that has new software then any bugs that need to be sorted may have been identified and addressed through a software patch released after launch. So it pays to wait.
Evaluate your insurance needs
As with many gadgets, especially portable ones, they can be prone to being lost, dropped or damaged. While it can be expensive you could equally be at a loss if you couldn’t use your gadgets or had to pay out for replacement goods. If you’ve never had to make a claim then it may be worth not insuring – or at least saving what you’ve budgeted on insurance in case you need it.
Is it worth it?
More importantly if you do insure then make sure the cover you have is adequate for your needs. Some policies may replace products with refurbished goods and require a big excess payment when you claim. With a monthly fee and excess costs to consider it could actually cost you more than the product if you claim. For example – If you have a phone which you’ve damaged or lost you may be offered a second hand replacement that’s only worth up to £250.
If your insurance costs £8.50 (based on a Protect Your Bubble quote for an iPhone including loss cover) over a two year period you’ll have paid £204. If you have to make an excess payment of £75 for a lost phone you’ll have spent £279 – which is less than the cost of a NEW phone but potentially more than a refurbished model.
Of course you could already be covered by your home insurance – check your policy or with your provider to make sure.
Buy refurbished or nearly new
Some of the mobile networks sell refurbished tablets and phones. While it may be cheaper to get a refurbished model it shouldn’t invalidate any insurance you have as long as you’ve purchased directly from the manufacturer or network. Display models in shops can also be a source of savings too. But make sure you inspect any items before deciding to purchase.
Get more by being energy efficient
Many appliances sold with a plug will usually have an energy rating. While a cheaper product may cost less, its energy consumption may be high. We would recommend looking at energy consumption when considering making a purchase. This applies most to fridges, dryers, washing machines and TVs. Additionally for washing machines you should also check the number of litres used per wash.
And the last of our money saving tech tips – ditch standby and turn off your appliances completely when you’re not using them.