Where would we be without our gadgets? A few years ago, it seemed bad enough – TVs in most rooms, a computer in the study, a games console and handhelds for the kids. Today, the tech has completely taken over, with smartphones, tablets, a TV with so many boxes under it, you’ve no idea what half of them do, laptops all over the house and, as if that wasn’t bad enough, Alexa, the Queen of All She Surveys, lording it over everything and everyone.
OK, so it’s not actually so bad, and 90 percent of us who moan about the technology taking over would probably complain even more loudly if it was all taken away from us. But one thing that’s no laughing matter is that the tech can eat away at your household budget in more ways than you might realise. Here are three tips for getting it back under control.
Spend less on your mobile
Of all the gadgets listed above, it is the smartphones that really dominate our lives. Chances are, there are three or four in your household, and it really pays to analyse how they are used and to shop around for the best deal. There are numerous providers out there, and every one of them offers different types of deals. If you are on a contract, think very carefully at renewal time, and check out the competition. If you are on pay as you go, suppliers typically offer different types of monthly bundles that will include calls, texts and data in different ratios. This is why it’s so important to understand how each family member uses his or her phone, to get the best deal on each.
Drastically reduce your printing costs
Do you find that every time you go to print something, the printer’s either out of ink or struggling on the final dregs? Whether it’s the kids or the ink fairies, there’s go getting around the fact that replacement cartridges cost a packet on the high street. This is where the internet can be your friend. Look online to get the best price on your HP printer ink – often it will be around 35 percent cheaper than you’d pay in the shops. Before you know it, you’ll have saved enough to buy a new printer!
Compare big ticket prices online
Looking for a new TV, laptop or some other big ticket gadget? Of course, you’ll want to see it in the flesh, so spend some time in your high street store and narrow down a shortlist. But before you sign on the dotted line, compare the prices on a site like Amazon. It’s almost certain you will find it cheaper. Now there are definite advantages to buying an expensive product from a physical shop, but if you tell the sales agent that you’ve found, let’s say, the same 55 inch TV that they are selling for £500 available online for £450, there is every chance that they will have some flexibility to either match the price or at least split the difference.