As technology becomes even more ingrained into our society, it’s easy to lose sight of just how much we spend on it. From hardware and software to subscriptions and data, a significant amount of our budget could be eaten up by tech expenses. To combat this, take a look a look at these eight ways to cut tech costs now:
- Evaluate your expenditure
- Identify costs
- Beware free trials
- Switch to SIM only
- Take out insurance
- Compare utility providers
- Reuse ink cartridges
- Minimise subscription costs
Before you make any changes to your spending habits, it’s important to find out exactly how much of your budget goes towards tech expenses. Chances are, you’ll be surprised at how much you’re spending on technology over the year.
Gather your bank statements together and identify all of your tech expenditure to get an accurate figure of what your usual tech spend is. Then, you’ll be able to set clearly defined financial goals and find ways to reduce your tech outgoings.
If you’ve been working from home recently, don’t be surprised if your tech costs have increased. Similarly, if you run your own business or have a lucrative side hustle, this could be why you’re spending more on technology than you realise.
However, if you’re spending money on tech for work-related reasons or business costs, there may be a way for you to limit the impact it has on your finances. Talk to your employer about claiming back your expenses while you’re working from home. Most companies enable their employees to do this, or they may provide you with the hardware, software, and consumables you need to work remotely.
When you’re purchasing tech-related items for business purposes or to carry out your side hustle, these may be tax-deductible. By seeking advice from an accountant, you can determine exactly how much of your tech expenditure can be ‘written off’, which could reduce your tax liability at the end of the financial year.
Many tech companies offer ‘free’ trials as a way of encouraging people to sign up for their products or services. However, these offers are rarely as good as they seem. Read the small print and you may find that you’re tied into a long-term, expensive contract once the trial period ends. Alternatively, you may forget to cancel your subscription during the trial, which means you’ll end up paying for something you may not want or need.
Although a trial can be a good way to sample a product or service you’re genuinely interested in, be sure to examine the terms and conditions carefully before you sign up. Similarly, make a note of when the trial period is due to end, so that you can decide whether to cancel the subscription in advance.
The ongoing cost of a mobile phone is a big expense for many people, but it doesn’t have to be. Instead of paying a high monthly price and being tied into an expensive contract for years, take a look at SIM only deals instead. When you use a SIM only plan with Lebara, you can cancel at any time, cap out of bundle costs, and even use your data allowance for tethering.
What’s more –SIM only deals give you the freedom to use any handset you like. As your mobile phone won’t be determined by the plan you choose, you can keep hold of your current handset if you don’t want to upgrade. Alternatively, you can treat yourself to a new handset of your choosing and still keep costs low with a budget-friendly SIM only monthly plan.
If you’ve ever had to replace a mobile phone, laptop, or tablet, you’ll know just how expensive tech hardware can be. Although technology is capable of a lot of things, it doesn’t always stand up well to physical damage. Dropping your phone or damaging the screen of your laptop can make it unusable, for example. When this happens, you’ll find yourself with a hefty bill to pay when you want to replace the hardware.
By taking out insurance, however, you can ensure that you’re able to replace damaged units quickly or have them professionally repaired. Even if you need to pay a premium when you claim on your policy, this is typically much cheaper than paying for a replacement out of your own pocket. Furthermore, insurance for phones, laptops, and other tech devices is often available for just a few pounds a month.
Remember – some home insurance policies actually include tech cover, so check whether you have any existing policies that cover your tech devices and, if so, what their terms are.
The more tech devices you have, the more electricity you’re likely to use, which means you could see your utility bills increase. Although charging a single mobile phone doesn’t use much power, keeping multiple devices fully charged or powering up a smart home can see your electricity bills spike.
Many homeowners find that switching to a different utility provider can be a good way to reduce their expenditure. With a simple comparison search, you can find out which providers offer services in your area and what rates are available.
In addition to this, using a smart meter to monitor your usage can be a great way to keep tabs on how much electricity it takes to power your home. As well as helping you to keep costs low, this can be an easy way to incorporate more environmentally friendly practices into your lifestyle.
In an increasingly digital world, the need to actually print documents may have declined but there may still be times when you need to create hard copies of documents or images. If so, you can reduce your costs by using reusable ink cartridges, rather than buying single-use, disposable ones.
Once you’ve purchased a reusable ink cartridge, you can take it into a store to have refilled when necessary or sent it to an ink company so that it can be refilled. Alternatively, you may decide to purchase printer ink at wholesale prices and refill your own cartridges to help you reduce your expenses.
Many tech services are now available via subscription, which can be a good way to spread the cost of an otherwise expensive product or service. However, don’t spend more than you need to. Look out for discounted subscriptions and voucher codes, so that you can cut the cost of membership. Similarly, signing up for a multi-person subscription instead of individual memberships can be a good way of reducing the overall cost if more than one person in your household uses the same service.
Making Technology Affordable
Whether you love the latest gadgets or you simply rely on technology to watch your favourite TV shows, at least some of your monthly budget is likely to be spent on tech in one form or another. By being aware of how much you’re spending on technology and making some changes to how you approach your expenditure, you’ll find it easy to cut your costs. As a result, you’ll free up more of your disposable income and be able to achieve your financial goals even more quickly.