The economy has been hard for millennials over the last decade. They graduated from college with mountains of student loan debt right as the job market was going bust. So sometimes they have to make hard choices when it comes to spending money. But, while their parents might have seen technology and gadgets as luxury items, they know that these gadgets are everyday essentials. The good news is that there are a lot of ways you can save money on technology without going broke.
Buy Refurbished Tech At Discount Prices
You might be tempted to think of a refurbished item as used or damaged, but great deals can be found on refurbished technology if you’re willing to give it a chance. Manufacturer refurbished items were sent back to the manufacturer, completely repaired by people who know what they are doing, and put through a whole battery of QA tests before being sold again. Check to see if the manufacturer offers a warranty on their refurbished products, so you can request a replacement if anything goes wrong with your purchase.
Take Advantage of Deals Offered by Cell Phone Carriers
Before you upgrade your cell phone or renew your contract, check out cell phone deals offered by smartphone carriers like T-Mobile. New carriers regularly offers deals that will save you a lot of money on even the latest, coolest phones and gadgets. Plus, according to recent reports, alternative carriers now has a faster network than the traditional carriers, so they are likely to save you money and headaches.
Wait Longer Between Upgrades
While Apple upgrades its product line every year, the changes that the company makes from one model of smartphone or laptop to the next are usually very minimal. Even if you do an iphone trade in, the same goes for other tech companies as well. Waiting two or three years between upgrades or upgrading only when necessary could save you quite a lot of cash in the long run. Plus, you’ll actually see and notice the differences between models, improving your user experience.
Share Technology With Friends
It might sound crazy to share your personal cell phone because you use it every day, but when it comes to technology that you only use every now and then — like digital cameras, video cameras, or video games — consider sharing with friends or colleagues to save money. Just because the sharing economy hasn’t extended to gadgets just yet, doesn’t mean we can’t benefit from sharing our stuff with people we really trust.
Find Great Deals Using Google Alerts
Once you do the research to determine exactly what product you want, you can set up a Google Alert with the product’s name and the word “deals.” Google will alert you when there are search results that match your criteria, so that you can find the best price for your item. This method may require a little bit of patience, but it could save you a lot of money in the long run.
Cut The Cable Cord
According to Adweek, over 22 million adults in the US have cut cable out of their budget in favor of on-demand services like Netflix and Hulu. With so many entertainment options available, removing a bloated cable bill from your budget seems like a no-brainer. Most networks offer ways of streaming your favorite shows and movies over your internet connection, making it easy to cut the cable cord.
Use Cloud-Based And Open Source Software
Once you have great hardware, the software to make it function can be another huge added expense. Instead of shelling out big bucks for expensive software, consider using cloud-based or open source options. For example, the Google Suite of apps provides a convenient alternative to the Microsoft Office Online Suite, and Gimp is an excellent open source alternative to Adobe’s very pricey Photoshop software. Before buying new software, search the web for hosted or open source versions that will suit your needs, and save yourself money.
There are lots of ways that millennials can save money on technology. With a little ingenuity and patience, you can still enjoy your technology essentials while also keeping pre of your money where it belongs — your pocket.