Smart Ways to Save Money on Your Family’s Tech Habits

A lot of us are looking at ways to slim down the bills that we have to deal with on a monthly basis. To a lot of people, this means looking at what is truly essential and what are actually luxury tech habits that we can save money on.

While most people would agree that much of the tech we make use of in the home is essential to our daily lives, that doesn’t mean we should be spending quite as much on it.

From finding the best rural internet to reviewing your digital subscriptions, we’re looking at all the ways you can slim down costs for all your tech habits.

Get smart about your energy use

First of all, you have to think about your energy bills. This is where part of your regular tech habits costs are coming from. There are all kinds of home improvements you can make to reduce your carbon footprint and cut your bills at the same time.

However, you should also look at how the family uses tech or, rather, how the family doesn’t use tech. When a family member leaves a TV or a PC, do they leave them turned off at the wall? Leaving this tech on throughout the day and even overnight can see your bills rising a lot due to vampire energy. This is even true if they’re in standby mode.

Stop energy from being consumed throughout the whole day. Make it a family rule to turn off all devices plugged into the mains if they’re not being used for more than ten minutes.

Don’t rush for the upgrade

It can be very tempting, especially for those of us who are tech-savvy, but you shouldn’t immediately be thinking about how to get your hands on the latest thing. The home most likely does not need a new 4K TV. Even if the gamers in the home can attest to how much of a technological leap is, the prices on the PS5 keep going up, rather than down, with time. You have to be able to hold back on your tech habits and avoid pulling the trigger on purchases of the newest technology.

Smart Ways to Save Money on Your Family's Tech Habits

Switch your internet provider

The most widely used tech resource in any modern home is going to be the internet, which is also one of the most expensive recurring bills that you’re going to have to take a look at. The truth is that when it comes to net providers, it is rarely worth it to stick with the same one for too long.

Compare the costs of the internet in your area at least once a year and don’t be afraid to make the switch if you’re seeing one that’s cheaper than what you currently have. You might even want to consider making a downgrade from fibre optic to broadband if you don’t have a lot of people making use of the net at home, to help you pull back some of those costs.

No one likes to sit on hold or deal with a new installation, but the twenty or thirty minutes you spend can save you a bundle over time. Before you make the switch though, search for an internet providers near me and tell them you are going to switch. Often they will offer you a better deal to stay!

Switch your mobile device provider

Everything that’s true of switching internet providers also goes for your smartphone service providers. Be savvy when your contract expires, checking it with a new provider can offer a better deal or if you can haggle one with your current provider.

Of course, one of the best ways to save money when getting a new phone contract is to not get a new phone or tablet at the same time. You can opt for phone or tablet Sim only deals so that you’re only paying for the data and calls that you make, and not for the ownership of a new device. The device you have right now might be working just fine or, otherwise, you might be able to buy one down the line for a better deal.

Start looking at your subscriptions

Every home has started paying for a lot more subscriptions over the past few decades. The vast majority of these new digital service subscriptions are going to be in the form of streaming services, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus and so on. It’s easy to accrue these subscriptions and forget about them since they only come out once every month.

However, most can agree that their sting is beginning to be felt, especially since some of them have been threatening to raise prices. What’s more, it’s easy to set and forget subscriptions, especially subscriptions for mobile apps that you haven’t used in a long time. Take a look at your bills and identify what subscriptions you’re not getting your money’s worth from and make the call to cancel them.

Smart Ways to Save Money on Your Family's Tech Habits

Don’t opt in for every warranty

We all want to make sure that when we buy a new piece of tech, we’re not going to be left holding the debris if it suffers from damage. However, the truth is that the average extended warranty might not offer the kind of deal that you expect. For one, you have to pay an excess if you make a claim on any form of insurance, and sometimes this excess can make it cheaper to opt for a new device than to ask for a repair.

What’s more, a lot of warranties don’t last long enough to cover the lifespan of all devices. Or there’s a lot of fine print and extra charges. You should always weigh up the option carefully rather than just opting in.

Take care of your tech

If you’re not going to be relying on warranties as much, then you need to make sure that you’re giving your tech the care that it needs. If it’s freestanding, then try to find ways to secure it, whether it’s with brackets to the walls or even securing it down on the table.

For portable devices, the most important thing to invest in is good screen protectors. The screens are often the first things that can break on these, but protectors can do a good job of protecting them from accidental drops.

Mind the costs of gaming, as well

It’s not your phone bill and internet bill and subscriptions you have to think about. If you have any gamers in the home, then they’re likely to be adding to your bills (providing they’re not paying for themselves,) with their tech habits. There are no gaming consoles that don’t require players to pay for the privilege of playing online.

PC gamers are exempt from this. However, there are also subscription tiers that allow them access to additional games (such as PlayStation Plus and X-Box Games Pass). If you’re the one paying for these, it might be time to negotiate with the gamers in the home to cut down on some of the services they’re benefiting from. A lot of them are still going to fight tooth and nail to keep access to online gaming, however.

Get some money back on your old tech

If it comes time to replace any of the older technology in your home, then you should be mindful of how you get rid of it. Rather than simply throwing it away, you can usually recycle or reuse it one way or another. What’s more, there are some tech recycling companies that will even pay you for the privilege of taking it to offer your hands.

Consider selling your older tech or games locally, too. Ask friends and neighbors if they are interested in purchasing them at a fair price. Have a yard sale and include these items. Places like Facebook Marketplace are a good places to check out, too.

Now, it is true that you’re not likely to see a lot of money for the tech habits that you hand in, but if we’re at the point that every little helps, it can be a nice little booster for the budget.

Cutting down on tech costs might mean getting into heated discussions with family members who are used to having access to a lot, but given the way that costs are increasing, we have to seriously think about it.

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Tags: save money, Technology
Barb Webb. Founder and Editor of Rural Mom, is an the author of "Getting Laid" and "Getting Baked". A sustainable living expert nesting in Appalachian Kentucky, when she’s not chasing chickens around the farm or engaging in mock Jedi battles, she’s making tea and writing about country living and artisan culture.
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