Love it or hate it, technology plays a huge part in our day to day lives in the 21st century. Most households have at least one computer, several smartphones, a tablet or two and a smart TV. When you add the peripherals such as printers, Bluetooth speakers and the voice-recognition systems that are the latest craze, you start to see just how much technology is surrounding us. And it all costs money, representing a drain on or monthly resources that we can ill afford.
Yet there are so many things we spend out on that are unnecessary. If your home tech costs are getting out of control, it might be time to carry out a little audit. You will be amazed how much you can save. Here are some areas to look at.
TV on Demand
Netflix, Amazon Prime, Now TV – they are all fabulous services and allow us to watch TV shows and movies whenever we want, on either the TV, computer, tablet – even the smartphone. They certainly beat the days when we had to go out to the video store to rent tapes. But with each one of those services offering hundreds of choices, do you really need all of them? Monthly costs might be quite reasonable, but when you multiply “quite reasonable” by three or four or five, it quickly turns into “quite a lot.” Get the family together and rationalise the on demand services to what you really need.
Today, you can pick up a brand-new inkjet printer for as little as £30 or so. It will provide perfectly good service, and even top brands like HP have plenty to choose from in the sub-£50 bracket. For many, the shock comes when you go to buy new cartridges and find you are paying almost as much for them as you did for the printer. Yet there are deals to be had if you shop around. Online suppliers can provide great deals, and printerinks.com HP print cartridges cost a fraction of the price you will pay on the high street.
We all know that buying a new laptop or PC also means buying the latest version of Microsoft Office to go with it, right? Well – not necessarily. There are a range of open source software solutions that do not cost a penny, and do exactly the same thing in terms of creating documents, spreadsheets and presentations. They are completely compatible with Word, Excel and so on, so will allow you to read and edit anything that has been created in those programs. They might not be quite as slick as the paid versions, but they are certainly worth a look – after all, what have you got to lose?
The other thing we all do with a new laptop is spend out on antivirus protection. However, this is another thing that can be achieved for free using. Or if you are using Windows 10, it already has a built in program called Windows Defender that takes care of all your antivirus needs. There is absolutely no sense in paying for more.