Technology often seems like a daunting investment, particularly for families who are on a strict budget. Fortunately, there are many ways that you can take a frugal approach to the latest gadgets. Enjoying new technology doesn’t have to mean emptying your bank account. Try these tactics for low-cost ways to upgrade your devices.
Shop Outside the Store
You don’t have to buy your gadgets from the traditional big box stores to enjoy quality and reliability. Look beyond stores like Best Buy or Walmart and try more innovative shopping options. Craigslist and eBay have a wealth of affordable deals. While most people associate these and similar sites with used goods, you’ll also find some new items that were simply overstocked. Keep a keen eye on these websites to find steep savings on popular devices.
Do Your Research
Decide what you really want to buy in the tech sphere, and don’t settle for knock-offs that don’t meet your exact specifications. It’s tempting to opt for something less when you spot a low price, but it’s better to hold out for a sale on the tech you have on your wish list.
If you’re not tech-savvy, now is the time to do some research. Before buying a gaming system for the kids, for instance, look into the differences between platforms like Playstation or Wii. Read reviews, consider your children’s preferences, and learn how game play works for each device. Make sure you can list several games that your kids (and you) would be interested in before you go with a particular system, so that you’re investing in something that you’ll get plenty of use from.
Invest in Quality
It’s better to invest in one quality item than to stretch your tech budget across multiple devices. For example, with the sleek iPhone 7 Plus on T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network, you can download many of the same family-friendly apps that you would enjoy on an iPad, with plenty of data available to enjoy them both at home and on the go. The dual 12MP cameras offer all the functionality of a stand-alone digital camera. Your phone can double as a music player as well, thanks to the stereo speakers and 32GB of memory.
The latest iPhone is even water- and splash-resistant. It’s worth spending a little more on your phone when it can serve as a multi-function device. The iPhone 7 Plus can offer all the functionality of several tech gadgets for far less than it would cost to purchase them separately.
Consider Older Items for Kids
If you’re purchasing gadgets exclusively for your children, consider buying older models or refurbished devices. These are typically much cheaper than a brand-new version of the latest model. Younger children won’t know the difference between products like the InnoTab 1, 2s, or 3. Thanks to games that are backwards-compatible, you can still play with recent characters on an older device. You won’t suffer as much heartbreak when your kids scratch or damage an older device, either.
Look for Solutions That Simplify Your Life
If you tend to take a frugal, low-tech approach to your daily tasks, you may not be aware of all the ways new gadgets can help you save time and money. If you haven’t upgraded to a smartphone yet, you’re missing out on the wide world of budgeting and parenting apps that can help make your day easier.
Upgrade to a video baby monitor and you can get more done with added peace of mind from knowing you can check on the baby without heading back to the bedroom. A portable DVD player may be a more affordable alternative to having a television in every room where kids may want to curl up for a Disney classic. Similarly, wireless speakers are very useful for families who like to listen to music in different parts of the house.
With the right approach to your tech purchases, you can save money and enjoy new devices at the same time. Use these smart strategies to minimize your spending without eliminating fun new items from your lifestyle.