5 Frugal Ways to Fill Your House With State-of-the-Art Technology
It’s a common problem: you’ve caught the gadget bug but you don’t want to break the bank getting the tech you want. A lot of people just bite the bullet and fork over a significant chunk of their income to keep themselves up-to-date on the latest models of everything from smartphones to kitchen appliances. There are better ways to make technology purchases, though. Here are a few common tips to help you get the gadgets you want without draining your bank account.
1. Dive at Sales
Patience is one of the key virtues of smart tech purchases. There’s no need to stand in line on release day when kicking that major financial decision down the road can end up saving you hundreds of dollars or more. Keep a list of the tech you want and keep an eye out for big sales, price drops, and other deals that get you the same product for deep discounts on the launch price. This not only rewards you for your patience, it also gets you off that never-ending cycle of upgrading that can trick you into jumping ship on good devices just because something new has hit the market.
2. Research Before You Buy
All that glitters isn’t gold — and every tablet with a larger screen isn’t always better. Before you commit to a particular device, do some research about its real specs and the specs of its competitors. You’re not just aiming for what’s newest or even what’s cheapest. Instead, you should look into the features you want and need most. For example, you’re not going to need a PC that’s built for high-end gaming if what you really want is a solid business machine. Learning about a class of products before you buy makes sure you’ll get the most bang for your buck.
3. Pay Attention to the Paperwork
A lot of tech comes with extra paperwork, from extended warranties to long-term contracts. If you’re not careful, you can end up throwing a lot of money away on these deceptive deals. You’re usually better off opting out of an extended warranty, especially if you plan on upgrading within the next two years, and most warranties are void if you modify the device. Data contracts for phones and tablets can also be tricky. Even if it seems like you’re saving money by taking on a longer commitment, you may end up getting caught in an expensive routine with insane cancellation fees. Think before you sign.
4. Coupon When You Can
A lot of retailers, whether online or brick-and-mortar, use coupons to draw consumers who are likely to make other purchases in addition to the discount and coupon offers. If you have good impulse control, you can get all the benefits of these discounts without the pitfalls of extra purchases. Don’t just rush into a good-sounding deal, though. Get to know your preferred retailers so you can spot a truly good deal and not just a sneaky promotion. If, for example, you know what Sears usually charges for a new Maytag washing machine, you’ll also know how to use Sears coupons to get a great discount.
5. See the Good in Second-Hand Devices
While you can save money by getting off the upgrade treadmill, you can still benefit from those who aren’t as careful. A lot of second-hand devices on the market are in like-new and gently used condition, offering all the functionality of a new device without the crazy cost. You can also grab great deals at stores when they have “open box” goods that are new but recently returned, or possibly just cosmetically damaged but fully functional. What’s more, you can also sell your used but functional devices and put the profit toward your next purchase. There’s no reason to trash valuable tech.
By shopping smart, being patient, and knowing how businesses function, you can get all the tech you want at only a fraction of the cost of uninformed purchases. Happy deal-hunting and make sure to keep your eye out for great discounts so you can get out of launch-day lines for good.