Technology is a must-have for 21st century living, but are you paying too much to be plugged in? The answer is yes if you’re making these 10 mistakes.
From phones to TVs to computers, technology is woven into almost every aspect of modern living. We use it for work; we use it for entertainment; we use it for security.
However, you could be spending a lot more on tech than needed. Watch the video below to see Money Talks News finance expert Stacy Johnson reveal how to slash your tech spending in half. See what he has to say and then keep scrolling for the details.
Mistake No. 1: Renting electronics and equipment
Hopefully everyone is savvy enough to realize that rent-to-own electronics are virtually always a bad deal. In fact, they’re an almost surefire way to end up paying as much as three times whatever you’re buying is worth.
But what about those things you “have” to rent, like your cable or Internet modem? Maybe you don’t realize you don’t have to rent them. You can buy your own.
It’s a secret the cable companies may not want you to know, and you probably don’t know, given that some estimates say more than 90 percent of customers rent their modems. Comcast would like to keep collecting that $8 a month without you being any the wiser, but you could go buy your own modem for less than $40 and be done with the monthly fees forever.
Mistake No. 2: Buying services you don’t need
Sometimes when we sign up for a cable, Internet or cellphone plan, we simply take what’s offered to us. It’s easier to say “sure” than to consider whether you really need that many movie channels, a sports package and DVR services.
Now is the time to thoroughly examine your monthly bills and see what extra services you pay for but don’t use. For example, your phone plan may come with call waiting, call forwarding and three-way calling. If you never use those, see if there’s a cheaper package available without the added services.
Mistake No. 3: Assuming you’re locked in with a particular provider
This mistake is most common with cellphones. You may think that to get the latest and greatest phone, you need to sign a contract and stick with a particular carrier for two years. In reality, you can buy an unlocked phone and use it on almost any carrier, including low-cost prepaid plans.
Unlocked phones cost more upfront. Because you’re not signing a contract, you’ll have to pay the full retail price. Depending on the phone you want, that could cost a small fortune, but there are also plenty of reasonably priced unlocked phones available.
And remember, even if you’re paying more for the phone upfront, you’ll save in the long run if you select a low-cost carrier.
Mistake No. 4: Upgrading as soon as you can
Speaking of phones, how many of you now have an iPhone 6 or a Samsung Galaxy Note 4?
May I ask why?
If you have lots of money to spend, there may be no reason not to buy the latest and greatest gadgets. On the flip side, if you’re trying to stretch your dollars, there is no reason to buy the latest and greatest gadgets.
Don’t forget that marketers spend a lot of time and money trying to convince you that your TV, computer, phone and whatever else you own is obsolete. They’re in the business of making sales. You should be in the business of protecting your money. Only upgrade when you truly need new technology, and don’t junk perfectly good items simply because something flashier comes along.