Low Charge: Saving Money On Your Electronic Devices
There are more gadgets in our homes than ever before. Staying up to speed with the latest tech has become less of a desire and more of a need in today’s society. But much of this tech isn’t cheap and trying to keep up with the latest trends can put a big strain on our wallets.
Fortunately, there are many tips and tricks that can be adopted to save money on electronic devices. Here are just a few ways to stop yourself getting overcharged on gadgets.
Time your purchase right
If you can wait it out, there are certain times of the year in which you may be able to save some serious money on gadgets through deals and discounts. At the very beginning of the year is the January Sales where you can often get various computer hardware and equipment for cheap. You can then sometimes get some deals in the lead up to Father’s Day, although this is often small accessories and tools.
For discounts on big purchases such as smartphones, tablets and computers, your best time to shop is either the Back to School sales (great for getting laptops) or the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales towards the end of November (the latter, Cyber Monday, is specifically aimed at electronic goods).
Be wary of buying gadgets in February, June and September when new devices often go into sale and there are fewer discounts.
Cut costs with coupons
Coupons can save you great costs on tech throughout the year. You may be able to find them in tech newspapers and magazines or on coupon sites. Many coupons will have expiry dates and certain terms and conditions so always make note of these. There are lots of guides to couponing online that you can use on advice for places to look (some people use them in all walks of life to save huge costs).
Avoid paying for premium cables
Fancy HDMI cables and chargers may cost three times as much as regular cable and not have any practical benefits others than looking cooler. Such cables generally last just as long and offer the same quality (with analogue cables, price did used to determine quality, but when it comes to today’s digital cables there’s pretty much no bonuses). The only reason to pay more for a cable is if you want a longer cable or are concerned about aesthetics.
Think twice before paying for the extended warranty
When buying a new electronic device such as a laptop or smartphone, you’ll often be asked if you’d like to extend the warranty for a few more dollars a month. This is rarely worthwhile unless you’ve got a particularly bad track record of breaking tech. You may end up paying an extra ten dollars a month, which is one-hundred-and-twenty dollars a year. Consider whether you’re really going to make up those costs in repairs. Warranties can also often exclude certain types of damage, meaning that you may not even be able to make your money back.
Hire electronics for short term use
A solution that few people consider is hiring gadgets instead of buying them outright. This is unlikely to be a good long term solution, but in the short term it can save you a lot of money. If you need a laptop to help with your studies, you might be able to rent a laptop during term time. You can also hire other equipment such as printers on a short term basis. Hire equipment is generally kept in good condition and you may be able to get free repairs on it as part of the hire service.
Sell your old electronics
Don’t just chuck away your old tech. This can often be sold on to make you a little bit more money, regardless of condition.
There are many places out there that will buy your broken electronics for parts. These parts can then be sold onto repair services or back to the manufacturer to be used in new devices. Alternatively, it could be worth paying for computer repair and then selling your device in fully working condition for profit.
You can sell your second-hand devices in a variety of places online including sites such as Gumtree, eBay and Facebook Buy and Sell Pages. Local sites may allow you to meet in person, so you won’t have to pay for postage.
You can also donate old electronics to be used in third world countries. Whilst you won’t get any money from this, it could be better knowing that your old gadget is going to a good cause rather than lying in a landfill site somewhere.
Unplug devices when on standby
You can also save money on your electricity bills by ensuring that all devices are unplugged when out of use. TVs and power adaptors will be slowly chewing up electricity, even if it’s just to light up an LED to show that it’s on standby. Switching off the plug at the wall is just as effective as unplugging a device, you don’t have to do both. Contrary to common belief, an empty plug point that is switched on won’t be using up any power – without anything plugged in there will be nothing to provide a full circuit and so no electricity will be going to that port.
Also be careful of leaving devices on charge too long. Your laptop doesn’t need to always be on charge – not only will you be using up more power but you could be reducing the laptop’s battery life until one day it relies on being charged up 24/7.