The technology exists primarily to make our lives easier - but it can also help us save a lot of money. In today’s guide, we’re going to take a look at some of the many technologies that can trim off your bills in everything from gadget shopping to utility payments. Let’s take a closer look.
Save on the costs of phone callsHaving a phone is an expensive business. Typically, your tariffs for a smartphone can be anything around $40 per month, and the chances are that you have a phone line at home, too.
Add it all up over the whole year, and it’s not cheap in the slightest - which is where VoIP services come in. VoIP - or Voice over Internet Protocol - services such as the likes of Skype and Rebtel.com allow you to make calls over an Internet connection. Contacting other service users is often free (if you are OK with looking at the occasional ad, of course) but subscriptions can be an easy way of lowering your phone bill by a significant amount.
Streaming TV servicesHave you cut the cable yet? If not, you are lagging behind the general trend towards getting rid of cable TV. The likes of Netflix and Hulu are well known already, of course, but you can access a whole bunch of other free channels with a whole bunch of TV boxes, from Apple TV to Google’s ChromeCast.
Coupon websitesThere's a whole industry surrounding coupons, actually, and you can pick up money off codes for nearly anything you can imagine, from vacation packages to new iPads. Services such as DontPayFull.com and many others give you opportunities to grab coupons from some of the biggest online stores out there. That said, be wary of using coupons too much - try and keep your use of codes to things you actually need.
Price comparison sitesOf course, just because you have a coupon for a particular service or product, it doesn't mean it is necessarily the cheapest option. Which is where price comparison services come in. Again, there are services out there for virtually anything you can think of, from finding cheap insurance cover to general shopping. Apps are available, too - some will tell allow you to enter your weekly or monthly shopping lists and tell you which stores sell your favorite items cheapest.
Cheap or free parkingWho loves paying extortionate parking charges when you visit a city center? No one - which is where apps like Parker come in incredibly handy. Parker is a mobile app that helps you find nearby parking spots, and will also reveal whether you need to pay or not. No more walking up to the pay point and having a seizure when you realize the parking for a day costs more than you earn.
Gas FindersGas is another one of those expenses we all need to pay, but few people enjoy it! If this sounds familiar, try the GasBuddy app or one of their competitors. It draws in up to date info on all the gas prices and will tell you precisely where you need to go if you want the lowest price per gallon. It’s an incredibly handy tool when you are traveling away from home, too, whether it’s for business or pleasure.
Carpool schemersEveryone has a duty to start carpooling a lot more than they do right now. Not only will it help save the planet, but it will also save you a bucket load of cash. Let’s say you spend $15 a day on gas going to and from work - that’s about $75 a week, or over $300 a month. And it’s going to hit most people's pay packets hard. Now let’s say that you use an app like Carticipate to find four other people that live in your area and have a similar work route. Everyone drives one day and gets a lift on all the others - and you all save yourself an astonishing $60 a week - or more than $340 a month.
Budget appsThere are dozens of excellent budgeting apps out there, which can help you secure your finances down to the last cent, and end up saving you a fortune. Take You Need A Budget - or YNAB - for example. Some users of this app have gone from living from paycheck to paycheck to actually having money left at the end of the month, and even going on to building up a significant savings fund - just from tracking all their expenses.
Smart thermostatIf you haven’t got an intelligent energy monitor in your home yet, go get one tomorrow - it might just change your life for the better. Once you install your new screen, it will help you track and trace every unit of energy you use. And make no mistake about it - you will get a lot more smart about using too much electricity when you see that dial going up after using your washing machine or dryer, for example.
Books - for freeThere are a whole bunch of places you can read books completely free - and periodicals, too. The likes of Stanza and Wattpad have hundreds of thousands of digital versions of magazines and books you can read without the need for a subscription. And there are plenty of resources out there that have out of print classics to read for nothing, such as archive.org. Let’s face it, there are probably billions of books out there to read, but if you can get all that classic literature for absolutely nothing, it will give you all you need to be completely literate and knowledgeable about everyone from Shakespeare to Dickens.
As you can see, there are plenty of remarkable ways technology can help save you a whole bunch of money. Whether it’s shaving a few dollars off a weekly shop, or changing the way you entertain yourself, there is no need to spend fortunes anymore - and it’s all down to tech. Do you have any suggestions on how technology can save you a heap of money? Let us know in the comments section below! [right-post]