Are Electronics Breaking the Bank?
It is impossible to leave your house today without seeing someone talking on the newest Apple or Samsung phone, with the Bluetooth clipped onto their ear and an iPhone or tablet sticking out of their bag. In today’s world we seem to feel that without technology we are totally lost. This being the case means that people are spending ridiculous amounts of money to be up to date with the latest gadgets. This also means that all of these gadgets are beginning to break the bank for a lot of people.
The average American home has more than twice as many Internet-connected devices as people, the NPD Group reports. And annual household spending on electronics last year was up 36% over 2011, to $1,312, the Consumer Electronics Association says. (CNN)
There are a few tips and tricks on managing to stay tech savvy without spending all of your money however:
Do not be afraid of next best. Just because something is no longer the most up to date or the latest model does not mean that it isn’t still just as nice (and it is still new to you regardless). The brand new iPad that just came out will set you back around $499, but if you decide to opt for the one that came out right before that then you will walk out with an extra one hundred dollars in your pocket too.
Still determined to have the newest model? Buy it refurbished.
The refurbished devices are quality tested and many even come with some type of warranty. Not to mention that it will you get the newest model and it won’t hurt your bank account as much as buying one brand new would.
Don’t underestimate the power of hand-me-downs. It seems now that everyone’s kids have electronics too and buying for yourself, your spouse, and your kids definitely gets pricey. Instead of buying your kid the latest and greatest every time their phone or iPod gets dropped on the ground, start letting them have your old one. When you have earned that upgrade to a new phone then pass the old one down to another family member.
If that isn’t an option for you then trade it in. There are so many places now accepting the older models of all of today’s gadgets that you should not have a problem finding someone interested in buying your used devices from you. Amazon, Target, Best Buy, Apple, and Gazelle.com all have buy-back programs.
Pass the budgeting on to your children. When little Molly decides that she absolutely has to have a new Samsung Galaxy you should sit down with her and help her work out a plan on how she can save her own money to purchase it. Ultimately the child will get what she wants, and she will also have the satisfaction of knowing that she earned it. Plus you won’t end up having to pay for it.
The main advice that can be given when it comes to not breaking the bank isn’t even advice solely related to the latest and greatest gadgets on the market. The advice all comes down to keeping a budget and not spending more than you are bringing in. As a family you need to sit down and work out what your expenses are each month. It is important that you teach your children as well the difference between needs and wants. When it comes down to it if the want does not fit into the budget then the want does not get met. Meeting the needs of the family is far more important than making sure everyone has the latest Apple device to show off to all of their school or work friends. Budgeting is also important because it builds accountability into your spending. By deciding ahead of time how much money you will spend in any given category of your budget, you create expectations. This will help the whole family set limits on their spending, and be aware that if the newest model is not in their budget then it is just going to have to wait.