Technology has given us many things: convenience, innovation, security, time-savings, and much more. Hardware and software development providers really have transformed the world for the better.
One sometimes-overlooked benefit of technology is the fact that it can save you money — often substantially — in many different ways. Here are just a few of the cost-saving possibilities tech offers.
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1. Free Communication
There’s no need to invest in an expensive data plan anymore. As long as you have a reliable internet connection, you can use a range of platforms to make calls for free and sometimes even see the other person’s face while you’re chatting. iOS users can do this via FaceTime — even if they don’t have an iPhone. Google’s alternatives are Voice and Duo.
For meetings, you can turn to Zoom. If you don’t have more than two participants, videoconferencing is free. You can even talk to people internationally through services like Skype and WhatsApp, an international chat platform.
2. Savings and Budgeting Services
Technology can even help you ingrain better habits, like budgeting. Apps such as Mint allow you to keep track of your expenses, budget for your various expenditures, link your bank accounts to facilitate automatic payments, and much more. There are plenty of similar services to assist you in keeping track of your money and encourage you to save and better manage your finances.
3. Low-Cost Learning Opportunities
Ready to make yourself more marketable? Using free or low-cost education platforms will allow you to learn a host of important skills: foreign languages, programming, arts, finance, history, philosophy, and much more.
Udacity, Khan Academy, Coursera, and Udemy are just some examples of the many e-learning platforms available. Some platforms, such as edX, even offer real college courses that can lead to earning degrees.
4. Accessible Entertainment
Gone are the days when you had to shell out for a cable subscription or buy a hardcover book to find a little entertainment to help you unwind. With subscriptions to streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu, you can access your favorite TV shows and movies at a fraction of the cost of cable TV or visiting the movie theater.
Meanwhile, for the readers among us, there are plenty of book subscription services that deliver material to your e-reader, like Kindle Unlimited and Scribd. Plus, nowadays, you can even check out ebooks for free from your local library.
You no longer need to comb the internet for deals on your favorite projects. Now, there are extensions you can add to your browser that will do the legwork for you — all instantaneously.
Amazon Assistant will identify the Deal of the Day, as well as compare prices on all your favorite things. Honey goes beyond Amazon to search the entire internet for coupons that will automatically apply to your purchase. And these are only a few of the many browser extensions that will help you save big.
6. Electricity Savings
Help your bank account — and the environment. There are numerous energy-efficient solutions for your home, which can translate into huge savings. For example, smart appliances like thermostats allow you to adjust settings remotely from devices like your mobile phone. That means that you can alter the temperature, turning your air conditioning and heating off from your office if, say, you forgot to do it before you left in the morning.
Thermostats are only one example of smart devices that can save you money. Others include smart cookers, plugs, bulbs, TVs, speakers, doorbells, and many others, a lot of which work automatically, providing convenience for you while making better and more efficient use of energy.
7. Transportation Reduction, Thanks to Remote Work
In recent months, remote work is something to which we’ve all become accustomed. But have you noticed how that’s impacted your transportation costs? Whether you drive or take public transit to your job, the savings are surely adding up.
Remote work, of course, is made possible by the assistance of technology. Today, we have tools for communicating, security systems, cloud-based tools and programs, and many other software and hardware platforms that make it easier than ever to set up your home office and keep your work life running smoothly.
8. Affordable Advertising
Whether advertising is part of your job or you need to sell something personally, advertising is cheaper — and easier — than it was in the print age. When you use tools like Facebook, Instagram, Google Ads, and others, you can ensure that your ads reach your target audience at a fraction of the price of more traditional advertising outlets.
Print advertising in newspapers and magazines is still a viable form of marketing, of course, but today, it’s far outpaced by digital advertising, a much more affordable method of getting the word out there.
There’s no doubt technology makes our lives considerably easier. But it offers far more than convenience — it also helps us economically, with innovations ranging from smart appliances to low-cost education and entertainment. Here’s to saving with tech!