According to a survey of 2,000 American adults, besides food and water, people cannot live without:
- Medicine (55%)
- Electricity (53%)
- Gas and heating (51%)
- Electronics (48%)
- WiFi 46%)
Some people might find it bizarre that electronics and WiFi are considered basic necessities. But, is it really?
The U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund published a report titled “Repair Saves Families Big II” that found American households spent about $1,480 annually in 2019 on electronics like appliances, phones, and computers. In 2021, spending on electronic products rose 19%, and the average household spends $1,767 annually on new devices.
Additionally, the average American spends seven hours and four minutes a day staring at a screen. Research has shown that it can still have damaging effects, such as digital eye strain, sleep disturbances, and worsened mental health.
As such, it makes sense for your wallet and well-being to simplify your tech. And, while that seems like an impossible task, it’s completely possible.
How Simplifying Your Tech Can Save You Money
The following are a few ways you can save money by simplifying your technology:
- Reduced upfront costs. You’ll spend less money upfront when you have fewer devices and subscriptions. The more you can buy used devices or find free alternatives, the better.
- Lower monthly bills. Your monthly rate will likely be lower if you consolidate your subscriptions. By subscribing to a bundle, you can get multiple services for one price instead of paying for them separately.
- Less clutter. You can save money on storage space if you have fewer devices and subscriptions.
- Reduced energy consumption. The more devices you have, the less energy you use. As such, you can save money on your electricity bill by doing this.
- Less time spent troubleshooting. The fewer devices you have to troubleshoot, the less time you’ll spend troubleshooting. By doing this, you can save yourself time and frustration.
- Increased productivity. Simplifying your tech setup will allow you to focus on what matters most. As a result, productivity can be increased and results can be improved.
- Improved peace of mind. Maintaining multiple subscriptions and devices is difficult when you can’t keep track of everything.
- Reduced risk of fraud and theft. The security of tech products can be compromised or stolen. You can reduce the risk of these incidents and the financial losses they can cause by simplifying your technology.
How to Simplify Your Tech
To simplify your technology, follow these tips:
Inventorize all your tech products.
From your computer and smartphone to your streaming device and smart home appliance, everything falls under this category.
Identify the products and services you use most often.
Your best bet is to keep these products and services. In my case, I work mostly from home. That means having a laptop and a solid internet connection is a must. Plus, since music helps me focus, having a premium Spotify account is worth it.
Determine which tech tools are redundant.
A typical American household contains 24 pieces of electronic equipment. It is possible that you have tech tools that have similar functions to other tools. If so, you can easily remove these tools.
Sell or donate unused devices.
Donate or sell your old devices if you do not need them anymore. As a result, space will be freed up and some extra money will be generated.
The same is true for items that you rarely use. You can recycle, donate, or sell these products. If you decide to sell your unused electronics, use sites like Declutter or BackMarket. Also, Amazon, Best Buy, and Apple all have trade-in programs.
Cancel unused subscriptions.
Consumers underestimate their subscription spending by $100 to $199 each month, according to a C+R Research survey. More importantly, 42% of people are unaware they are still paying for a subscription they no longer use.
In short, don’t forget to cancel any subscriptions you no longer use. You could obviously save a considerable amount of money each month by doing this. Tools like Trim and Rocket Money can cancel unwanted subscriptions for you.
Share devices and subscriptions with family members or friends.
Consider sharing your unused devices with others if you own multiple devices you only use occasionally. In this way, you may be able to reduce the number of devices that you own.
Also, try to share subscriptions. For example, you could share your Max password with a family member in exchange for their Disney + password. The only catch is that these services are beginning to crack down on password sharing.
Find free or low-cost alternatives to paid products.
Popular tech products can be replaced with free or low-cost alternatives, such as open-source software. For example, instead of paying for Microsoft Office, you can use free alternatives like Apache OpenOffice or LibreOffice.
Group similar products together.
As a result, you will be able to find and use products more easily.
Choose a unified platform.
Whenever possible, choose a unified platform that can replace multiple tech tools. By doing so, you will avoid paying licensing fees and maintenance fees. The Hubspot platform, for example, offers a little bit of everything for entrepreneurs and small business owners. As your business grows, you can use it for marketing, live chat, and eCommerce.
Set up a system for managing your tech.
In order to keep track of your subscriptions and devices, you may want to create a spreadsheet or use a cloud-based tool.
Wait to embrace new technology.
I know that you want to get your hands on the latest iPhone or viral gadget. But, in most cases, you’re better off waiting.
Why? When gadgets are first released, they are the most expensive. Each year, however, these gadgets become cheaper. Depending on how long you wait, you may end up paying much less.
Furthermore, you will be able to get the most out of your current technology. Additionally, it ensures bug fixes and greater compatibility. Moreover, if you wait longer, there will be more reviews to read to make sure the tech fits your needs.
Fix, instead of replacing.
“The rate at which we are buying and trashing electronics is staggering,” said Nathan Proctor, author of the report and the senior director of U.S. PIRG Education Fund’s Right to Repair campaign. “There is a really simple solution: Fix things instead. Not only will you do the planet a favor, you can save a lot of money at a time when many household budgets are feeling pinched by rising prices.”
It is estimated that the average U.S. household could save approximately $382 by repairing its electronics each year. Over the course of the year, this amounts to a total savings of about $49.6 billion.
Shop around for better deals.
Be sure to shop around for the best deals when you’re ready to buy new devices or subscriptions. Comparing prices from different retailers can often result in discounts.
Using these tips, you can simplify your technology and save money at the same time.
Additional ways to save money with technology include:
- Use coupons and promo codes. You can find coupons and promo codes on a number of websites and apps. These offers will save you money on your purchases if you take advantage of them.
- Use price comparison tools. Several price comparison tools can be found online. Using these tools can help you get the best deal on a product or service.
- Buy used or refurbished products. A refurbished or used product can often be a great deal cheaper than a new one. Often, these products are in good condition and are covered by warranties.
- Subscribe to a cashback rewards program. You can choose from many cashback rewards programs. Your purchases can be rewarded with money back through these programs.
How can simplifying my tech save me money?
Streamlining your technology can save you money in several ways.
In the first place, it can help you reduce your monthly bills. By canceling unused subscriptions or switching to cheaper plans, you can save significant amounts of money.
The second benefit of simplifying your technology is that you will be less likely to make impulse purchases. If your home is less cluttered and distracting, you’re less likely to buy unnecessary items.
As a third benefit, simplifying your technology can save you time. With fewer devices or apps to manage, you can focus on other activities.
What are some challenges of simplifying my tech?
When it comes to simplifying your technology, there are a few challenges. In the beginning, it may be difficult to part with old devices and apps. The fact is, we are often attached to our devices, and it is hard to let them go after a while.
Second, changing our habits can be difficult. It can be challenging to break bad habits with our devices.
Thirdly, staying motivated can be difficult. It can be challenging to simplify our technology, but there are benefits to simplifying.
When simplifying your technology, you may encounter a few additional challenges as well:
- FOMO. Simplicating your tech can also cause fear of missing out (FOMO). You might feel like you’re missing out if you’re not constantly online. However, you can stay in touch with family and friends even when you don’t have a device in your hand.
- Loneliness. When you first start simplifying your tech, you might feel lonely if you’re used to spending a lot of time on your devices. Getting involved in hobbies or spending time with family and friends are excellent ways to connect with people.
How can I make sure that simplifying my tech doesn’t make my life more difficult?
To simplify your tech without complicating your life, follow these tips:
- Do it gradually. Simplicity is not something you should try all at once. Get started by decluttering a few devices, or reducing one subscription.
- Find alternatives. Use a free or low-cost alternative if you need a certain app or service.
- Set limits. Stick to your tech usage limits. You might only use your devices during certain times of the day, or only for certain activities.
- Find other ways to connect. Get involved in hobbies or spend time with friends and family if you feel lonely.
What can I do to stay motivated to simplify my technology?
To stay motivated to simplify your tech, here are a few tips:
- Set specific goals. By simplifying your tech, what do you hope to achieve? Motivation will be easier to maintain once you know what you want to accomplish.
- Break down your goals into smaller steps. You will feel less overwhelmed and more capable if you do this.
- Find a support system. If you are trying to simplify your tech, talk to friends or family members who are doing the same. In addition to offering support, they can also encourage you.
- Reward yourself for your progress. If you’ve achieved a goal, treat yourself to something you enjoy. By doing this, you will remain motivated to keep going.