Consumers spend around $166 per month on gadgets, cable TV, and home Internet access, but if you are a serious gadget lover, then this number may be a bit on the low side for you. Considering the plethora of new tablet, phone, and desktop releases, and cutting-edge new home entertainment devices (LG’s gorgeous rollable TV springs to mind), it can be hard to keep your spending to less than double the average amount. With a little financial management, it is possible to be the savviest techie on the block while still managing to save for your future. All it takes is planning and a bit of hard work to reach your goals.
Creating a Realistic Budget
In order to create a useful budget to work from, the first step is to analyze how much you are spending now. Erin Conrad of CouponPal says that people often underestimate how much their hobby – be it gadgets, entertainment, or sport – is costing them. In his book, Rich Habits, Poor Habits, author Tom Corley suggests that you set aside no more than 10% of your monthly net income, for gadgets or other hobbies. Depending on how much you earn, this amount may actually be higher than you imagine.
Cutting down on Wasteful Spending
Another step in making your budget involves looking long and hard at any other source of unwanted spending. This can include memberships you don’t use, credit cards with unnecessarily high rates, and dining out more than you need to. Download a budget planning app like Mint, PocketGuard, or You Need a Budget. These apps list down everything you spend on a given month and create graphs that will make patent which areas need attention. When shopping for gadgets, opt for payment methods charging lower interest. Use an online credit card calculator to elicit the exact amount you can save by using a card charging lower interest.
Opting for Gadgets that Will Save You Money in the Long-Term
In addition to comparing gadgets carefully and availing of secondhand bargains, when buying gadgets, try to invest in items that will save you money in the long run. Energy savings gadgets are one way to do so. For instance, battery charging docks, a VoIP phone service, and smart thermostats are three gadgets that can help you cut down your monthly costs. LED lighting alone, say experts, can save you up to 20% off your electricity bill.
Gadgets are an amazing hobby to have, because effective ones actually make your life easier and more practical. To ensure you can indulge in gadget shopping regularly, set and stick to a sound spending budget. Finally, try to balance your love for devices with sustainability and waste reduction, to obtain maximum bang for your buck.