7 simple ways to save money with technology
How to reduce the electricity bill and increase the budget for entertainment
by Marc Saltzman, AARP, October 5, 2020
Honey Science, LLC
Is it hard to believe? Of course, some initial investment is needed, but in some cases, free alternatives to paid programs or services are offered.
Three of the shopping apps we mentioned a few months ago are still good resources to save with. Here we present other technological modalities, both software and hardware, to relieve the tensions in your wallet.
Save on electricity and help the planet
You can save money on your home’s utility bills throughout the year and, at the same time, surround yourself with comfort, convenience, and control.
• LED lighting Changing incandescent or fluorescent bulbs for LED bulbs can greatly reduce the electricity consumption of your home. They consume electricity in moderation, and their price has fallen since they were released for the first time.
Creating ads, taking photos, and contacting with interested persons via the app or website is easy.
Before and after the transaction, wear a mask and hand sanitizer.
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An advantage: LED bulbs last much longer, which saves you even more money. Your local home improvement store sells a package of two units of adjustable A19 LED bulbs for less than $7. These bulbs in particular have approximately 15,000 hours of useful life, which is more than five years if you use them eight hours a day. How to save money on technology
“Smart” LED bulbs cost more, but they can connect to your Wi-Fi network to automate or control them through an application or by voice. And some can switch between millions of colors.
• Wi-Fi thermostats Smart thermostats allow you to easily regulate heating and air conditioning from your smartphone, smartwatch, or tablet, and many can automatically optimize temperatures depending on whether you are at home or not.
Products such as Google Nest ($249) or the ecobee family of smart thermostats (from $169) learn your schedules and detect weather conditions, so they can save you more than 20% on your annual heating and air conditioning bills. The newest Ecobee thermostat, the SmartThermostat ($249), comes with the Alexa digital personal assistant and can work with optional sensors to better control the hot or cold spots in your home.
• Light switches and multiple connectors. Special light switches and multiple connectors can cut off electricity on request or through a timer. Belkin sells a line of Conserve brand switches (from $10) that cut off the electricity of what they have plugged in with the push of a button or after a predetermined amount of time.
Conserve-branded multiple connectors ($39) can cut off the residual power of any device after a certain time or with a wireless remote switch. These connectors can hold eight devices and include permanent ignition outlets and the option to turn off others.
Earn money with a virtual garage sale
On online classified sites such as Craigslist, letgo, Facebook Marketplace and Nextdoor you can buy new or used items from people in your area. They could also help you earn some money if you are taking advantage of the extra time at home this year to get rid of years of accumulated things.
Creating an ad, taking a photo, and communicating with interested parties via the app or website is simple.
Meet the buyer outside a cafeteria and apply a mask and hand sanitizer before and after the transaction.. How to save money on technology
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Compare prices with a browser extension
With more than 17 million members, the Honey browser extension is a practical way to save money. This popular browser tool searches the internet for the best prices, including coupon codes from more than 30,000 websites, according to the company.
Add Honey to Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera, or Safari and shop online as usual.
Honey will discover the best price for your item and location. Or, if there are promotional codes, you will apply them to your shopping cart. Keep in mind that, in order to offer you this service, Honey is watching you when you visit websites where you can shop. The company says it does not collect data from your entire search history or emails.
Explore the digital world.
• E-books. Just as Amazon Prime, Netflix, and other online streaming services have eliminated the need to buy or rent an entire DVD series, prices are usually better if you buy a book (and sometimes music) digitally. For example, former President Barack Obama’s book, A Promised Land, costs $35 in hardcover but costs less than half as much in the electronic version for Kindle, which is $16.35.
You can also get e-books for free from your local library or through a number of apps.
• Online video transmission If you don’t mind watching some ads, video-on-demand services with advertising allow you to watch thousands of hours of programming at your own pace without paying a penny. The most popular options are IMDb TV, Tubi, and Vudu.A gadget to watch iPlayer and a fast Wi-Fi network (depending on video quality) are all you need. How to save money on technology
Marc Saltzman has been an independent technology journalist for 25 years. His podcast, Tech It Out, seeks to break down the computer language and translate it into a more common one.