5 Ways to Save Money By Using Tech

Most of us probably see technology as an added expense. Internet connections have become a must-have at home, and they require monthly upkeep. New gadgets that promise to make our lives easier convince us to open up our wallets, lest we get left behind. But technology can also help us save money as well. Even small savings add up to significant amounts over time, extra money we can save or invest for a rainy day. Here are 5 ways to save through tech:

Shop Online

A lot of products need trying out in person before the sale is concluded. But many others can be bought with confidence online. You can also find the lowest price without spending money on fuel and parking for a trip to the mall, or driving all over town to find that great deal.

Use Digital Distribution

Unless your net connection is horrendously slow, buying games and apps through digital distribution channels is usually a great way to save money. Vendors like Steam regularly offer good discounts, and bundle several products under one low price. And like online retail, you're freed from a trip to the mall.

Stop Using Optical Discs

Blank CDs and DVDs are cheap, especially in bulk. Yet the cost of sustained use adds up. Use a media player to take full advantage of the auxiliary-in on your car radio, stereo, speaker set, etc. And if your gadget has TV-out, maximize it. That way, when you've got some new music or video to play, you won't need to burn them on a new disc.

Go Second-Hand

Many auto enthusiasts we know ironically pay only for second-hand rides. They understand that a car loses half it's value once you drive it off the showroom. The same applies to gadgets. Instead of splurging on the latest toy, why not settle for a previous--and well-tested--generation?

Bank Online

Like relying on digital distribution and online retail, online banking saves you trips. A good online banking service saves you from a city-wide commute, allowing you to manage your finances and pay bills from the comfort of your home. You also stay aware of just how much money you have, a good way to avoid living beyond your means. 

How do You Save Money Through Tech?

Of course, there are cases when the tips above can backfire. We've known one or two gamers who've bought Steam games left and right, running up their credit card bills. But any method requires proper execution, and a little common sense. What about you? How do you use tech to save online? Feel free to share your wisdom through a comment or two below.

Image: alancleaver on Flickr

  • Saving money when buying digital products is one of the best VPN uses
  • I have to strongly disagree with the "Go Second Hand". While I am a strong proponent of buying earlier generations of well-tested products, I will only buy them new or refurbished from a store - not 'second hand' which is buying them from someone who has already had use of the item.

    In my opinion, buying most types of 'second hand' electronics are a recipe for disaster. It's often impossible to tell how old they are, how what state of repair they are in (especially if buying at auction or online), and whether or not the manufacturers warranty has expired / been breached.
  • icepick314
    "Use Digital Distribution"

    and most of time, you don't have to pay for them...

    if you know what I mean...

  • asiaprime
    I agree w/ kanazak I would more likely to go for previous gen, than used. in the world of ipods, the previous version gets a price drop before the new one is launched to help clear out stock.
  • Hiniberus
    Yeah I typically go for pre-gen stuff. In fact the only thing that I'm going to get that's this-gen hardware is the Samsung Wave mobile. That aside, I've been contemplating on getting a HD 5750 but I'm yet to spend 150+ euros on a graphics card when I forgot the last time I've played.

    Far as other suggestions? I could pitch in a few:

    Online call services:

    Programs like Skype allow you to call other landlines and other way round at a cheaper cost (most probably) so you make full use of your internet and what you'd spend on phone bills you can either get a better internet package or just pocket more cash than you'd be spending.

    No Cable TV:

    Seriously with things like Youtube, metacafe and more you can watch all your TV series online without any problems. This will save you from:

    1) Buying/paying for the cable box
    2) Having to deal with more support (So just internet support rather than internet/cable)
    3) Most importantly, you don't need to by another TV set when your monitor/laptop allows you to view everything

    Games: Well sure you can probably mark this one out but on the net there's an entire slew of F2P (free to play) full games, mostly MMORPG's that have some item store to get anything decent but still I remember playing Silk Road Online for a while and some for some of IJJI's games. All of which were free and weren't all that bad honestly.

    I really think there are some more things but I can't seem to remember them at the moment, I'll post again if they come to mind. Also I have to say I'm somewhat surprised you didn't add the first two I said but I guess there's quite a few things you can do with the internet so something was bound to slip anyone's mind who wrote this kind of article.
  • Sykar
    same as icepick ;)
  • tommysch
    2nd hand sports cars aren't the best... I always buy my cars brand new, the warranty is worth a lot especially for turbo sports cars. An EVO-X MR engine is worth around 6k, a turbo is 5k, a transmission is 10k, you get the point.
  • killerclick
    I use the Internet to provide me with information so that I can avoid being ripped off or buying stupid stuff I don't need. For example did you know tap water is perfectly safe to drink in most major US cities? In many cases it's checked more stringently than bottled water!

    As for second hand electronics, I wouldn't recommend it.
  • Fox Montage
    How do I save money? I have taught myself to repeatedly say: "I don't need a 5850, I don't need a 5850..." It's brought me to my senses at the check-out on more than one occasion.
  • mattfoo2324
    Steam FTW!
  • Kelavarus
    Lies. Steam doesn't save me money. 75% or so of those sales are too good to pass up, I just bought Fallout 3 GOTY and Oblivion GOTY and rebought Morrowind GOTY (to have it forever on Steam, no scratched disks). If they had never been on sale I'da never have bought them.

    ... Yeah, okay, so I suck, but it's true.