Taking ActionConsumer Reports


How to tame your technology budget

Posted at 7:05 AM, Jun 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-22 17:21:31-04

Because we’re spending more time at home these days, there’s a good chance you’re spending more money on things like streaming media services or music subscriptions, faster internet speed, or a new router or computer.

All of that can add up fast. And with the economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, you might be looking for ways to save money.

Consumer Reports recommends some ways to help you tame your tech budget. A good way to start is to get rid of any apps or services you don’t use but are still paying for. Ditching one or two could save you about $50 a year.

A CR editor took a look at his own bills and found that he was paying for insurance on a smartphone that was four years old. And he was paying for a DVR that he no longer uses because he streams the shows he wants to see. Even with the rising cost of streaming services, CR says that cutting the cord could still save you $700 or more a year depending on what you have now and what you replace it with.

You can use an over-the-air antenna to get free network content and then choose a limited streaming service like Sling, which starts at $20 a month.

If you do stick with cable, there’s a way to save up to $120 a year. Buy your own router instead of paying every month to rent one from your cable company. If you need more hardware in your house, CR says to consider refurbished devices. Brands like Apple, Dell, and Samsung sell refurbished laptops, smartphones, and tablets for a lower price.

Just make sure that anything you buy is certified pre-owned, and insist on getting some sort of warranty.