Forget Latte Factor, Learn How to Save Money in a Digital World

So you want to save a few hundred dollars but don’t want to give up your morning latte? While it is easy to preach how to cut your daily habits to save a buck, it is difficult to practice the same for most folks. However, there are other ways to cut your expenses without sacrificing your daily habits.

In today’s technology driven society, we spend a lot of money buying electronics gadgets and accompanying services to make our life easy. Sellers know that we have disposable incomes and they push many services that we absolutely don’t need.

When you sign up for a cell phone service, they will try to push the loss-damage warranty for $5 a month. When did you last use that warranty to claim a new phone? In most cases you don’t need the service. In the worst case, if you loose or damage the phone, buy a cheap phone from eBay to carry you over till your contract expires.

If you are an occasional mobile phone user, get a pre-pay phone. Using a pre pay phone card that charges 10 cents per minute for talk time, you will be able save a few hundred dollars every year.

If you are in the market for a computer, buy the one on sale in your local electronics store. Every week, all national retailers have laptop and desktop computers on sale. Avoid mail-in rebates. Go for instant rebates.

Today’s cheap computers provide most functionality for majority of users. Don’t buy a high-end computer because the sales person says that the one on sale has slow Internet speed or other such nonsense.

Just buy the computer and don’t buy any software or warranty even if the sales person insists that you absolutely need that anti-virus and word processing software for an additional $300. Check with your broadband provider or the company you work for if they provide anti-virus software for free to install in you personal computer.

Use the Google search engine to find open source anti-virus and word processing software. The key word here is open source. You will find a few excellent open source word processing and anti-virus software. For example, Open Office for word processing and spreadsheet and clamWin for anti-virus.

Don’t buy any computer accessories like memory or hard drive from your local retailers. They charge way too much compared to online stores like newegg, ecost, etc. Sign up with newegg and ecost to get their newsletters full of items on sale every week.

Before you decide to buy a gadget, visit price comparison sites like pricegrabber, bizrate, pricescan, shopzilla, mysimon, etc. Also regularly check out bargain hunting sites like techbargains, dealtime, etc. Don’t forget to search for the item you are looking for in amazon, the grand daddy of all online retail stores.

Drop all those premium movie channels that your cable company has sold you as savings if you purchase them in a bundle. You only need one premium channel. Why subscribe to three and pay an additional $5 to $8 every month?

If you are renting your broadband cable modem for $10 or more every month, buy a new modem for $50 to $75. These modems last for long time and you will recover your money within six months after you drop the modem rental. You will be on you way to savings of at least $10 a month.

If you are paying more than $20 a month for your land phone line, drop it immediately. Get a cheap VoIP phone from lingo for $10 a month. If you are a heavy land phone line user, you will still save by switching to a VoIP phone.

If you frequently drive in unknown places, get a car navigation system. But don’t buy a factory installed in-car navigation system. A car navigation system gives driving directions and suggests alternate routes to take to avoid traffic congestions due to accidents, road constructions, etc.

Factory installed systems are over priced. The price of a portable GPS navigation system has dropped below $200. You can also move your portable system to another vehicle that does not have a navigation system.

We will be spending a lot of money in the years ahead on more gadgets to improve our productivity, make life easy, and for the sheer joy of living. Knowing how to squeeze every penny from those expenses will definitely improve your personal finances.