Technology might seem like a great way to spend your hard-earned cash, especially if you’re the kind of person who just has to have the latest and greatest gadget to hit the market. Thankfully, you can also use your new shiny toys to help you save money, too. Here are a few of the best ways to make your technology work for you and save more money.
1. Trade-In Old Models
How many old cell phones do you have sitting in your desk drawer? If you’ve been upgrading your phone every couple of years, the number is probably pretty high. Why should you let those pieces of technology collect dust when you could make some money off of them?
Sites like Gazelle will make you a cash offer on your phone, especially if it’s a newer phone model and the phone is in good shape and can be refurbished and resold. The offers are limited by the phone model and carrier, but most new phone models are listed on their website. You can get up to $150 for your old phones.
2. Calculators Aren’t Just for Math Class
Sure, you use the calculator on your phone to figure out the tip when you go out to eat or calculate your portion of the bill when you’re out with friends, but calculators are good for much more than basic math — they can help you figure out the best way to do everything from saving money to spending less and writing a budget.
Most of these calculators are online, but there are plenty of other ones you can find in app form so you can carry them in your pocket and use them wherever you need them.
3. Invest Your Change
If you use cash, you probably have at least a dish of change somewhere in your house right? Why not switch to digital and invest your change as you make your purchases? Apps like Acorn link with your bank account or debit cards and automatically invests your change. You can choose how you would like to invest it, either playing it safe for smaller returns or being aggressive in favor of better yields.
It might not make you a ton of money, depending on how much you put into it, but it can be a great way to get familiar with investing in the stock market when you’ve never done it before, and that can be a great way to make money in the long run.
4. Ditch Your Cable Bill
How much do you pay for your cable bill every month? If you need to cut corners and save money, ditching your cable bill is often the first thing to go, but then you have to worry about missing out on all your favorite shows. Instead of missing out, take all that money you’re saving and purchase a Roku, an Amazon Fire or a Chromecast.
Subscription services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime can keep you up to date with most of the shows you love at a fraction of the cost of a cable bill.
5. Don’t Pay for Texts
Does your phone plan include unlimited text messages? If not, you’re probably paying quite a bit to stay in touch with your friends. Save money by using free texting applications like WhatsApp to stay connected without running up your phone bill. Yes, your friends have to have WhatsApp, too, but, since the app is free on both major operating systems, there’s no reason not to download it.
6. Do Some Online Shopping
Ok, this sounds like a good way to spend money instead of saving it, but hear us out. There are tons of ways to save money while you’re shopping online:
Honey — A Google Chrome extension that automatically searches for coupons that can help you save money.
Paribus — Links with your email to go through your online shopping receipts and find out where you could have saved money, then sends you the difference.
That’s just a small sample of the many apps you can use to help you save money, earn free stuff and more. Find the ones that work the best for you and your shopping style.
Whether you’re looking to invest in your future, save money with coupons or just reduce your monthly bills, there are plenty of tech tools to help you save your money and make the most of your technology.