You might think, “There’s no bad way to save money.” In reality, there’s a lot you can do wrong — no matter how good your intentions are. Tap or click here for five ways you’re wasting money on tech purchases.
A lot of savings tips and tricks you’ll find are actually just different ways you’re throwing money away. Adhering to bad advice can burn a hole in your wallet. If you’re trying to get better at saving money in 2022, don’t do any of the things on this list.
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1. Buying the cheapest charging cables you can find
Being cheap can be expensive. If you’re hunting for the lowest possible prices on charging cables, you might come across counterfeits. This is bad for two reasons.
First, you’ll be buying more charging cords to replace the cheap ones when they inevitably break down.
Second, cheap charging cords can be dangerous. One girl woke up to an enflamed blanket after her charger caught fire and spread the flames to her bed. So if you need to buy a replacement, get an official or certified cable instead of a low-priced alternative.
2. Forgetting when the trial period on your streaming service runs out
One of the biggest money mistakes streamers make is signing up for free trials and not canceling before the first charge kicks in.
You may think, “Hey, signing up for this free trial is a great way to get good content without paying.” Well, that’s true … for a time. But it’s incredibly easy to forget and overspend on services you aren’t even using.
3. Signing up for too many streaming services
Be realistic. How much time do you really have to spend sitting in front of your TV watching shows? You might see great bundle deals that combine multiple popular streaming services at reduced fees.
In reality, this might not be a good deal after all. You might not have enough free time to fully enjoy what the services offer. Before you buy, take a step back and ask yourself whether or not you’ll get your money’s worth.
Bottom line: Some deals aren’t really deals at all. They’re just another clever way to get you to part with your money. Only buy the services you will actually use regularly; don’t be tempted by low prices that bundle services you’ll rarely use.
4. Paying for apps you don’t use
Streaming apps aren’t the only services with recurring subscriptions you can easily forget about. Maybe you saw a cool app and noticed it had a cheap price tag. Over time, those monthly fees can add up.
That’s why we recommend regularly checking over all the apps on your phone. You may find a few you’re paying for that you no longer need.
To see all the apps you’re paying for on an iPhone, do this:
- Open the App Store app and sign in.
- Tap your profile picture or initials,
- Tap Subscriptions > Manage.
- Do you see any apps you want to cancel? Select the app you want to cancel.
- Lastly, tap Cancel Subscription.
To see all the apps you’re paying for on an Android, do this:
- Open your device’s Settings app.
- Tap Google > Manage your Google Account.
- Select Payments & subscriptions.
Under Subscriptions, you will see a list of apps you pay for and the next date you’ll be changed. To cancel, tap Manage Subscriptions, then choose the app subscription you want to remove. Choose Cancel subscription at the bottom of the page.
5. Paying for software with free alternatives
Usually, you get what you pay for. Sometimes, though, talented developers create useful apps that work just as well as the most popular software on the market. For example, FocusWriter, Google Docs and LibreOffice are some of the best free alternatives to Microsoft Word.
Maybe you’re an artist instead of a writer. In that case, Inkscape is a great alternative to Adobe Illustrator. Tap or click here to get started.
Do your research first before you shell out money on an expensive program. Look up the program’s name followed by “free alternative” in quotes on Google. Then look up the alternatives to make sure it is legit.
6. Not realizing your promos ended
So you found an awesome promotion online. You signed up for it, thinking it was a great way to save money. Well … promo rates often increase after a certain amount of time.
When you sign up for a new cable plan, internet service provider, streaming service, cell plan or anything else, make sure to ask when the promotional rate expires and mark it down. When the deadline is coming, call and ask for an extension or find something new.
7. Impulse buying online
Just because something is on sale doesn’t mean you need it! You should also know that some of the best deals you’ll stumble upon are the work of scammers. Criminals know how to target you based on your buying history, and taking out ads for flashy products is cheap if you end up buying something.
Want to save some cash? Tap or click for a few ways to save on your Amazon and other online purchases.
8. Paying with your debit card when you shop online
Using your debit instead of credit card is one of the worst ways to save money when you shop online. Credit cards offer more protection for you if you get scammed, and you’ll often earn at least some points for your purchase.
You should leave the debit card for in-person purchases and use your credit card when you shop online. Just remember to pay the balance at the end of the month to avoid interest charges.
9. Buying the cheapest version of something
Remember No. 1? You learned how dangerous buying cheap devices could be. Here are a few cheap gadgets and accessories that aren’t worth the money.
Charging cables aren’t the only devices that can go wrong if you buy the cheapest option. To save money on high-tech gadgets, try some other workarounds. For example, if you need a new computer, buy a refurbished one from an official source like Apple or Dell.
These companies have official protocols for turning used tech into diamonds as good as new. Plus, buying from reputable companies means you’ll be able to get a replacement on the off chance you get a dud. Tap or click here for the top three ways to buy refurbished tech.
10. Going to shady places that void your warranties
Sometimes you think you’ll save some money by going to a place that can fix your devices cheaply. Just remember: Everything comes at a price. The place that seems affordable may not even be certified to help you.
For example, don’t take your phone to have the screen fixed at a place that’s not certified to save a few bucks. Trying to trade it in later could cost you.