We all love saving money. These days, there are many ways technology is making it easier to save time and live more efficiently. However, it might not occur to us to use the technology at our fingertips to save on daily expenses.
Digital CouponsImage via Flickr by Andrea Jones
The word “coupon” evokes images of our parents and grandparents clipping coupons out of magazines by hand. While it may seem like an old school mechanism, the internet has truly redesigned the way we coupon. Simply register your email address with your favorite shops to receive coupons, discount codes, early bird sale access, and shop updates. Some coupons are online only, while others can be uploaded onto your smartphone and scanned in-store.
Many large chains have their own apps where you can shop, get and use coupons, track spending, and even earn points when you shop that count toward future purchases.
Streaming Movies And Shows
Seeing movies on the big screen is an irreplaceable experience. But ever-increasing prices can keep us out of the theater. Streaming services can be downloaded as apps onto smartphones, smart TVs, and computers, and can be used with accessories such as Apple TV and Amazon Fire. Good for almost any budget, these services cost from $5.99/ month to $50.99 /month for hundreds of movies, shows, and originals. You can also log in on multiple devices , so your friends and family can share the savings.
Personal Finance Apps
Most of us could use some help managing our money, but can’t afford a financial advisor. Luckily there are some really great apps out there, most of which cost little or nothing, that can make budgeting and investing hassle-free. You can find apps dedicated to creating and adhering to weekly or monthly budgets, and paying down debt, some designed specifically to track your spending by connecting to your accounts or pulling info from photos of your receipts, and apps made to help you build a savings.
Investment apps are a fairly recent development in this area. From providing free or low cost investment advice to rounding purchases up and investing the difference, these apps are great at putting your pocket change to work for you.
Energy Efficient Homes
Temperature control and lighting can account for most of your energy bill each month. Why not make them more cost effective?
LED bulbs, while slightly more costly than incandescent up front, last on average up to five times as long. Incandescent bulbs also release up to 90 percent of their energy as heat, while the LED variety produces up to 80 percent less heat energy, meaning you’re actually getting what you’re paying for.
While most thermostats these days are programmable, studies show that over 50 percent in homes aren’t programed as they should be, wasting energy and money. Smart thermostats learn your preferences, your schedules, and even allow for zoning – different temperature settings for different rooms. Instead of heating or cooling while you’re away, or trying to maintain the same temperature throughout your home, smart thermostats work your HVAC system selectively, causing less wear and tear, and leaving more money in your wallet.
Some of these savings may seem small, but they add up quickly and are worth the small investment in the long run.