Technology really sucks you dry in Singapore if you join the queue and fall into the trap of upgrading your smartphone every year, or subscribing to five million cable channels. Still, there are some technology-related buys that can end up saving you money in the long run. Here’s what you should be investing in.
Cases for your mobile devices
I’m not a fan of buying tons of little cases for every item you own. You really don’t need a special case for your tissues, another for your keys and a third for your business cards. But getting a laptop and smartphone case for your devices can save you from a huge headache when you drop them or your water bottle leaks in your bag. And it will happen one day.
You might have dropped your smartphone multiple times while reaching groggily across to turn off the alarm in the morning, and it’s still alive. But as anyone whose smartphone has suffered a broken screen will tell you, one big reason people end up having to replace their smartphones is dropping them one time too many. Getting a rubbery case that can absorb shock is essential for someone with butter fingers.
The same applies to devices like your laptop and tablet. I recently suffered a disastrous water bottle leak, and the only reason my laptop didn’t get ruined was the thick leather sleeve I had put it in. Just spend $10 to $50 on the darned case, it could save you the $300 to $1,500 it would cost to repair or replace the device.
Sure, everyone knows they should back up their hard drive. But over and over, the unspeakable happens and you lose everything in your hard drive. This doesn’t just mean you might lose all those photos of your kids growing up, your stockpile of illegally downloaded movies and all your games. It could also mean you lose files that are important to your work, which would make life at the office hell, for a while at least.
Earlier this year, my hard disk crashed and I lost half a week’s worth of MoneySmart articles. That basically means I had to work for free for half a week. Now that $100 portable hard drive doesn’t sound so expensive, does it?
Money saving apps
Paid apps generally cost only a few dollars. The vast majority are also completely useless, as anyone who’s downloaded senseless game upgrades would know. But some apps can actually be quite a huge money saver, like the following:
- The Entertainer – You get a 10% if you book through MoneySmart here. A year’s subscription costs $54 and gets you one-for-one mains at a ton of mid-range restaurants in Singapore. Eat at 2 or 3 restaurants and you’ll already have saved enough to recoup the cost of the subscription. It’s a no brainer.
- Perx – Remember those cards at Coffee Bean and Yami Yoghurt that let you collect stamps till you can redeem them for a free drink/yoghurt? Perx does the same thing, letting you collect loyalty stamps at a variety of participating establishments. You also get to link your EZ-Link cards and collect loyalty points for making your daily commute.
- Price Panda – Walk into a shop to buy something and there’s a high chance the very item you want to buy can be found cheaper elsewhere. Price Panda compares prices for you.
- Onavo Extend – If you’re one of those people who always ends up paying excess mobile data charges, you need to install this app, which will reduce and monitor you data usage, alerting you to the need to go cold turkey when you’ve exhausted your data for the month.
How do you use technology to save money? Tell us in the comments!
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