How To Use Technology To Save Money

Posted on July 15th, 2014 by Toni Burns
However hard you try, you can’t get away from technology. It surrounds us and has an impact on our lives on a daily basis. But whatever our views of technology, most of us are keen to save money and technology is increasingly allowing us to do just that. For a relatively small initial cost you can make big savings. Here’s a run-down of ways you can start saving.

Smart meters

Since the government announced their plan to install smart meters in every home in the UK by 2020, they have been big news. You may have heard about smart meters, but do you know how they could benefit you? More accurate bills is one benefit. Smart meters mean that estimated bills and overpaying (and underpaying) bills are a thing of the past. These meters communicate directly with your energy supplier, thus avoiding the need for monthly meter readings or having to submit your own meter readings. Finally, these meters allow you to see real-time data so you can better manage and adjust your energy usage. Current British Gas customers are currently saving up to £75 a year by using smart meters – savings that can make a real difference.

TV packages

If you have cable or satellite TV you will have noticed that the subscription fee seems to spiral out of control. But you can choose to stop spending money on pricey television services and use online media streaming services instead. There are plenty to choose from. Netflix is probably the biggest name out there, but you can also choose from others including Amazon Prime, Blockbuster On Demand, Hulu, iTunes and Sony Entertainment Network. Take advantage of the 30 day trial that many companies offer and pay monthly to save the most. Costs generally start at around £5.99 per month.

Landline phone

With the steady rise in the cost of landlines, many people are making the decision to get rid of theirs. If you are paying for a landline, think about whether you really need it. Is it tied in with a broadband package? How much do you use it to make calls? If you decide you can ditch it then you can either rely on your mobile for calls or try out VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) services such as Skype or Vonage. Depending on how far afield you are dialling fees range from around £3 to £9 per month.

Supermarket apps

We are relying on apps more and more. Whether it’s Google Maps, Yahoo Weather, WhatsApp or Spotify, they are rather handy. But when an app promises to save you money as well as being useful, then you need to take notice. MySupermarket compares prices every time you buy groceries online to find out where the best deals are. The company claims every shopper can save an average of £17 on each shop. Other apps available include Snap & Save which you can use to take a photo of your receipt and get cash back on your shopping. Basket Buddy is a more local app which finds the latest deals in your area posted by your fellow bargain hunters.

Programmable thermostats

The cost of heating your home can be a real strain on your finances. A lot of the energy we use to heat our homes is wasted because there is no-one there to enjoy it. Programmable thermostats allow you to set a minimum and maximum temperature so you have more control over the heating and cooling of your house. They also allow you to lower the temperature in the summer and raise it in the winter without having to adjust the thermostat manually. Upgrade to a zone-based thermostat and you can also avoid heating certain rooms unnecessarily when not in use. The price of programmable thermostats starts at around £20 but depending on how intuitive you want your thermostat to be they can go up to more than £100. There is also an installation cost, but once you are set up, you could save around £100 per year.

Smarter lighting and appliances

By installing motion sensors in your home you can control the amount of power used by your lighting and appliances. By only using energy when someone is in the room or an appliance is in use you will save on your energy bills. Energy-saving light bulbs are also a good cost-saving purchase. CFL (compact fluorescent light) bulbs offer real value for money. Compared to a traditional bulb, each CFL bulb saves around £3.50 each year it is used, will last 10-25 times longer than a traditional bulb, produces 75% less heat and uses 75% less energy. Saving money and the environment.

Keep track of your cash

Most banks have their own native app which you can use in a number of ways. These can help you track your account balances, transfer money between accounts, deposit money on the go and make credit card payments. Money Dashboard is another nifty tool that allows you to view all your accounts in one place – regardless of who you bank with. This means you can get a clear picture of exactly what is happening with your money. And if money isn’t one of your strong points, you can view your spending patterns in clear, simple graphs and charts. It also helps you plan a budget and gauge how well you stick to it.

Freecycling

The Freecycle network works on the basis that everyone has stuff they don’t need and there is always someone who could make use of that unwanted item. Where Freecycle is concerned, everything is free – it’s free to sign up, you can list items for free and get the items you need for free. It’s the perfect way to de-clutter your home and find good homes for your pre-loved objects. It also helps you save money by not having to buy items brand new. The network is aiming to change the world ‘one gift at a time’ – creating a revolution in the process. Fancy being part of a revolution and saving money while you’re at it? Who wouldn’t?

If you are strapped for cash then you may wish to consider payday loans. It is possible to apply for a short term loan from a number of responsible short term lenders.

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About the author

Toni Burns Toni Burns is a Digital Marketing Specialist at Cash Sorted and writes the majority of our informative blog posts. She keeps on top of the finance industry and reports back on any changes that could affect our users. Toni loves skiing, eating out & listening to music.

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