Money-saving Tips For Techies

Alison Young
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March 04, 2009
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Considering the stock market and the economy these days, I want to offer some tips from the tech side to help you save some money.

You may remember my column in December listing some money-saving websites. Here are some more ideas

For The Gamers:

If you’re into video games, it can be expensive to buy every single new title that pops out. Consider using GameFly (game-fly.com), the Netflix for games. There are more than 6,000 titles available for the PlayStation 2/3, PSP, Xbox, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, GameCube, Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance. Free shipping is offered, and member fees start at $15.95 (one game at a time), or $22.95 (for two at a time). The cost of this beats dropping $50 or more a month for each new game.

Watching TV/Movies:

If you primarily watch the local networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, etc.) and are hurting for money right now, you don’t really need that cable or satellite service, do you? Using a traditional antenna isn’t so bad - you can catch high-definition broadcasts on the air with good ol’ rabbit ears. Visit antennaweb.org to see which antenna best suits your location. You enter in your home address and, based on your location, the site tells you what type of antenna best suits the channel you’re trying to catch (i.e. on my search, it gave me back Yellow UHF for ABC, Yellow VHF for FOX, Red VHF for CBS and Blue VHF for PBS). It even tells you the compass heading.


 

As long as you have Internet connectivity, you can catch some cable shows (and movies) with Hulu.com or YouTube.com. MGM soon will have its own channel on YouTube offering full movies. If you want to go to the extreme, I do know a rare few people with absolutely no TVs in their households.

They say it encourages more reading and a higher value of education for their keiki. I give them credit; it would be difficult for me to live without any gadgets or TVs in the house.

Selling Old Gadgets/Buying Refurbished

Instead of just throwing away or recycling your old gadget, make money off it. There are websites out there that will buy your old stuff and put money in your pocket (with free shipping) - buymytronics.com and gazelle.com, to name a couple. To give you an idea, my still-functioning first generation iPod nano (4GB) came back around $15. You won’t receive a huge bundle, but every little bit helps!

Don’t be afraid to purchase refurbished or returned items. As long as you select your item carefully, you are making a wise choice - the only difference is the price. Other than that, a refurb is basically something that may be a returned item, recertified (factory tested and repackaged), floor models or a damaged product that has been repaired and tested. You will not lose out on the warranty, either. Here are some sites you can check out: refurbdepot.com, techforless.com, warehousedeals.com (run by Amazon), and Apple and Sony both have an excellent refurbished goods program.

Click Chick’s iPhone App of the Week: My Budget Money Management

Going hand-in-hand with the above information, I find Tausendstern’s My Budget Money Management iPhone app extremely helpful. It came out in November, but I only started using it last month to help keep better track of my money.

The interface is simple and helps you track your expenditures at a glance with your iPhone. First you set how much your overall budget is for the month. You can then set up recurring charges, such as your mortgage and car payments, and you enter in your other expenses under the appropriate categories. My Budget comes preloaded with 10 categories, and some of the more useful ones are auto, groceries, household, utilities and entertainment. You can delete the ones you don’t use and add your own. Additionally, all currencies are supported.


This may not be as extensive as some of the other budget apps out there, but I find the simplicity refreshing. As soon as I purchase something, I can whip out my iPhone and log it in before I lose the receipt.

Find it in the iTunes App Store under “My Budget Money Management,” or visit tausend-stern.com/mybudget for more information.

 

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