For the modern tech geek, the challenge is saving as much money as possible without dropping quality. It’s a fine line to read. Tech is one of those domains where “You get what you pay for” holds true more often than not.
It’s not all doom and gloom though. There are four areas of home tech where it’s easy to enjoy the same benchmarks of quality without emptying your wallet. Here’s how.
Related: 40 Best Tech Gadgets List of 2018
1. Opt for a Budget 4K TV
When it comes to TVs, things are far different than they were even five years ago. Back then, a cheap price tag meant sub-par quality. Today, you can get a budget TV that looks almost as good as a top-of-the-line model.
What’s the Secret?
The trick is in selecting the type of display the TV uses, not the price tag. So long as a TV is equipped with 4K resolution, you’re going to get a high-quality picture, no matter the price. Even towards the low end of the price spectrum, many TVs now include both 4K and HDR support to improve the experience even more. The best part? You can get a 4K HDR TV for around $650.
2. Switch to Streaming TV
If you’re still paying for satellite or cable TV, I hate to break it to you, but you’ve been blowing money for about 10 years. You can enjoy the exact same experience over the Internet at a fraction of the cost.
Will It Really Save Me Money?
If you’re skeptical about how much you stand to save by switching to streaming, consider the following statistics provided by Updater:
- The average cable bill is $105 per month, while the average streaming subscription is only $8.
- Cable packages average about 200 channels, but most households only watch 17 of them. You’re not using 92% of the service you’re paying for.
- The average cost of a pay-per-view movie is $5.99 on cable. Most movies on streaming services are included in the subscription.
Can’t argue with that, can you? The other thing I’ll point out is that streaming is far more customizable that cable. You have to wait for a certain day and time for new content with cable. With streaming, there are dozens of fantastic apps that will allow you to watch your shows whenever you like.
3. Build Your Own PC, Then Upgrade Components
If you’re a serious gamer, performance is everything. If you’re playing an online ranked match, you can’t afford to wait for your CPU to catch up with you. You’ll just let the team down. When it comes to getting the most bang for your buck and still saving money, building your own rig is the way to go.
Built Versus Bought
So here’s a quick caveat – to build a great PC, you will spend as much as you would on a pre-built laptop gaming model. That wasn’t the case five years ago, but it is now. The savings will come from customization.
Let’s say you spent $2,000 on a pre-built PC. That’s the amount Forbes suggests is enough to get a hardcore gaming machine that will last you at least five years. When those five years are up, you have to spend $2,500 to get the latest model. The price went up due to inflation, and you have to buy an entirely new computer because you can’t swap out components on most store-bought PCs.
Now, say you instead spent that $2,000 on components to build your own. You enjoy the same quality for five years. When the time comes, you buy a new graphics card, and more RAM, for about $1,000. You saved yourself $1,500 and got the exact same experience.
4. Swap to a Music Subscription Service
If you go on iTunes right now and buy Cardi B’s newest album, “Invasion of Privacy,” you’re going to be paying $9.49. Alternately, you could pay the same price for an Amazon Music Unlimited subscription and get that album, all her previous albums, and 30 million other songs.
In the same train of thought as with streaming TV, stop buying CDs and digital albums. Use a digital streaming music service to enjoy a huge selection of songs for a very low cost.