SAN ANTONIO – Even before we were spending more time at home, spending money on tech - everything from music subscriptions to streaming media to faster internet - was up. Just on assorted subscriptions, like cloud storage, music services, and dating apps, people spent an average of $640 in 2019.
More time at home now likely means more tech spending.
For Jenny Mari-Wyka and her family, it’s video streaming services.
“We currently subscribe to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus,” she said.
It adds up fast, so families like hers are looking for ways to save. Where do you start?
Consumer Reports suggests taking inventory, and if you find an app or service that you really don’t use, delete or cancel it. Ditching just a couple can save you about $50 a year.
“I found that I was paying for insurance for a smart phone that was four years old,” said CR’s Tech Editor Chris Raymond. “And, I was paying for a DVR that we no longer use because we just stream the shows we want to see.”
Even with rising costs of streaming services, CR says cutting the cord could still save you $700 or more a year depending on what you have now and what you buy to replace it.
“You can use an antenna to get free network content and then choose a limited streaming service like Sling that starts at $20 a month,” Raymond said.
If you do stick with cable, there is still a way to save about $120 a year. It’s what Mari-Wyka did. She bought her own router instead of paying monthly rental fees to her cable company.
If you need more hardware in the house, CR suggests you consider refurbished products. Brands like Apple, Dell and Samsung sell refurbished laptops, phones and tablets for a lower price than brand new devices. CR advises you be sure it’s certified preowned and get some sort of warranty.