Meta: Phones, tablets, laptops and other gadgets are more accessible now than ever before – but can we really afford them, and how do we know we are getting a good deal?
New technology surrounds us every day. TV advertisements make us yearn for the latest gadget watch, phone or tablet even if we don’t *really* need it. It is becoming a must-have accessory, but the need to get the latest of everything can burn a hole in our pockets.
So how do we afford it?
Research suggests a lot of people take out loans to afford the latest bit of kit. The trouble with this is that financial literacy is at a low – people don’t seem to understand how loans work, what interest rates are, how to repay properly and so on. People can get into difficulty by getting out a loan for a new piece of technology and not understanding the terms of the loan or how much this will ultimately cost them. Wonga SA, a same-day online loan provider in SA, recently published a blog about just this. They said that many people are wasting credit on ‘bad loans’ – items that are not really needed or affordable. They say that by being more careful about your money and how you spend it, and by saving more money and being knowledgeable about your financial situation, you can avoid large repayment debts and have a healthier financial future.
Getting a good deal
As well as considering how you spend your money or your loan, you’ll also want to shop around for the best deal on any technology you decide to buy. Don’t just buy the first one you see. There are many articles on the internet about how to save money on a smartphone or other device. You’ll also want to consider how much you really need the device. Is it a necessity or a luxury? For example, tablets are often excessive devices if you already have a laptop and phone. It is tempting to buy a device just because our friends have them, but there is no use getting into any financial difficulty for the sake of a new piece of kit.
Keeping old devices updated
Remember that your old devices are probably just as useful – they just don’t feel new anymore. Make sure you keep them updated with the latest software. If it’s the look of the old device you’re worried about, you can get new cases and accessories to spruce up old technology. This can save a considerable sum on a new device!
Getting money for old devices
Make sure that you trade in old devices or recycle them. There are many websites that give cash for old devices and this can contribute towards the cost of the new device. You could also sell your old device online if you think this may fetch you more money.