Homes, phones and vehicles are all getting smarter. But their ongoing popularity is not just about novelty. People are snapping up the technology because it is useful as well as being innovative. A smart home that regulates your energy usage based on where you are in the house can mean lower bills and more conservation. And few of us can even imagine what we’d do without a handy smart phone in our pocket to check the reviews on the restaurant we’re standing outside or to orient ourselves in a strange new city. The availability of tech solutions can be overwhelming, so how do you choose the right tools for you among all the shiny, thrilling bells and whistles?
Check Your Budget
The cold hard truth is that if you can’t afford it, you shouldn’t buy it. However, if you just won’t be happy without that new set of speakers or the latest in voice-activated technology, there are ways you can get more cash to feed your tech habit. Think about picking up some gig work to make more money, or see if there are places where your budget could lose a little fat. Maybe you could make your own meals a little more instead of getting food delivered. You could also look at your bills and how you might be able to cut expenses there, including your debt by refinancing your existing student loans with a private lender. This could give you lower interest rates, help you pay off your obligation faster and give you more money at the end of each month. Above all, you need to resist the temptation to put exciting new technology on your credit card.
Choose for Your Lifestyle
The problem with upgrading your tech is that there are so many bells and whistles you can end up with something you don’t need just because it’s exciting. Do you really need a doorbell to show you who’s paying you a visit? Maybe, if you have security concerns or it’s a struggle for you to get to the front door. On the other hand, maybe you’d rather throw that money at a pet camera that lets you keep an eye on your beloved dog while you’re at work. If making your first cup of coffee has been a lifelong struggle, you’ll probably love a voice-activated device, but if you tend to bounce out of bed with the first birdsong, you might be better off spending your money on a smart fitness tracker. The important thing is to look at your lifestyle and think about what kind of tech would genuinely solve a problem you have as opposed to just looking cool when your friends come over.
Before you buy, find a few reliable sites and get the perspective from real consumers about just how well the product works. In some cases, this can mean dashing some cold water on the futuristic home of your dreams, but it will save you money and frustrations, and in most cases, if the product idea is a good one, manufacturers will work out the bugs sooner rather than later.