Computers. Printers. Scanners. Fax Machines.
Phones. They’re not just for work at the office, many people have most of
these items in their homes today.
But how much is this costing you? Do you
know? How do you know whether or not you are wasting more money than
these items are worth, just to operate them? The key is really
doing your homework before you make your purchases. But once you have
these items, how can you stop these items from bleeding your bank account?
Don’t worry… here at We Solved It we can help you
either streamline your life and cut back on expenses or cut your losses to
improve your life going forward.
While most people have to have the latest phone or
latest computer, you have to ask yourself if this is really
necessary. How do you know when it is time to upgrade to make your
life better or if you are just wasting money to keep up with the Joneses?
First you must identify what your bills
are. Look at your electricity bill. Is it higher than it
should be? Did you know that older machines and devices can actually use
*You want to be sure your devices have ENERGY STAR
so that they do not use more energy than they should.
*Do all your devices need to stay plugged in
24/7? Probably not. If you do not use your scanner/printer every
day, then you are wasting energy. Same goes for your fax machine if you
still use one of these instead of or in addition to a scanner. Your
computers should have their software updates and anti-virus scan scheduled
BEFORE you go to sleep, so that your computer can also be powered off and
go to sleep, just like you. Your cell phone does not need to be on
and charging while you are sleeping either. By powering your phone off,
not only will you ensure your battery gets a true, full charge, but you save
energy as well.
*When you do have items plugged in, you need a
surge suppressor. With the number of storms across the globe happening,
you do not want to ‘fry’ your devices. You want to protect them by having
them plugged into something that can ensure their protection when they are
plugged in. It is also easier to power ‘off’ everything by one switch when you
need to do this.
Next question… do you really need all these
items? Can you streamline into one item? There are many All-in-one
printer/fax/scan/copy machines these days. This might be something to look into
to simplify your life and only plug in one device instead of four. This
will also help you save on your bill, save space and also decrease the number
of extended warranties you have to purchase. Think about that – weigh the
When it comes to your printer – you will need to
consider one important thing: Does it cost more to supplement the ink
cartridges than what the printer is worth vs. the longevity of the
machine? If you do not need to print in color, no need to be
stuck paying for two cartridges. And while laser printer toner cartridges
do cost more, you have to replace them less often and these are workhorse
printers that will last you at least 10 years or more. You have to
examine the use, what you need the printer to do and how often you
replace. If you are replacing ink cartridges more often than you would
like and they are expensive and cost more in 2-3 replacements than the printer
itself, it may be time to switch. This is a major consideration to think
about when purchasing your next printer.
Computers. Everyone wants a tablet. Everyone
wants the smaller device that weighs less. But do you really need
it? If you have laptops or even archaic desktops which work fine and you
only use them for leisure and a few related school or work projects and
you are not a jet setter hopping planes every week, chances are you don’t need
a tablet or smaller device if your current devices are working
fine. Why do it? So you can be a slave to technology
while you are away on what is supposed to be a vacation? Perhaps
this is defeating the whole purpose of going on vacation. If you
have a cell phone that has internet access, you really don’t need a
tablet. Or if you are staying at a motel, hotel or lodge that has a
business center, you have computer access if you really need it. Rethink
the upgrade and just upgrade your software instead. It’s a better
choice. If you keep your computer in shape and maintained you won’t have
to worry about needing more memory, just clean it up and rely upon inexpensive
flash drives to back up your computer.
Phones. We’ve become a greedy society upgrading to
the latest and greatest phone. Does your cell phone still make a phone
call (what it was designed for)? This should be your first
question. Second, you need to ask yourself if the extra expense is
worth it. Sometimes new versions of phones have not worked out all the
latest bugs and you do not get the tech support you need to make it work as it
was promised. Bottom-line, you are creating more headache for yourself as
well as unnecessary expense. If you are happy with your phone and
it works for you, why upgrade or get stuck in a higher priced phone plan when
you are currently operating just fine? Ask yourself if there
are ways to cut your phone plan down if you are not utilizing all you are
paying for. This will help you streamline your expenses, particularly if you
only do carry it for emergencies.
If you just cannot control yourself and you are a
new gadget junkie, then take a close look at your habits. If this is who
you are and you know you constantly upgrade year-to-year, then avoid the
extended warranties for items you won’t be continuing to use. It’s a waste of
money to do this if you are just going to buy a new device anyway.
Above all, ask yourself about what you’ve accumulated
and what you are using vs. not using, and what has just become a dust
collector. You can donate your old machines to many charities, schools,
shelters and churches and get a tax write-off. And if you are a gadget
junkie, then at least make the donation, rather than dumping the devices in the
trash and destroying our planet. Someone else can use these items and will be
grateful for the donation.
Streamlining your devices and really examining what
it is costing you is helpful to maximize your overall savings – both for your
wallet and for saving energy. And in the end, this helps minimize our
carbon footprint and too many devices which only cause unnecessary
headache. This is like a multipurpose solution all-in-one you can do for
~ Athena & Tess
– We Solved It