I shiver when I think about how much money our little family has communally spent on technology over the last five years, or even the last decade. Computers, cellphones, gadgets, tablets, earphones, HDMI cables, routers, printers… the list is endless. But, after doing a little cost comparison with a friend of mine, I realized we were actually pretty clever in our gadget ways. Here’s why:
Never buy new, if it’s not for you
Okay, you can call me cruel here, but that’s a bit of a rule. Generally speaking, younger children don’t need high-end technology or gadgets. So, whenever we’ve given my child a device like her phone or computer, they’ve always been second-hand or hand-me-downs. She’s rocking my old phone at the moment and the family computer was constructed from old bits and pieces we had in our storeroom. As mom or dad upgrade, so the technology gets handed down – makes sense, right? I’ve worked out that, just by doing this, we’ve saved a lot of money, by handing down our gadgets.
A Clever Plan
The only exception here is that we purchased a brand new tablet for her as a birthday gift two years ago. Replacing it when we need to was also a breeze. Why? Because I didn’t BUY one, I rented it. Using Teljoy’s nifty rent-to-own facility, I was able to get my daughter a high-end tablet, and have it be fully insured in case anything happened to it (which, let’s face it, is important when you’re putting an expensive device into little hands). Paying for it monthly gave me a little peace of mind, which kicked it nicely when it became necessary to upgrade her to a newer device. It’s paid off now and fully belongs to us, but I could also take out an extended service plan to cover us for further eventualities. (No, this isn’t a sponsored post – I’ve just had really good experience using this service, especially when it comes to household appliances and some gadgets).
This rule applies to both physical and online security. We put covers on our phones and tablets to protect them and, in just the same way, we protect our online lives as best as possible. Regularly changing passwords, using monitoring tools where applicable and openly communicating about our digital experiences helps to keep all of us on the secure side of the online world. Set yourself a regular reminder to change your passwords and you’ll be doing yourself a favour. Wisegeek recommends you change your passwords every three months, but don’t forget to keep an eye out for any security alerts from sites and services you may use online. You can also use services like 1Password or Lastpass to keep your passwords safe.
What tech strategy do you use for your family?