Advancement in technology is one of the greatest inventions of modern times. Think about how much the world relies on the internet and cell phones today. There is hardly a patch on earth on the planet which isn’t impacted. And, its rise has been meteoric. The internet was a 90s invention yet it has taken it less thirty years to immerse society fully. Plus, the surge isn’t finished, not by a long shot.
It’s easy to see why tech has become a major part of modern life. Cell phones, tablets, and laptops with connectivity are instant. Turn it on and you can be on the grid in a matter of seconds. The world is open to you and it’s accessible from any location on the planet. Also, there is the ease of use. Imagine living a life without a microwave or a fridge. The sheer effort it would take to transition would be monumental.
Unfortunately, technology is leading people into debt. Conventional wisdom says it can get the poor out of a funk and into the black. Information Age sets out how this can be the case. But, for every action, there is a reaction. Here’s how tech may hurt your finances.
Human nature means people want the newest gadgets and gizmos. From a vanity perspective, it’s an excellent way to show off to the world. The fact that you are one of the first followers to own an iPhone X is a statement of intent. You are a wealthy individual who doesn’t take prisoners. Everyone look and take notes. The only issue with investing in the newest technology is the contract.
Bad deals are rife because buyers have to agree to long-term contracts. Today, it’s common to pay $50 a month for a phone and data which lasts for two-years. Anyone who wants to get out of it has to pay the remaining amount off in full. In short, tech companies have your short and curlies in a vice and aren’t scared of squeezing.
Thankfully, sellers exist that don’t insist on 24-month deals. And, it isn’t as if download speeds are slow or the product is inferior in any way. They merely want to offer a service which suits both parties.
Suppliers tell you the cost of a monthly contract in advance of taking the money. Still, there’s a good chance that this won’t end up being the final amount. Why? It’s because users often go over their limits and incur extra charges. Data is a perfect illustration. Without wifi, the phone connects to the Web via 4G. When you are within the specified limits, this is fine because it’s already covered in the deal. However, when the bolt-ons are empty, it’s very costly.
Technology isn’t full to blame but it plays a major role. Firstly, the need to have a connection is an issue. Anyone who can go a few hours without surfing the internet wouldn’t need to fork out a great deal of cash. Secondly, the layout makes it difficult to see when and where you are spending money.
The most basic thing you can do is understand the bill and stick to the limits. If there is 1GB of data and 500 messages, then keep track of how many you use.
For those who don’t know the term, it’s when you let other things act as your memory. For example, parents rely on their kids concerning tech because they are the experts. When something goes wrong, moms and dads speak to their children to fix the problem. In many ways, lots of people rely on technology to fulfill their responsibilities.
Think about online banking and setting up a monthly payment. Maybe you’re single and use Tinder? In this case, signing up to the “Gold” option costs money but you want to try it for a month regardless. Better to see if it works than dismiss it out of hand. Because you don’t have to make the payment physically – PayPal does it – it’s easy to forget. Before long, three months have passed and you’ve wasted 90 days’ worth of subscription money.
Those who sign up to trial periods and reduced memberships should cancel them as soon as possible. That way, you can still use it until the end of the deal and it doesn’t automatically renew. Or, and this is old-school, you can write it down and cancel it the day before or on the day.
Safety And Security
The only way to lose money twenty years ago was to drop it down the sofa. Or, if you were unlucky, a bank robbery may take place at your establishment of choice. Now, all it takes is a weak server and an online connection to steal credit card information. Hacking is a real danger and it happens because of technology.
As tech has advanced, savvy thieves have come up with ways to use it to their advantage. Phishing scams evolved as email became one of the most popular ways to communicate, for instance. Where there is a way, there is a way for these people.
The trick is to be wary at all times. Buy quality antivirus and firewall programs to keep hackers at bay. Also, never follow links from emails. Type the URL manually to be sure.
No one is content with their lot any longer. There is always something bigger and better. Homeowners are terrible for this because it’s essential to keep up with the Joneses. Forget that it’s a never ending cycle – it has to be done!
As a result, houses are full of stuff that finishes their lives as junk. Blenders and slow cookers and the next new-age, must-have products go to the goodwill store or get thrown in the trash.
Not buying them, in the beginning, can save a homeowner a small fortune. Then, the money can be spent on things such as staying out of debt. What a novel idea.
Is technology encouraging you to live beyond your means?