Last Updated on January 10, 2023 by Faiza Murtaza
In October 2021, the New York Times published an article that detailed just how much it costs to upgrade your phone. It came from the heels of Apple announcing their new line of iPhones, and it was an eye-opening piece for people who might not necessarily be thinking about these things.
For perspective, financial experts say that a $1,000 investment on a retirement fund today can balloon to about $17,000 in three decades.
For many people, just because they have the budget today, they think that an upgrade is doable and necessary. But suppose you want to be wiser and smarter with your finances. In that case, you need to take into account how you use our laptops, tablets, and smartphones in ways that will ensure their longevity and, thus, eliminate unnecessary spending on our part.
Your device usage might be taking a toll on our financial life more than you know. Here are some tips for saving money on your device usage this 2022.
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Protect the battery health
Not many users recognize just how important it is to care for their devices’ battery health and life. The battery life is the number of hours your phone or tablet can run before it needs to be plugged in, while the battery lifespan is the amount of time that your devices’ batteries can last before they need to be replaced completely. When you care for both, you can ensure that your devices can last a long time and that you will get the most out of them before they give up altogether. Here are some simple tips for caring for both:
- Always upgrade to your device’s latest available software.
- Don’t expose your devices to extreme temperatures. Keep them at room temperature as much as possible.
- If your device heats up while charging, it must be the case. Remove the case before you do so.
- Store it only half-charged if you’re not going to use it long-term.
- Optimize your settings. Always choose the lowest power setting available, and automate your brightness level so it can adjust to your surroundings and you’re not using more brightness than necessary.
- Keep your device turned on while charging, but avoid using mobile data and using it, in general.
Repair, don’t replace
This might seem like obvious advice, but not many users see the value in asking around if it’s possible to have their devices like new if they ever run into some trouble. Don’t be too quick to order a new phone if your device needs minor repairs. It makes more sense to get your smartphone’s screen repaired instead of buying a new device altogether. You’d be surprised by how many companies out there can repair phones as if they were straight out of the box. Some of them even allow for trading your phone for something newer. This might be a less expensive alternative than going directly into buying a new phone, so review all your options for repair before getting your credit card out.
Review your phone contract
Another aspect of your device usage that you may not know is making you burn through cash is your phone bill. There are plenty of hidden charges when it comes to phone bills, and you only need to take a look at your financial life to notice that it might be the fourth priciest thing on your entire budget, next only to rent, groceries, and utility costs. To ensure that you’re not spending more on your phone bill than what is necessary, here are some pointers:
Avoid using your mobile data:
Use Wi-Fi whenever you can. In a time when we’re spending the majority of our days at home, this shouldn’t be a problem. If you don’t have access to Wi-Fi, then be hyper-vigilant about your data usage. Avoid streaming music, podcasts, or movies if you’re not using Wi-Fi.
Check if your phone still uses data in the background:
You might be surprised to know this, but some apps might still use data even if you’re not online. Check your Background App Refresh and Cellular Data Usage settings and turn off the apps you don’t use. This will help ensure that you’re protecting not just your phone bill but also your battery.
If one of your resolutions for 2022 is to be more thoughtful about your spending, then taking a second look at how you use your laptop, tablet, and phone might be worth the effort. See where you can cut back and take a second look at how carelessly you’ve been using your devices and throwing away money where you shouldn’t. Your wallet will thank you for it.
Read more: 5 Ways To Improve Your Virtual Leadership.