If you are the type of person who likes to keep bang up to date when it comes to electronic devices like smartphones, tablets, games consoles, TVs and other entertainment devices, you may struggle to find the money to pay for the latest devices on the market.
Unless you have plenty of residual income, you are likely to have to forsake some of the items you would like, such as the latest Dual-SIM smartphones from Sony. However, there are some ways to ease the burden of staying up to date.
Buy second hand
This is one of the best ways to keep abreast of developments without having to splash out large amounts of money. Most people equate second hand with old, but that is not necessarily the case. Second-hand means buying something that has had one or more previous owners, not that the product is out of date.
If you shop around, you can find virtually unused products that are the latest releases in their range but are on sale for a fraction of the cost of buying them new. People can be very fickle, and they may make impulse buys that they immediately regret, or they may get a gift that does not appeal to them.
They may not be able to return such items to the shop, so their best option is to put them up for sale. They will have to do so at a price that’s way below the purchase price. Bear in mind that there is a risk buying second hand and you will not have the same level of support you would get from a shop.
Work out what your minimum spec really is
Top of the range devices are the most expensive because they include the most features. While it may be desirable to have all these features, there is little point in paying extra money to own features that you are never going to use. Having some vague notion that you will be able to exploit these features is an expensive luxury. Work out exactly what features you deem essential, and then look for the nearest match. You will then be able to keep up to date but will spend less money to do so.
Display sizes on phones, tablets and TV screens have an influence on the price. Do you really need to go for the largest display available? Even if your eyesight is not the best, think about buying a smaller display size and using glasses to make everything appear bigger. That can save you lots of money.
Cash in on your old devices
If you are buying new devices to replace existing ones, then try to reduce your spend by selling your old devices. Nearly all used devices have some residual value. If your old devices are in good working order, you may be able to get a really good price for them. Even if the old device no longer works, it still has some scrap value. Rather than stowing it at home, sell it for what you can get.
It should be clear that you do not have to buy brand new items just to keep your devices up to date. By exploring options like buying second hand goods, selling old devices, or looking for lower spec devices, you will find it easier to afford these items.
Josh Gilbert is a personal finance consultant by day, and a geeky gaming tech enthusiast by night! He tries to combine the two worlds in his online articles.