Resources cost money. It’s a stipulation as old as civilization itself. If you want the benefits of a product or service you have to pay for it. If it’s an object like a mobile phone or an automobile, you’re paying for everything from the raw metal mining to the final factory polish. There’s only so much to go around and value revolves around supply and demand.
This is why it’s so important for families to do everything they can to forgo material purchases in favor of virtual replacements. Not everything can be replaced virtually, of course, but in today’s digital age less material goods are necessary for work and fun than ever before. The benefit of this is of course less dependence on costly products to get through the day.
Here’s some general ideas with examples to help get you started:
Home and Office
When the personal computer age first began, many industry analysts and insiders hailed it as the end of paper printing. What they didn’t factor was how easy it became to print off the computer, resulting in more printed material than ever before. Through ink, paper, files, paper clips, and all the labor going into getting these products to your home or office, it’s easy to spend hundreds in the course of a year.
At home we can easily cut the costs of materials by making better habits of using cloud storage to save and organize important documents, images, and other kinds of files. Most of these services are free via your favorite search engine service. Using your smartphone to extend this into your on-the-go lifestyle is another way to reduce a dependence on materials.
At the office or through your small business the potential savings of a virtual switch can be massive. Electronic invoicing services through sites like ADP.com are designed to eliminate the outdated need for physical supplies when it comes to managing payables.
Hobbies and Entertainment
Humans love to create and have fun. Historically these pastimes require an investment in supplies and toys. Many still do, but much do not. Adapting to digital means of artistic expression and forms of entertainment can cut household costs down tremendously in the long-run. In today’s computer age it’s never been easier.
When it comes to hobbies like gaming or art, skip the costly CD-ROMs and canvas. Opt instead for downloadable software. Services such as Steam offer virtually every computer game ever made for cheap download. They also offer software such as Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, and FL Studio for the creatives among us who wish to express themselves without having to spend a lot of money over the years.
Streaming movies, sports, and other forms of watchable entertainment are getting easier to view and cheaper with every passing year. Abandon the cable box or satellite dish in favor of online streaming services. Skip buying the marked-up cardboard-and-plastic medium for entertainment we know as DVDs and blu-ray. These are archaic means to access the movies and shows you love.
Not everything can be easily replicated digitally. But when it comes to keeping track of your household, running a small business, staying active or having fun, going virtual is the easiest way to save big in the long-run. Otherwise you’ll be investing in the supplies and material goods which don’t offer anything more than the ability to take up precious space and use your limited money.