Tech Resolutions: Frugal Tips for the New Year

by Geek Squad Agent on ‎01-23-2012 01:13 PM (17,044 Views)

One of the most common resolutions people make in the New Year is to get a handle on their finances. Here at Geek Squad, we want you to know that your technology is ready and willing to help you make that resolution a reality.

 

Goodbye Cable?

 

If you are feeling your wallet get tighter every time your cable bills arrive, it may be time to change your habits and begin using your high-speed internet connection to your advantage. Almost all major television networks now offer most of their shows online shortly after, or in some cases as, they air on live TV. Other websites  like Hulu, Joost andYouTube give you the ability to watch older episodes of many popular network and cable shows. You can also find classic TV shows on these channels, particularly YouTube. Cut yourself loose from cable by taking advantage of the wide variety of free streaming content available online.

 

Worried that you don’t want to watch a whole TV show on your little laptop screen?, Never fear. Almost all newer televisions allow you to connect your computer directly to the TV with an extra cable or two. Just remember you need to have minimum high speed internet connection of 1.5Mbps to be able to get a good video streaming experience. If you’re not sure what your current speed is, try out Geek Squad’s speed test:www.geeksquad.com/speedtest

 

 

Coming Soon To A Computer Near You

 

Sure, I suppose some people love walking through a movie theater in its sticky-floored glory. But more and more people prefer to stay at home and watch films. Staying home to watch movies in your pajamas and Snuggie is not only more comfortable than sitting in a drafty theater, it can be much less expensive

 

With your computer and high speed internet connection, you can useNetflix, Apple iTunes and CinemaNow to choose a movie, download it and start watching within minutes. Again, you don’t have to worry about watching these movies on a small computer screen because many services use small set-top boxes with easy set-up to stream movies from your computer to your TV. In fact, Netflix is available on all gaming consoles [Wii, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360] and most Blu-ray players include applications for most of these services,  so you can easily turn your living room into your own comfortable movie theater. So, get your popcorn in the microwave and your family together, and make it a movie night tonight.

 

 

Phone Home, for a Lot Less

 

You are going to want to tell everyone about your plan to ring in the savings in 2012. Fortunately, there are new telephone options that allow you to lower your monthly bills without sacrificing talk time. These services allow you to turn your pre-existing Internet connection into a functioning phone line. Web-based providers such as Skype, magicJackand Jajah are affordable ways to turn your computer into a phone, especially for international calls. Skype and Jajah are also available as apps for on-the-go calling [free on Android and iPhone]. You can also text for free using your Gmail account or apps like textPlus and Kik [both free on Android and iPhone]. Using some additional hardware, you can use VoIP systems like Vonage and Ooma for low cost calling.

 

 

Mighty Music Master

 

No matter your music preference, there are ways to listen to your favorite tunes without destroying your budget. Free, high-quality radio and music streaming via sites like SHOUTcast, Pandora, Groovesharkand Spotify allow you to listen to the music you like through your internet connection. These sites are also great ways to discover new artists and songs, and you are able to listen to whole songs, not just clips. Be sure to  check out your favorite band’s website because many artists release songs as free downloads on their sites.

 

 

Smart Phone Spending

 

Smart phones are called smart for a reason.And now they can help you wise-up about spending. There are a plethora of applications that are available for download, offering quick and easy ways for you to save some money no matter where you are. So, download the apps and let the savings roll in!

  • No longer do you need to waste ink and paper to print your online coupons. With apps like The Coupon App] and Coupon Sherpa [both free on Android and iPhone], discounts are right at your fingertips. Based on your location, these apps find coupons for stores near you.
  • There seems to be an inverse relationship between a gas tank and a wallet: when one is full often times the other is empty. Gas Buddy and AAA TripTik [again, both free on Android and iPhone] are apps that list area gas stations and, most importantly, their prices, so you can fill your tank and minimize the damage on your wallet.
  • Taking a trip to the store to pick up a new toy? Check out PriceGrabber, Shop Savvy and ShopKick [all free on Android and iPhone] to easily compare pricing and availability to other local stores.
  • Checking in can save you cash! Download the FourSquare app [free on Android and iPhone] and start checking in at your various destinations to unlock coupons, discounts and sometimes free things using the app.  Plus it’s always fun to check in more than your friends.

To learn more ways to technify your budget in the New Year, or for help with the rest of your technology needs, call 1 800 GEEK SQUAD to set up an onsite consultation. Find an Agent or location near you atwww.geeksquad.com, or visit the Geek Squad Precinct at Best Buy and other locations to speak with an Agent directly. We provide our services wherever and whenever you need them – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

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