When you think of someone living a simple life, you might imagine a person who has few comforts, perhaps even someone who is living off the grid. There is a stereotype that equates using a lot of tech with having a more complicated and extravagant lifestyle. Getting away from it all often involves turning off your phone for a while. People talk about cutting out their use of tech to simplify things, but tech can actually be a great tool for living more minimally. And while tech certainly costs money, it can also help you save. Tech helps us save money in all facets of life. For instance, we stay up to date with the latest tax deductions and credits by using popular tax programs such as TurboTax Deluxe. We maximize our gas mileage by using “Eco Mode” in our cars. We book the lowest price rental cars and lodging thanks to minute-by-minute price aggregators. Live more simply by thinking about how you use tech, looking for ways to save money, considering a smart home and using tools that block you from the greatest temptations and time-wasters on your devices.
Tech does make your life simpler and less cluttered if you use it wisely, but that wise use is key. Adopt a principle of ruthlessness when it comes to your phone and other devices. Which apps and other tools genuinely do the job you need them to in the best way possible and make your life better and easier? Which ones do not? You may decide that you want to keep streaming music, but you only use one or two social media apps productively. A game might be a time waster, but it might also help you relax. The key is not to think about what you should keep but which tools really do the job for you.
There are many ways that apps and other tools can save you money by helping you price check, track your spending, budget and more. You can also research ways to spend less. For example, if you have student loan debt, you can read about refinancing and see what options are available from lenders online. You can use a student loan refinance calculator to see if you can save on your monthly payments or over the life of your loan.
By hooking up your home to the internet might sound like the ultimate indulgence, but in fact, there are some solid sustainable reasons to consider a smart thermostat and smart sprinkler system if you have a lawn. A smart thermostat can detect what temperatures you need in various rooms, and a smart sprinkler can determine how much water your lawn needs and only water it that amount. Over time, this is much better for the earth and better for your wallet.
If you’re trying to cut down on your usage of certain apps or visits to certain websites, use tools that help you block them for certain hours of the day. Willpower is a wonderful thing, but remember that some very smart minds have teamed up with computer algorithms to give you incentives to keep going back to these places. You shouldn’t feel bad if you’re struggling to be more productive but you keep getting drawn back in. Instead, use technology to help you fight the urge to overuse technology.
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