In today’s fast-paced economy, it’s necessary to own at least a few electronics. You need a cellphone and computer at minimum to apply for jobs and work from home. But if you don’t have much discretionary income, it can be hard to save up enough cash to buy a laptop. Here are some tips and tricks to help you purchase electronics on a tight budget.
How to Purchase Electronics on a Tight Budget
Buy Refurbished Models
Buying a refurbished cellphone or laptop instead of a new one is a great way to save money. Pre-owned electronics are sold for up to 30% off and many are in like-new condition.
However, you need to be careful when buying pre-loved electronics. Private sellers may simply repackage phones with defects and sell them to unsuspecting buyers.
So make sure you only buy refurbished phones from trusted brands and retailers who certify that their products are in good working order. Check the return policy as well to ensure you have enough time to inspect the item and send it back if there are any issues.
Buy Last Generation Products
If you’d rather have a new phone than a refurbished one, look into buying last generation products. Phones and computers are sold at a premium when they first hit the market, but usually go on sale when the next model becomes available. If you buy the second newest version instead of the most recent release, you can save a nice chunk of change.
Skip the Extended Warranty
Extended warranties for electronics can cost up to $150, making them an expensive add-on. And according to Consumer Reports, they’re usually not worth the money. On average, repairing a phone or laptop costs about the same as an extended warranty.
One in five consumers is also dissatisfied with the quality of the repairs they receive under warranty. You may be required to send your phone to a certain repair shop even if they have bad reviews and long wait times. So unless you think you’re going to break your phone multiple times during the warranty period, extended coverage usually isn’t worth the price.
Some credit cards also give you free extended warranty protection on electronics as a membership benefit. You can use an app called Sift to see how long certain credit cards will cover your tech purchases. If your credit issuer offers this type of insurance, then you definitely don’t need to purchase an extended warranty for your phone.
Ask Friends For Old Phones
If you have a friend or family member who’s always upgrading to the latest technology, ask if they have any old phones or laptops lying around. Since they’re not using the devices anyway, they may sell them to you for a low price or give them to you for free.
You can also ask your local Buy Nothing or Freecycle group if anyone has electronics they’d be willing to give away. Although they may not be in mint condition, you’ll be able to invest some money into repairing them since you got them for free.
Stores usually discount electronics a few times during the year. Right before the Superbowl, many retailers lower the price of their TVs hoping that sports fans will scoop them up. TVs are also discounted on Black Friday because they’re a popular Christmas gift.
If you follow the sales cycles, you may be able to get a great deal on a compute or phone that fits in your tight budget.
What are your favorite tips for saving money on electronics? Let us know in the comments section below!
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