Being a ‘tech geek’ is all the rage, with Anne Aaron (Consumer Technology), Sylvia Acevedo (Digital Advocacy) and Tamar Bercovici (Enterprise Technology) standing out in their respective sectors, showing that women are a powerful force in technological development and advancement. Despite the advances made, statistics show that there is room for improvement with only 20% of tech jobs held by women. From computer gaming systems to sophisticated voice recognition technology, virtual reality headsets to AI chatbots, there are many technologies that are used and enjoyed by women as much as men. If the first thing you do when you wake up is reach for your smartphone or ask Alexa to play your favorite artist’s new album, how can you ensure you can continue to access top tech without breaking the bank?
Setting a Budget
Women are spending more on tech than men – according to research undertaken by the Consumer Electronics Association. Women account for $55 billion of $96 billion spent on electronic devices. Technology geeks are usually not content with their current collection, often updating devices, systems, cards etc. To set a budget for your spending, it is key to study what your current expenditure is. The best way to obtain detailed graphs on your spending is through apps like Mint. Goodbudget, or Wally. Use this app for at least a quarter to observe your habits then set a maximum amount for your weekly, monthly, or quarterly tech expenditure.
Reducing Your Reliance on Credit
When purchasing technology, aim to pay via a debit card. If you wish to use credit and have more than one card, compare different rates and set a strict schedule for pay-back. Women carry higher debt that men owing to the wage gap, meaning you may have a little extra money to play with at the end of the month. If you do have a less-than-perfect credit report or you are on the list of a consumer reporting agency, review your credit report for any possible errors (the FTC reports that one in five people have an error on their credit report). If you are on the list of a reporting agency like Chexsystems because you closed an account with an overdraft or your account has had insufficient funds in the past, you will find useful advice at this page. Tactics such as directly depositing checks and using prepaid debit cards can make a new bank more willing to work with you regardless of any possible issues in the past.
Buying to Schedule
One way to afford tech is to allow yourself a specific amount to spend every month. Another is to set a specific schedule for buying, at least for major tech equipment. Thus, if you’ve got your eye on a new desktop computer, tablet, or portable book, waiting for Black Friday and seasonal sales is key. In the last couple of years, for instance, consumers have seen price drops of around $100 for ‘the new iPad’, with retailers going the extra mile to hit sales targets.
Affording new tech is a matter of working out exactly how much you can dedicate to this hobby. If you can resist the temptation, buying on set days of the year as key, as it can enable you to avail of discounts or buy ‘old’ models that fulfil your purposes as well as the latest models. Budgeting apps are a handy tool to have around; they will increase awareness of your actual spend and enable you to set key savings targets so that splurging on tech doesn’t quite seem so guilt-inducing.