Technology is omnipresent in this day and age. You can’t drive down the street without seeing a tween walking along staring into his/her smartphone, the fitness-minded person running with wireless headphones, or your car telling you that you have a new message. Nowhere is this tech explosion more visible than in your wallet. Today, we will take a look at two relatively new, and widely utilized technologies, and how you can keep them from costing you an arm and a leg.
Streaming media services are all the rage. They are so popular that some cable companies are forgoing the traditional cable receiver for a smart-device fueled app. Cable companies! If you are a traditional cable subscriber, you may be overpaying for the media you enjoy, but you aren’t the only one. There are hundreds of paid streaming services that provide users with all types of content. If you aren’t careful you could be paying a lot more than you bargained for.
The major advantage of “cord cutting” streaming services is that you can watch content on the go, instantly. You just open the app on one of the multitudes of devices and you can watch/listen/read the content. Some of the most popular of these services like Netflix, Spotify, Hulu, Google Play, and Amazon Prime all charge users a very reasonable rate per month for access to their cache of content. Today major sports leagues have streaming services, even YouTube now has a pay-per-month service that provides both original content and ad removal.
How do you manage all of it though? With each one of these services costing in the neighborhood of $15 per month, the cost of streaming media gets hefty pretty quickly. For a person that gets Netflix, Hulu, and Spotify, they are paying close to $40. Add in HBO Now, Showtime Anytime, and the myriad of other streaming services, and you can quickly see a monthly bill of $100 or more. Couple that with any cloud-based storage or software that you may use, and costs can get away from you pretty quickly.
One tip we can extend is to find the shows you want to watch and once you watch them, cancel your service. Almost every streaming service enrolls you in automatic renewal. This can be thought of as a convenience, until you don’t use the app for three months. By canceling, you will save money, and these services make it very easy to renew, so that isn’t an issue.
If you are a serial tv and movie watcher, one solution to help you manage your streaming apps is using the Reelgood app. Reelgood allows you to link all of your streaming services to one easy-to-manage hub. It doesn’t currently have integration for streaming sports services, but any movie or television service you can think of is available.
Social media has taken the world by storm. It’s so big that the President of the United States frequently takes to social media to dispatch official White House statements. While these services don’t typically cost you any money to use, anyone that uses a number of them knows just how much time they can cost you. Some people are so addicted to social media that huge chunks of the day are spent rifling through statuses and tweets.
The first thing you need to know is that social media is that it is not all the same. There are as many different ways to use social media as there are social media sites in existence. There are the social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn which work to connect people with other people and brands online. There are media sharing sites like YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat which allow people and businesses to find and share media online. There are discussion forums like Reddit and Quora, which are used to find, discuss, and share news, information, and opinions. There are consumer review networks like Yelp where people can post about their experiences at a venue or with a product. There are sharing economy networks like Uber and Airbnb that connect interested consumers directly with a service. In fact, any app that connects people with people, places, and things, is considered social media.
With so many options, you can see why people are having a hard time managing all of them. Today, there are tools that can cut down on the time that you use social media by amalgamating the social media sites you use together in an easy-to-use interface. Apps like Hootsuite, Buffer, SocialOomph, and Friends+Me make it easy to manage all your social media, and cut down on the time you are looking at your friends’, colleagues’, and family’s online shenanigans.
With technology taking over the world that we know it, finding ways for it not to cost us much is important. How do you manage your personal technology? Leave your methods in the comments section below.