A Few More New Tips

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Some more tips to save us time and money.

A.   Shop around before purchasing your cell phone and other tech devices.  Major wireless carriers charge inflated prices for their cell phones, then knock down the price if you sign up for an iron-clad plan of a year or two or more. Even if you’re an existing customer of a carrier, you can purchase upgraded phones from a third party retailer, such as Amazon or Wirefly, that will work with your phone plan. The same goes for computers, tablets, and other technology products: Before you buy it straight from the brand-name company, peruse the world wide Internet to see if you can’t get a better deal on a site like Newegg, which also offers user reviews.

B.  Avoid paying extra for 4G on your laptop or tablet by enabling the hotspot on your smartphone.
Clearly, phone companies will charge you for as many things as they can get away with. Avoid the $10 or $20 per month fee to include your laptop or tablet on your data plan by using your smartphone as a hotspot and connecting your other devices via Wi-Fi. If you’re not on a data plan that includes a hotspot feature, use free software like Fox.Fi (available in Google Play for Android) to connect your devices.

C.   Avoid extended warranties.
Almost all technology products come with an automatic warranty from the manufacturer. But retailers will often attempt to goad you into paying for additional coverage in the form of a store-sponsored “extended warranty.” Say no. Most products don’t break within the three-year warranty period anyway, so it’s wasted money.

D.   Be a loyal and daily reader of tech websites and blogs
The industry changes daily, and it’s your job to keep on top of trends and technologies. Some of the best reading out there is on Lifehacker, CNET, Engadget, Gizmodo, Ars Technica, and PC Magazine.

E.  Invest in a good office chair.
If you spend your day in front of a computer, it is essential that you invest in a comfortable, properly supportive office chair. To avoid backaches, headaches, and other discomforts, read up on the ergonomics of office chairs (spine-health.com has a good starting article) and spend a Saturday afternoon shopping around to find the best option for your body. Lifehacker has a nice round-up of recent favorites.

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