Consumers are finding ways to save money on home electronics without giving up their use.
ORLANDO, Fla. — Armando Triana, 27, loves his gadgets. He’s got an iPhone, an iMac, high-speed Internet and satellite TV service with a digital video recorder.
But he’s also got a mortgage and a newborn and has to deal with the economic crisis like everyone else. So he has scaled back on his technology spending to the tune of about $150 a month.
“You are spending less, but you have to work a little bit harder, which is fine,” said Triana, who works at a marketing agency. “I wish we could say we were putting (the money saved) away in savings, but I’m using it for gas to get to work, formula for the baby, just our basic necessities.”
With so much uncertainty about the economy, many are scrutinizing their monthly expenses for places to save money.
Most Read Business Stories
- 55,000 in Washington state may have to pay back thousands in jobless benefits
- 1 house, 45 offers: Homebuyers in Western Washington hard-pressed as supply remains scarce
- Boeing CEO gave up millions in pay; here's what he and other top execs earned
- Jeff Bezos gets fraction of legal fees from girlfriend’s brother
- Amazon's telehealth arm quietly expands to 21 more states
And one of the first places people turn is the money they spend on technology.
There are a lot of options for home entertainment, meaning some consumers have found ways to cut spending on TV without having to give up their favorite shows.
For instance, some are getting rid of cable all together and using a combination of over-the-air TV, watching shows on the Internet and renting DVDs from the library.
Others are choosing to upgrade existing electronics instead of buying new ones or to repair instead of replace other items.
But technology spending doesn’t always have to take a hit in a bad economy. In fact, some people are willing to shell out more money for gadgets if it means they can save in other areas.
A recent study from comScore found that more lower-income people were buying iPhones.
The reason might be that the phone “can replace other devices like an MP3 player, another computer or even a broadband connection,” said Jaimee Steele, spokeswoman for comScore.
Saving $153 a month
• Phone service. About six months ago, Triana got rid of Vonage as his home-phone service, and he and his wife are using their cellphones for all calls. Savings: $30 a month.
• Computer: Triana’s iMac is about 7 years old, and he had planned on replacing it with a new Mac laptop for about $1,200. Instead, he’ll spend about $200 adding more memory, a new keyboard and a new mouse to his iMac. Savings: $1,000 (about $83 a month).
• TV and Internet service: Triana switched from a bundle of high-speed Internet and basic-cable service with a DVR from Bright House Networks to a combination of satellite TV service from DISH Network and slower Internet service from Bright House. Savings: $40 a month.