Easy tricks that could save you $3,000 a year on your tech bill

Experts reveal how to slash your home tech budget by up to a third!

Single mum of two Angie Swindon admits her family is tech obsessed– using an Xbox, Apple TV, watch Netflix and using three laptops, two iPads and four iPhones. But while Swindon, and her children Rex and Greta, might have access to all the best technologyl, it’s not doing her hip-pocket any favours.

“If you do ever look at the credit card at the end of the month and see what you spent, you nearly have a heart attack,” Swindon told A Current Affair.

With phone and internet bills, gaming and streaming subscriptions, A Current Affair estimated the Swindon family is forking out more than $8,200 a year on tech bills!

After looking at her estimate, A Current Affair offered to get an expert in to help Swindon and her family try to save thousands on her annual bills. One thing is clear — this mum is spending more than she needs to on devices.

“We all need it, we think we all need it, but it’d be good to save some money on it,” Swindon said.

The Melbourne single mum can spend more than $600 a month on phone and internet bills — which includes paying for movie downloads through Apple TV and a premium Netflix subscription so that four people can watching different their own favourite shows on different screens, at once.

Plus, Swindon’s son Rex is a keen gamer who plays games on his Xbox that are all connected to the internet and give you the option of buying extra features while playing. And even when you don’t include the cost of the gadgets themselves, the Swindon’s are forking out a small fortune on tech-bills.

A Current Affair calculated that the Swindon family is spending more that $8,200 a year on technology — a figure that shocked Angie Swindon.

A Current Affair called in finance guru Scott Parry from Crown Money Management to go through the Swindon family’s tech spend to see where it may be possible to make some savings.

First up, Parry suggested reducing the number of devices around the house. The Swindon family are clearly Apple fans, but Parry explained that there’s no need to feel pressured to buy the latest technology. And you can also sell some of the pieces that aren’t essential.

Parry said that while everyone needs their own phone, the Swindon family has four iPads, which don’t allow users to do much more than it’s possible to achieve with an iPhone.

However, he said that Swindon’s biggest savings would come from moving her phone plans to pre-paid* when their contracts expire, and swapping internet providers.

Currently – she’s paying for a capped broadband plan, meaning she gets charged every time the family goes over the download limit.

Parry said his top tip for the Swindon family was to get onto an unlimited data plan for the whole household. He suggested this could save the family at least 30% off their technology bills — thousands of dollars for the family rather than the providers!

Parry also suggested using second-tier providers – like TPG*, iiNET* or dodo* – which all offer unlimited data plans, with deals as low as $29.90 a month*.

As for the family’s other, smaller charges — like the movie downloads, Xbox and Netflix — Scott recommends only having one streaming service, with the standard package, and turning to technology to help with budgeting.

“There are some great apps out there such as Pocketbook or My Prosperity where you can set a budget for that actual technology space, groceries, whatever it may be and anytime you go over that budget, the app will alert you via text, or a pop-up notification on the app,” Parry said.

Phillip Slade from Suncorp said that recent research from the company revealed Aussie parents paid an average of $3,000 for technology bills and devices in the past year.

With our digital lives and trying to keep up with our next door neighbours I think that is putting us into a trap,” Slade told A Current Affair.

According to the data — household have an average of six devices to connect to the internet. Plus, close to half of our time online is spent watching streamed entertainment.

Almost all the participants in the study used the internet for emails and banking – while two in three paid bills online.

Those aged 35-44 were most likely to buy a smart watch – and under 25s were most reliant on free wifi when outside the home.

And while there’s a huge reliance on tech these days, if the Swindons follow Parry’s advice — they’re likely to be on track to slash their tech bill by close to three thousand dollars annually.

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