Personal Finance

How Has Technology Affected Society

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 4 minute read

These days, you can pay for almost anything with a credit card or debit card. Credit card readers for mobile devices are already a reality. Just picture a youngster in your neighborhood selling lemonade from a stand adorned with logos for major credit card companies and asking, “Will that be cash or charge?” In the not-too-distant future, “I don’t have any cash on me” won’t cut it when Girl Scouts come knocking to sell cookies.

Each year, technology makes it easier to use plastic, but at what cost? The apparent expense to the typical customer is an increase in their total monthly expenditures.

Dave Ramsey, author of the best-selling book Financial Peace, claims that people will spend between 12 and 18 percent more each month when using credit cards rather than cash. Since cards now include chips and other technology that allows you to wave the card instead of swiping it, this can increase your spending by as much as 9%!

I am in no way arguing that technology is inherently evil. Still, when it comes to my own finances, I often wonder about the motivations behind such technologies. The more convenient it is to make a purchase, the more inclined I am to do it on the spur of the moment.

The greater the variety of businesses that take credit cards, the more inclined I am to go shopping even if I don’t have any cash on hand. Do you feel the same way as I do, that “new technology” is geared at taking your money?

Let’s take a look at some more cutting-edge developments in tech that have the potential to harm your bottom line.

4 High-Cost Technological Advances

  1. By paying a monthly fee to a satellite radio service, I can hear my favorite radio hosts say whatever they want, without having to worry about being censored by the Federal Communications Commission. Extremely numerous options are available, and those available are of superb quality. The only catch is that I rarely use my automobile. Plus, I thought radio was supposed to be ad-free?
  2. The same applies to cable or satellite television. Rabbit ears and static are so last century. No one I know watches television for free anymore. The most watched programs are only on cable. To sum up my recommendation: If you want to save a lot of money, you should probably cut the cable and quit watching TV. You don’t need it as much as you believe you do!
  3. DVRs, or digital video recorders, capture and store video footage digitally. A good VHS recorder is available for under $20 and is perfect for capturing TV episodes. Instead than paying an extra $10 per month for a DVR with your cable or satellite subscription, you’d be better off saving your money. Yet, I can’t deny that being able to record a whole season with just a single click is quite handy. Still, I can’t see how it’s worth the continuous expense.
  4. Most individuals today not only pay for high-speed Internet service at their homes, but also for their smartphones, which often include Internet access. In reality, the majority of today’s top handsets, including the iPhone 4, call for an Internet service costing an extra $30 monthly. Although it’s really handy, the price tag is through the roof.

Yes, I enjoy cutting-edge electronics, but I also see its potential for abuse. There are cheaper options available if you find yourself overspending on such luxuries.

These Alternatives Will Help You Save Money

  1. Netflix “streaming”: Instead of paying a lot for premium cable channels and a DVR, you can view movies and TV series through WiFi or a PlayStation 3 and not have to worry about storing them. As opposed to the usual $50-$130, you’ll just be paying $10-$15 monthly. The drawback is that you can’t see the series until they are released on DVD and Netflix makes them available for streaming. On the other hand, you still have the same DVR-like pause, quick forward, and rewind capabilities. If you can put that much money aside by waiting, then I say it’s time well spent. The wait will be worth it.
  2. Instead than using a debit or credit card reader (or waving a card about), pay with cash. Generally, you will save money on the products you currently buy. Use a cash envelope method to restrict your spending on necessities like transportation, food, and entertainment. Overspending is easier with plastic, but our solution eliminates that risk.
  3. Alternative Internet Service Providers That Offer Lower Prices Chances are, you’re Paying for More Bandwidth Than You Actually Use There are often a variety of high-speed bandwidth alternatives available from a given provider, and the one that costs the least might easily meet your family’s needs. The default option on your Internet service is generally the highest tier, despite the fact that the lowest tier might be half the price. I wouldn’t suggest dial-up unless you’re very desperate for cash, but I understand if you’re contemplating it.

Bottom Line

While it’s true that technology may make our lives simpler, there is a hefty price to pay for that ease. My non-smartphone talk-and-text capabilities, basic cable, the slowest possible high-speed Internet connection, and a cash envelope method for controlling my spending are all I need.

Curated posts

Someone from Wichita, KS just viewed Best Online Colleges for Cyber Security