There are plenty of gadgets out there that will entertain and amaze you, but what about a gadget that can do something we’re all trying to do more of – save money. Plus, top 10 gadgets are must have gadgets that won’t just be able to save you money, they’ll also still be unique and amazing too.
If you wanted to have a video monitoring system set up to enhance security at your place, a professionally installed system could cost you up to $2,000. However, you can make your own video monitoring system with a few affordable gadgets, and save yourself that money.
To make a monitoring system you can use to view your house while you are away, or at work, you simply need enough web cams to capture the places you want to watch, some wiring and some free software which you can easily download from the internet. To allow you to check your home from wherever you are, and record the film for archiving, you will need to connect your system to a wireless router. This system won’t cost you more than $200 and could cost as little as $50 if you already have some of the equipment, saving you thousands compared to a professionally installed system.
2 – Digital photos
With digital cameras so small and easy to use, and high-resolution cameras on most mobile phones, you undoubtedly have a lot of your family’s important moments documented photographically. Instead of just saving these photos to your hard drive and forgetting about them, let your digital camera save you money by putting those photos to work.
You can buy photo paper for your home printer relatively inexpensively, plus many department stores have systems where you can very cheaply edit and print your own images. You can then turn your family snap shots into birthday, Christmas or Mothers’ Day gifts for example, blowing up photos to poster size, framing photos or making cards.
3 – Computer entertainment
You probably think of your computer as a gadget which costs you money, rather than one which can save you money, but when you look at all the entertainment options available on your home computer, you will start to find a myriad of ways to save. For example, you can go to the websites of your favourite television networks and watch TV shows and movies for free – and legally. You won’t have to pay for a cable connection and you can save on movie rentals.
4 – Internet calling
Get back on your computer to save even more money, this time on your phone bill. There are a number of free programs and systems which you can sign up to, to make calls over the internet for free. For example, if you sign up for a free Google Voice account you can send text messages and make and receive phone calls just by adding a headset. Skype may be better suited to your free-calling needs if you make a lot of international calls, and you can also use a webcam with your Skype account. By using your computer for all of your calls, you may even be able to do away with a landline phone all together.
5 – eReaders
Gadgets such as the iPad or the Tablet are more of a significant first investment, but if you look at the capabilities they have with regards to reading magazines, newspapers and books, you can cancel all of your subscriptions and purchase eBooks for a fraction of the price you’ll find in a book store. Plus, if you connect to a Wi-Fi network you won’t have to use up all the data allowance on your phone plan to download your reading materials.
6 – Coffee machine
Anyone who needs a regular caffeine hit knows that they can make their coffee for less than $4 a cup, but when you pass that cafe on your way to work, the temptation is hard to resist. That is unless you pass the cafe with a coffee already in your hand – one you have made at home with your own coffee machine. You probably have a coffee machine, percolator or even a plunger at home somewhere, and even if you don’t as you save on bought coffee costs each day, your gadget will pay for itself very soon.
7 – Flash drive
You can purchase a simple flash drive, or USB memory stick for as little as $20 to save you on the cost of CDs and DVDs to use as backups, or the even more significant cost of an external hard drive. You will also save time with your files all easily accessible on one drive, plus you can keep using your flash drive by deleting the old backups and replacing them with new ones, unlike CDs or DVDs which can be burned to only once.
8 – Sensor lights
Many people have sensor lights in their driveway so they can find their way to the door safely when getting home late, but what about inside. Adding an automatic lights out switch to your internal lights can save you yelling ‘who left the lights on in here’ when you walk into yet another empty, but flood lit room. Sensor lights can be set to turn off in 1, 5, 15 or 30 minutes after detecting movement so that you truly only use the lights in the rooms which are being used.
9 – Personal energy generator
Have you ever wondered how much energy you use running around all day at work, or after the kids? Well if everyone who owns a mobile phone used their own momentum to power their phones electricity needs would drop by 25.4 million kilowatts, which equates to the amount of power used by 21,000 households in a year.
With the Personal Energy Generator you can put it in your handbag, briefcase or backpack and the gadget will collect all of your kinetic energy, which you can later use to charge your phone, iPod or other mobile device. A Personal Energy Generator is an investment of around $150 but you will be saving on the power you use charging your devices, plus you’ll be saving the planet.
10 – Air purifying light bulb
We have all heard of energy-saving light bulbs, and many people have made the switch already, but the newest money-saving gadget is an energy-saving light bulb which also purifies your air. The light bulb lasts up to 10 times longer than a standard incandescent bulb and removes smoke, pet dander, odours and dust from the air. You will be paying around $20 for two bulbs, but you will be saving on your family’s health, and on power usage.
Author: Alban is a contributing author at Home Loan Finder, a home loan comparison website.