Advertiser Disclosure
X

Advertiser Disclosure: The credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which MoneyCrashers.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site, including, for example, the order in which they appear on category pages. MoneyCrashers.com does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers, although best efforts are made to include a comprehensive list of offers regardless of compensation. Advertiser partners include American Express, Chase, U.S. Bank, and Barclaycard, among others.

By

Views

1.2K

Shares

11

Dig Deeper

23,635FansLike
21,275FollowersFollow
38,034FollowersFollow

Become a Money Crasher!
Join our community.

How Technology Has Changed Our Financial Lives And Affected Society For The Worse

Views

1.2K

Shares

11

Advertiser Disclosure: This post includes references to offers from our partners. We receive compensation when you click on links to those products. However, the opinions expressed here are ours alone and at no time has the editorial content been provided, reviewed, or approved by any issuer.

These days you can use your credit card or debit card just about anywhere. There’s even the technology to swipe credit cards using your cell phone! Imagine the neighborhood kid with a lemonade stand sporting the Visa or MasterCard logos asking “Will that be cash or charge?” Pretty soon you won’t be able to use the excuse “I don’t have any cash on me” to fend off the Girl Scouts selling cookies at your door. Technology is making the use of credit and debit cards more and more convenient each year, but what is the cost of this convenience? To the average consumer, the obvious cost comes in the form of increased spending.

Sign up for the Capital OneĀ® SavorĀ® Cash Rewards Credit Card now and get a $300 bonus after spending $3k within 3 months. Unlimited 4% cash back on dining & entertainment, 2% at grocery stores, 1% everywhere else.
Find out how to apply here.

According to Dave Ramsey, author of the bestselling book, Financial Peace, a person will spend about 12%-18% more per month with a credit card than they would have if they used cash. And now that cards contain chips and other technology that allow you to wave the card instead of swiping it, this can cause you to spend an additional 9%!

I’m not implying that the technology itself is bad. I do, however, question the motives behind new technology when it applies to my spending habits. The easier it is to buy something, the more likely I’ll buy on impulse. The more places there are that can accept credit cards, the more likely I’ll spend money even when I’m out of cash. Is it just me, or does it seem that “new technology” is somehow designed to separate you from your money?

Let’s consider some other recent technological advances that negatively affect your financial bottom line.

4 Expensive Technological Advances

1) Satellite Radio – For a monthly subscription cost, I can listen to my favorite radio personalities bypass the FCC regulations and say anything they want. The variety of channels is enormous and the quality of the broadcasts is phenomenal. The only problem is, I’m hardly ever in my car. Also, wasn’t radio meant to be free?

2) Cable/Satellite TV – Same principle. Gone are the days of rabbit ears and static. I can’t think of anybody I know who is watching free television anymore. The most popular shows are on the cable networks anyways. My advice? Cancel cable and stop watching TV to save a ton of money. It’s not as necessary as you think it is!

3) Digital Video Recorders (DVR) – You can get a decent VHS recorder for about $20 to record shows. Compare that to a DVR which costs an additional $10 per month on your cable or satellite service per unit! I must admit though, it is very convenient to record a whole series with one push of a button. Still, it’s not enough for me to justify the ongoing cost.

4) Smartphones – Most people these days have high-speed Internet at home, but then pay for it a second time to have Internet capabilities on their phone too. In fact, most of the popular smartphones, like the iPhone 4, require an Internet package for up to an additional $30 per month. It sure is convenient, but the costs are astronomical.

 

I really do like new technology, but I can see how easy it is to get carried away with it too. If you’re overpaying on conveniences like these, consider these cost-saving alternatives:

Save Money With These Alternatives

1) Netflix Streaming – Instead of a high subscription cost for premium cable channels and a DVR, why not use Netflix “streaming” and watch movies and TV shows using WiFi or your PlayStation 3. It’s $10-$15 dollars per month instead of $50-$130 per month. The catch is that you have to wait for shows to come out on DVD and for Netflix to allow them to be “streamed.” But you can still pause, fast forward, and rewind just like a DVR. I think it’s worth waiting when you can save that much money. Be patient!

2) Using Cash – Instead of swiping your debit card and credit card (or waving them), use cash. For things you already buy, you’ll spend less money overall. Better yet, if you use a cash envelope system, you’ll have limits on how much you can spend on gas, food, and entertainment. This will prevent the overspending associated with using a credit or debit card.

3) Cheaper Internet Options – Depending on your provider, you probably are paying for more Internet than you need. Some companies offer multiple high-speed bandwidth options and it’s very likely that the cheapest one is good enough for your family. Often, the lowest tier of high-speed Internet can be half the price of the highest tier, which is often the default option on your Internet package. If you’re considering going way down to dial-up, I wouldn’t recommend this unless you’re really strapped for cash.

Final Thoughts

In short, while technology can certainly make our lives easier, there is significant cost for that convenience. For me, I’m content with what I have: A non-smartphone with talk and text, the lowest tier high-speed Internet, basic cable, and a cash envelope system to keep my spending within budget.

What about you? Do you pay too much for technology convenience when there are lower cost or free alternatives with which you could easily get by?

(Photo Credit: Shutterstock)

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

David Bibby
David Bibby currently lives in Palm Bay, FL with his wife Catherine and two daughters. David is a Christian, writer, and programmer. He became interested in personal finance at age 20 while working for a credit union. He owns and operates numerous websites on topics ranging from finances to marriage help.

Comments Disclosure: The below responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

  • Next Up on
    Money Crashers

    Types Common Craigslist Scams

    7 Types of Common Craigslist Scams to Watch Out for

    It used to be that when you wanted to find an apartment for rent, buy a used car, or pick up used, secondhand items...
    Bank Account Promotions

    41 Best New Bank Account Promotions & Offers – November 2019

    It's possible to make $100s just by opening up a bank account. But sorting through the best offers can be tricky. At Money Crashers, we...

    Latest on
    Money Crashers

    Sign Up For Our Newsletter

    See why 218,388 people subscribe to our newsletter.

    What Do You Want To Do
    With Your Money?

    Make
    Money

    Explore

    Manage
    Money

    Explore

    Save
    Money

    Explore

    Borrow
    Money

    Explore

    Protect
    Money

    Explore

    Invest
    Money

    Explore