Smart tech is all around us. More and more smart tech gadgets are permeating our personal and professional activities, keeping us connected and helping to make our lives easier — but, as with most things, it comes at a price. When you’re closely tracking your spending, what are the must-haves you should budget for?
It’s all about picking the gadgets that will save you money in the long run. Here are some examples of smart tech that are worth investing in.
1. Smart thermostats and lights
Smart tech starts at home. Consider it a way to be constantly aware of the needs of your house, including those needs that regulate day-to-day functions resulting in monthly expenses, like heat and electricity use. For this, there are sensors you can install in your home that consistently run “pulse-checks” on the various parts of your house.
Smart thermostats significantly reduce energy costs by working with smart temperature sensors and automatically regulating the heat in your home. They can be programmed to recognize when you’re not there, automatically adjusting your home’s temperature so you’re not wasting energy or money. Some thermostats can even adjust by room depending on activity.
Smart light bulbs, made with energy-saving LED bulbs, can be set to turn on or off at certain times or automatically when someone enters or exits. This ensures you’re not burning electricity when no one’s around to need the light. Or, you can set them to turn on when you’re out of town to make it look like someone’s home — no need to buy vacation timers. Some can also be set to reduce blue light at certain hours, offering you a wake-up call in the day and a better night’s sleep at night, as well as protection for your priceless eyesight.
2. Smart windows and doors
When you install smart sensors on windows and doors, these multifunctional tools can help you save money — and protect your safety. Such sensors can notify you if windows or doors are left open, letting heat escape or forcing the air conditioner to work overtime. Forget to lock the front door? Smart door locks allow you to lock it remotely from your phone, or you can unlock it remotely for a guest or delivery person. Window locks can trip an alarm if one breaks or opens a window when you’re not home, offering another level of added security. Smart doorbells with video streaming are like remote peepholes — you can see who’s there even when you’re not. This lets you protect yourself and your property by getting a jump on package thieves or would-be intruders.
For parents of small children, motion sensors installed in doorways can help keep little ones safe by sounding a chime if a child crosses a barrier. Security systems can take motion detection to the next level, sounding an alarm if an intruder enters the home. Some of these can be programmed to ignore the motion of small pets.
3. Smart water sensors
Few things cause a homeowner’s headache — and a dent in the wallet — like frozen pipes or a water leak, which can lead to greater pains, such as mold damage, carpet replacement, and drywall removal. Water leak sensors can detect problems from a trickle to a Level 10 gusher that threaten to flood the basement. When these sensors detect the leak, they’ll send you a notification so you can fix the problem right away.
If all you need to do is make occasional phone calls, you don’t need a smartphone. But the reality is, as you know, functioning in today’s world requires much more in terms of daily communication and activity, and it’s so much easier with a smartphone. It’s a multifunctional tool that offers much more than a calling plan.
Many workplaces are using company-wide mobile employee apps for collaboration, organization, tracking, and/or motivation. Smartphones come with free navigational tools, letting you find the most efficient (and gas-saving routes) to your destinations. Those smart tech gadgets you’ve installed in your house can be regulated through your smartphone. And smartphones come with built-in cameras for still and video shots, so you can avoid the cost of having to buy a new camera every few years. If you prefer your photos printed, many online sites offer free prints with a smartphone app.
A smartphone can cost hundreds of dollars to more than a thousand, so the trick is buying one that meets your needs, taking care of it, and forgoing shiny new models in favor of using the one you have for several years.
Each day there are more kinds of smart gadgets offering us varying levels of added convenience and assistance. Taking a close look at the potential ways they can lead to savings over the long haul can help you decide which ones are worth the investment.
Image via Unsplash