Awesome Ways Technology Can Help You Save A Fortune In Your Home

Saving money can be a challenge at the best of times, but there are some simple ways that technology can actually help you do this. If you don’t already know what these are, then it is a good thing that you have come across this post, because we are going to talk about a few of them down below. So, if you are interested in finding out how tech can save you some cash around your home, keep reading.

The Movies You Love

Firstly, are you spending an absolute fortune on buying DVD’s, Blu-Rays and now 4K movies for your family? It all adds up even if you are just buying one here and there. For example, if you want a 4K movie, you are going to be looking at paying around 20 for it. But, if you want to get around this, you can always use the internet to get these movies without paying massive amounts for them. A site like funkykit.com can tell you how to do this, and you will be able to grow your movie collection without feeling like you have lost half of your savings. Okay well maybe it isn’t quite that bad, but it certainly isn’t cheap!

Timer Plugs

If you have kids, you are going to know about the struggle to get them to turn the sockets off after they have used them. Have you heard of timer plugs? These handy little items plug into your socket, you can then plug the plugs into them, and they ensure that the socket gets turned off after a certain amount of time. This way, you know that your kids are not essentially going to be eating the electricity while they are not even using their devices. You can find out more about these at a site like https://www.screwfix.com.

Accounting Software

Are you having issues budgeting and staying within these lines? It can be hard when you aren’t sure the exact amount you have in certain areas. As such, you might want to look into getting some accounting software. This will mean that you can set a budget, figure out where all the money needs to go, what is left and so on. You will feel much more organized, and you are no longer going to be spending money that you don’t have.

A lot of the time, people are spending money that they don’t have because they are not effectively managing their funds. For this reason, accounting software is going to be a lifesaver.

Smart Meter

Finally, have you noticed that your electric bill has been creeping up and up slowly? Well, if it has then you might want to think about having a smart meter put into your home. This way, you can see how much you are using, and you can see what appliances are using the most amount of energy. Using this new information, you can find ways to cut your bill and save you some money each month.

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now have a good idea of some of the ways that technology can help you save a fortune in your home.

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9 Tech Gifts to Avoid

Sometimes, gift-giving can cause you as much anxiety as good cheer. For the most part, the anxiety manifests when it’s time to give out all of the gifts — after all, everyone likes to receive something, and most people like to give. But how do you know if you should give what you can afford, and if it will be good enough to convey good wishes?

When it comes to tech, for example, can you afford to get multiple people a game console? Are digital photo frames still en vogue? Although it’s the thought that counts, we think it’s still better to avoid certain gifts that might have been marketed elsewhere as good. Without further ado, here are almost two handfuls of tech gifts that you should pan.

1. Computers with Just the Basics

We felt the need to put this one first, because of the sheer popularity of computer deals that crop up once the holidays roll around. Obviously, you know just how essential a computer is in the modern environment, so this prohibition might at first seem curious to you. The problem is not with the computers, themselves, it’s the starting level that’s advertised as a steal. Computers with basic specs are all but useless for anyone who wants more than a word processor; 4GB of RAM limits the number of tabs you can have opened and still expect to work without lag. Always opt for at least one level above the entry specs when buying a computer for someone.

2. Virtual Reality Headsets for a Smartphone

This is a no-no; the cheap VR sets are the perfect example of the old adage “you get what you pay for.” If you want VR, then opt for the high-end ones such as Oculus Rift, the HTC Vive, or the Playstation VR. The cheap brands are simply taking advantage of the novelty of VR — don’t get caught in their snare.

3. Generic Smart Home Devices

This isn’t merely a quality issue — it’s also a safety issue. You do not want to risk the shoddy internet security of generic smart home devices; hackers have little trouble getting on those networks. You also want to go with a highly-regarded company in the event of power outages, so that you can recover your information easily on their robust servers and their customer support. Basically, then, avoid the startups and go with Google, Amazon, Nest, or Wink.

4. Headphones By Celebrities

Although these may not lack quality, make no mistake — it is you the consumer who is footing the bill for the celebrity to add her name to the product. You can ALWAYS get a better deal with headphones that work as well or better. Go with the tech company that is well-known for this kind of thing. Beats by Dre from Apple is an exception — but it’s just about the only one.

5. Digital Frames for Pictures

These sound like a good idea for a gift — until you realize that they come with almost no storage and bad software. Like with celebrity-endorsed headphones, go with brand name smart home devices such as Google’s Home Hub, a Lenovo Smart Display, or an Echo Snow.

6. Premium Cables

This refers to those gold-tinged HDMI cables with name brands; they are worth the marked-up price. Go with value brands instead — cables don’t have to have Amazon or SONY on them to perform their straightforward functions.

7. Electric Scooters and Skateboards

For these gifts, always go with the time-tested, popular brand. You cannot risk a battery failure with a substandard brand on a toy like this; many of them have been known to catch fire mid-ride. Go with Segway, Boosted Boards, or Acton because they go the extra mile in order to compete. This is why the price point is higher.

8. Cameras With Point-and-Shoot Options

First of all, in the days of multiple-megapixel smartphones and tablets, does any amateur actually need a camera at all? Especially if you have a late generation iPhone, Samsung Galaxy S9 series or Google Pixel — these blow those little $100 point and shoot cameras right out of the water. Simply put, cameras all by themselves are a thing of the past. These days, it only makes sense for professional photographers to invest in one.

9. Drones

This is a popular gift for teenagers and adults; but they suffer seriously restrictions within city limits. You cannot just fly one willy-nilly. Even so, most of the drones on the market are pretty bad when it comes to battery life, range and shoddy Wi-Fi connection. You have to go with a brand name here — such as the Mavic Pro or DJI — if you even want a sniff at a capable, intelligent drone. Even so, it will cost you. Generally, avoid drones as a gift.

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Technology And The Internet: Keeping Your Children Safe And Informed

The birth of computers for domestic use, gradually seeped into everyone’s homes, schools and libraries across America as the advantages of having such an advanced piece of technology seemed to outweigh any known risks. With just a few decades of technology under our belts, the dangers have become more prominent in the media, and although we may consider ourselves as parents to be quite savvy in avoiding the digital world’s pitfalls, the kids may not possess the sense of awareness you have. This could make them vulnerable to digital world dangers. Which is why the pointers below highlight some of the risks and benefits to help keep them safe and informed in the virtual world.

Educate About Risks

You could begin by sitting them down to have a chat, maybe using your own PC/laptop/phone as an example to make the experience more interactive and walk through some of the dangers and solutions on the internet. However, use a bit of discretion to work out what’s age appropriate.

 

  • Spam email – Encourage kids not to give out their email at every opportunity and to limit it to close family and friends only, otherwise they may receive an influx of spam. Explain the difference between genuine and spam emails. For instance, opening and toying with spam email could allow viruses on to their computer or phone, causing it to stop functioning.
  • Cyberbullying – Showing them how to block/ban other people who are harassing or insulting them online is essential. Use the prevent cyberbullying extract from the government website for more information on this subject.
  • Social Media – Explain why it’s best to limit your personal info and pictures online and not to entertain friend requests or private messages from people they do not know.
  • Private Information – Encourage your children to keep their passwords in a safe place, and only share with you if they want to. Explain this will stop people gaining access to/controlling their accounts.

Educate About Benefits

Alongside a whole host of danger technology brings, there is also a long list of benefits that kids could use to their advantage.

 

  • Safety – Encourage your kids to look after their technology as one day they might need it to look after them. Phones, for example, could be a handy tool if they’re in danger, allowing them to call you or emergency services. Which is why every effort should be made to look after their technology and treat it with respect. Such as buying a protective phone case, phone stands to prevent dropping it when they’re trying to watch a Youtube video, screen protectors, laptop cases and so forth. To survey the top 10 stands for cell phones, the best phone cases, and screen protectors, there’s an abundance of protective equipment you can order online.
  • Knowledge and skills – A distinct point of children having technology is the world of knowledge it opens up to your children. Also using technology is advantageous in helping them to build computer skills, which are no longer desirable but essential in most jobs today.
  • Connecting – Using the internet can be a good way for kids to keep connected with friends and family, it can also be a way of you connecting with your children, such as playing co-op games together or watching funny Youtube videos.

 

As a parent, your worries are no longer limited to looking after your children in the real world but are extended to looking after them in the digital world too. By using the tips above to educate them on the risks, you can help them avoid technology/internet pitfalls and be cautious of danger..

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

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How Video Games Can Foster Childhood Magic

There’s quite a bit of connectivity between family and technology, and seeing as our kids are being raised in a digital world, it’s no wonder you’re introducing technology and all its wonders and dangers to them at a young age. But there’s some tech out there that can really help to foster the same sense of childhood magic you once had, and looking to the video game world to help you out might just be the best bet. So here’s a couple of reasons booting up a console and sitting down as a family to play is a great idea.

How many arcades out there still have these old school games? Why not bring these systems home?

Kids Can Learn In Easy Ways

Video games made for kids are made with the child mindset in mind. After all, you’ve got to know your audience in order to sell your game, and you’re going to want to be sure that kids are going to love whatever disc they boot up in their console. And that means all kinds of hard to teach and hard to learn themes are going to be present in these games, ready packaged in bite size pieces and easy to understand actions the player character can perform.

Maybe your child has trouble sharing – see if you can find them a video game that’ll help them to learn why this is a good thing. Maybe your child has issues with keeping clean and tidy; once again, there’s plenty of games out there that can make this kind of boring chore a lot of fun. And seeing as video games are a lot more interactive than simple TV programs or films, there’s a much better chance the behavior will settle into your child’s head. Isn’t that just a bit magic?

Via The Introduction of Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is something we’ve all heard about, and it’s something we’re all curious about. A VR headset, a fee cables to plug in here and there, a pair of special controllers, and you’re all ready to delve deeper into a video game, film, or TV program than you’ve ever been able to before. That’s an exciting idea to anyone who read about it!

But especially kids. Hearing that they can transported out of this boring world with school and homework, into another where they’re the hero of the universe, is going to be some welcome news. Being able to try out a would-be Real New World is a great way to tingle their imaginations, and get them more involved with their creative side, and hopefully give them a little bit more inspiration along the way. Kids love to be involved in important activities anyway, and this is a safe and fun way to foster that interaction.

Video games can be great for kids, as long as you know what they’re playing, how long for, and when to disconnect them from a virtual world. It’s up to you to foster their childhood magic!

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

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