Technology

This is how your cell phone and your apps are “stealing” money: how to avoid it

Sé  be smarter with your apps and avoid these 5 “dumb ways”  of losing money.  Photo: Getty Images.

Be smarter with your apps and avoid these 5 “dumb ways” to lose money. Photo: Getty Images.

  • With the cell phone it is very easy to waste money on articles, apps and subscriptions

  • Expert Kim Komando recommends reviewing what you use well

  • Point out 5 “dumb mistakes” that you should not make with your mobile

With the rapid advancement of technology and the culture of consumerism, now anyone can not only fall victim to common scams, but also waste money on totally unnecessary items, apps and subscriptions.

Even Kim Komando, a tech-savvy columnist and host, is surprised at how often she’s asked about those expenses. “Makes sense. There is always something new and shiny to buy,” she said on her blog.

“We spend a lot of money on gadgets,” wrote the 54-year-old journalist, who has a weekly show where she gives tips on gadgets, smartphone apps and internet safety.

Komando advises keeping “the savings train running”, especially at times like the present, where inflation in the United States barely gave a slight respite in April, falling to 8.3%.

Among the five costly “dumb mistakes” consumers could be making is, for example, paying for widely used apps like Photoshop or Word.

1. You pay more for photo editing and redaction apps

“Sometimes talented developers create useful applications that work just as well as the most popular paid software,” recalls Komando, who recommends considering other options such as LibreOffice, Focus Writer or Google Docs “as an alternative to Microsoft Word.”

With Photoshop it is more complicated, because it provides a powerful package of services and facilities for its subscribers. If you are a professional photographer, this popular app is obviously an excellent option, although “you may not need everything it offers”.

Another cheaper option, according to the expert, is Canva software for quick editing of photos and graphics. For $0.00, with Canva you get access to over 250,000 templates, dozens of social media designs, and 5GB of cloud storage.

He also recommends using the free and open source software GIMP, which he considers “a solid Photoshop copycat.”

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If you're not careful, your phone can become a bottomless black hole and you'll lose a lot of money.  Photo: Getty.

If you are not careful, your mobile can become a bottomless black hole through which you will lose a lot of money. Photo: Getty.

2. You forget to cancel before the free trial ends

Free trials are great for enjoying a season of a show or watching a movie, “but only if you remember to cancel before you’re charged,” says Komando.

Some good practices to remember to cancel can be to assess if you really use the service a lot: if not, cancel immediately. Also, you can create a reminder in your phone or calendar app about a week before your trial expires.

3. You are not aware of promotional codes

“If you’re shopping online without a browser extension or a third-party site to get discounts, you’re paying too much,” he said.

Extensions like Capital One Shopping provide easy coupon codes that are instantly applied to your cart at checkout.

On Amazon, for example, prices continually fluctuate up and down. If you don’t check the price of an item for a while, you won’t know if the price is currently high or low. Another good extension, CamelCamelCamel, is dedicated to monitoring those prices and alerting you to the best time to buy.

Hand holding smart phone with discount coupon code on screen over blur supermarket background, on line shopping ,business, E-commerce, technology and digital marketing background

Be smarter with your apps and avoid these 5 “dumb ways” to lose money. Photo: Getty Images

CamelCamelCamel “basically does everything for you except buy the item,” the journalist noted.

On the other hand, the Honey extension -in the boom among the youngest- can help you search for coupons in more than 30,000 websites. It can also automatically apply discounts right when you make the payment.

You can even set up a Google alert if there’s a specific product you want, especially if you’re making a big purchase. To do that: Go to Google.com/alerts, and type in the product name and a keyword like “sale” or “discount.”

4. You pay for too many apps

If you’ve ever signed up for an app that only charges a few dollars a month and thought it was a good idea, Komando remembers that over time those monthly fees can add up. And if you buy several, the expense accumulates more.

“You should regularly check what you are paying for and make sure you still need it,” he wrote.

To see all the paid apps from the iPhone, you need to review your subscriptions in the App Store and cancel the ones you don’t use. On Android, you can do the same thing by clicking Manage Google Account and updating the Payments and Subscriptions section one by one.

5. Cheap is expensive, save carefully

It happens a lot when we buy imitation cables and chargers that usually break within a few weeks. The informal market and some unofficial stores widely sell these types of items, which do not go through the necessary quality filters.

Group of smartphones charging on the glass table with sharing the same AC plug

Be smarter with your apps and avoid these 5 “dumb ways” to lose money. Photo: Getty Images

“Cheap charging cables can be dangerous. A girl woke up in her bed on fire after her charger caught fire,” Komando recalled.

If you decide to buy a replacement phone charger or cable, it’s best to wait until you have enough money to buy an official or certified cable. “When it comes to third-party options, go with a reputable company like Anker or Belkin,” he added.

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