It’s easy to overspend on consumer technology or buy products that won’t last long. For example, you don’t need to pay for Microsoft Office, and you shouldn’t waste money on cheap chargers. Click or tap to see five ways you’re wasting cash on tech.
Then there are all the subscriptions you pay for but don’t use. Streaming services are the culprit; there’s only so much time in a day, and you can’t watch everything. Tap or click my guide to watch your show for free.
You might not know that you can share various accounts with family and friends, or at least get a nice discount. this is not your fault. Tech companies don’t advertise this money-saving tip, you can thank me later.
Let’s start with Amazon
If you don’t have an Amazon Prime membership, you might not realize it’s more than free shipping. Click or click here to see my favorite perks. I recommend getting a 30-day free trial to make sure it’s worth it for you, as it’s not cheap.
Amazon Prime membership costs $14.99 per month or $139.99 per year. You can split the cost with a friend or family member and still get all the benefits.
Amazon Household allows two adults to share digital content such as Prime benefits and e-books. Everyone has their own account, so you do want to keep some privacy. Remember, you will have access to each other’s payment methods. Only share your account with people you trust.
You can also add up to four teenagers (ages 13 to 17) to the plan for free. Each teen will get their own Amazon login, and all purchases in the program must be approved by an adult.
Visit amazon.com/myh/manage Create or manage your home.
When we talk about Amazon, the tech giant knows a lot about you. Prepare to be shocked. Here’s how to see it all.
Apple makes bundles cheaper
Apple One bundles Apple services for less than the monthly price you pay for each service individually. If several family members use iPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple TV, Apple Music and iCloud, the savings may be worth it.
• A personal Apple One plan costs $14.95 per month and includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade and 50 GB of Apple iCloud+ storage.
• The Family Plan is $19.95 per month. It includes all the same services and 200 GB of storage.
• The Premier plan is $29.95 per month and adds News+ and Fitness+, plus 2 TB of storage.
That’s where the savings come in: Family and Premium plans can be shared with up to five other people using Family Sharing, as long as they live in the same country. That’s right, you don’t need to live in the same household.
To set up Family Sharing on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch:
• go set up.
• tap your name.
• tap family sharing then click build your family.
• Follow the on-screen instructions to set up your family and invite your family members.
If you are a Google family member
Like Apple, Google offers an extended family plan with storage space that five people can share. Group members won’t be able to see each other’s files, but they will share storage and can see how much space others are using. All members must reside in the same country as the family manager.
Google Accounts provide 15 GB of storage space for free. Here’s the cost of upgrading to Google One for more capacity:
• The Basic plan with 100 GB of storage runs for $1.99 per month or $19.99 per year.You can also download from google expert.
• The Standard plan for 200 GB of storage is $2.99 per month or $29.99 per year. This tier gives you 3% cash back on Google Store purchases.
• The Premium plan is $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year for 2 TB of storage and 10% back on Google Store purchases.
Both Standard and Premium plans can be shared.To set up Family Sharing, go to family.google.com/families. Sign in with your Google Account and follow the on-screen instructions to add members.
Is your Google account locked? Are you sure? Tap or click for a quick and easy security check, which you should do every few months.
Also consider your phone bill
Most mobile providers offer decent discounts for more lines you have under a single plan.
You can also take advantage of the discount if only one person in the plan is eligible. For example, with T-Mobile’s Affordable 55+ plan, only one person needs to be 55 or older. Full disclosure: T-Mobile is a sponsor of my national radio show.
The same goes for military and first responder discounts. Verizon works the same way. You only need one person in the program to qualify, members do not have to live under the same roof.
An easy way to spread costs
Now that you know what to share, what’s the best way to handle splitting subscription costs? The last thing you want to do is to hunt around for a few bucks a month. There are several options here:
• Let the application do the hard work: Similar apps split Helps you easily track and pay your share of expenses. This option is useful when you plan to split multiple bills.
• Turn off: It’s not feasible to switch payment methods every month, but maybe you and whoever you’re breaking up with can shut down once a year. You pay for one year for one particular service, and then another for one year.
• Leave payments unaffected: For services that cost just a few dollars a month after splitting, consider paying back your friends (or asking for the money) in a six-month or one-year lump sum payment. It’s much easier than remembering to send more than $6 a month.
Keep your technical knowledge going
My popular podcast is called “Kim Komando Today”. It’s a solid 30 minutes of tech news, tips and callers from all over the country with tech questions. No matter where you get your podcast, you can search for it. For your convenience, click the link below to view the most recent episode.
Podcast Picks: Update your iPhone, travel hacks, self-destruct emails
Listen to the latest tech talks in 30 minutes. It’s time to update your iPhone, Apple Watch and Mac. Also, if you run your own business, Cameo is a smart idea: use celebrities for marketing. Once you use an electronic luggage tag, your flight will never be the same again. I’ve got the inside scoop on this life-changing travel hack — and which airline is using it.
Listen to the podcast here Or anywhere you get podcasts. Just search for my last name “Komando”.
Learn about all the latest technologies The Kim Comando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and advises on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacking. For her daily tips, free newsletter, and more, visit her website: Komando.com.
The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of USA TODAY.