Are you familiar with the sensation of FOMO? It stands for “fear of missing out”, and it was added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary way back in 2016, proving that we’ve been dealing with this unpleasant phenomenon for quite some time now. As you might expect, FOMO refers to the feeling that you’re not being included somehow. Maybe it’s because you’re not being invited to parties. Perhaps you’re seeing glamorous images pop up on your social media and wishing you were a part of them.
One of the most devastating ways we can feel FOMO in the modern world is to see everyone else enjoying technology we can’t afford. The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X gaming consoles are in high demand right now; so much so that they’re selling out, in fact. If we see someone playing games on one of these machines, we feel jealous because we wish we were in their shoes. That’s FOMO at play, but it doesn’t need to strike you if you’re on a budget. Here’s how you can afford the latest tech without breaking the bank!
Sell your old tech
Far too many people leave their old technology lying around when they upgrade their phones or other devices. You can often get a fair amount for your old smartphone, tablet, or laptop, so consider selling them if you want a little extra cash. While you can sell these devices online, there are also still plenty of high street shops that will take them, so make sure you shop around in order to find the best deal you can. Often, the amount you’re offered will vary from place to place, so don’t be afraid to ask for quotes from multiple sources!
Ask friends and family to borrow some cash
Depending on how your friends or family members’ finances are looking, they may be willing to help you out with some money if you’re after some new tech. There’s an art to approaching friends and family if this is the avenue you decide to go down; be upfront with them, tell them exactly how you plan to repay the money, and be sure to accept their answer if they don’t want to or can’t provide any assistance for you. This is generally a better option if the tech you want is essential to your life in some way rather than just consumer or lifestyle tech.
Take out a loan
No matter who you are or what your circumstances may be, you can guarantee that there will be a loan available out there for you. Whether it’s an unsecured or secured loan provided by a bank or any other kind of lender, there are plenty of loans with agreeable terms and reasonable repayment plans that you can take advantage of. You’ll even find loans for people on benefits if there’s a piece of tech that you desperately need and it can’t wait. If you know you’ll be able to make repayments, then it’s worth thinking about taking out a loan to cover the costs of whatever tech you’re after.
Pick up a side hustle
You’d be amazed just how many jobs there are out there for people who need some extra money. Whether it’s tutoring, guest blogging, or even working with Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service (don’t knock it – it can actually be pretty lucrative!), working a side job can help to bolster your income enough that you feel confident buying new consumer technology. All you need to do is make sure that your new side job doesn’t clash with your main source of income and that you don’t get burned out working multiple jobs at once.
Rent out one of your rooms
Renting out rooms is becoming a more and more popular way for people to get some extra scratch. If you live in a house you own and you’ve got a room or two going spare, then why not rent them out to lodgers? Of course, there are safety protocols you’ll need to follow if you want to do this, but there’s no reason you can’t open up your home to others and make a little cash in the process. If you get enough visitors, the income you receive from this can quickly add up, and you’d be amazed how much it can help you in both the short- and long-term when it comes to finances.
Go for budget options
No matter what area of consumer tech you’re interested in, there’s bound to be a budget option you could plump for instead of the flagship. Want to buy a next-gen console without splashing out? Go for the Xbox Series S or PS5 Digital Edition (provided you can get hold of them, of course) instead of their pricier counterparts. Need new components for your gaming PC? You’ll almost certainly find that there are budget-conscious ways to pick these up, too. Budget avenues exist in every single tech category, so shop around and find the best one for you!
It sounds like an obvious solution, but you’d be amazed at just how few people have savings. If you’re in a financial position to accrue some extra cash in your account, make sure you’re doing so; savings can be seriously helpful when you’re in a tight spot, but they can also be a good place to turn when you want to buy something new and you don’t have cash coming in on a regular basis. Set aside a small amount of your income each month (assuming you can, of course) and keep doing so until you can afford what you want. Trust us: the time will fly by after the first month or two.