For a columnist and host of a national tech-focused radio show, you might be surprised how often I get asked about money.
It makes sense. We spend a ton of money on gadgets, and there’s always something new and shiny. Before you jump into a new phone, give yours a thorough cleaning. You will be surprised at the difference it makes.
When you upgrade, don’t let your old technology sit. Sell it and earn money. Tap or click to find sites better than Craigslist for offloading computers, phones, wearables and more.
Let’s keep the savings train rolling. Here are five mistakes you could make that will cost you dearly:
1. You forget to cancel before the free trial ends
Free trials are great if you want to binge on a show season or watch a movie, but only if you remember to cancel before you’re charged. It’s easy to tell yourself you’ll remember, but most of us don’t.
Here are some rules to remember:
• If you don’t use the service much during the trial period or don’t think the price is worth it, cancel immediately. In most cases, you will have access for the remainder of the trial period.
• When you sign up, put a reminder in your phone or calendar app about a week before the trial expires. Also schedule a backup reminder the day before the trial ends.
Tap or click here to easily set a reminder on your Android, iPhone or Google Calendar.
2. You pay for a bunch of apps
Speaking of recurring subscriptions, you might have signed up for an app that only charges a few dollars a month. Of course, you thought. “I go to meditate every day, so it’s worth $2.99 a month! »
Over time, these monthly fees add up. You should check regularly to see what you’re paying for and make sure you still need it.
To see all the apps you pay for on your iPhone, follow these steps:
• Open the App Store app and log in if you aren’t already.
• Press your profile picture or initialsthen touch Subscriptions.
• Select the app you want to cancel and choose unsubscribe.
To see all the apps you pay for on an Android, follow these steps:
• Open your device screen Settings app.
• Faucet Google > Manage your Google account.
• To select Payments & subscriptions.
• Under Subscriptions, you’ll see a list of apps you’re paying for and the next date you’ll be billed.
• To cancel, press Manage subscriptions, then choose the app subscription you want to remove. Choose unsubscribe at the bottom of the page.
SAVE EVEN MORE: 5 apps that will save you money on things you already buy
3. You skimp where you shouldn’t.
Being cheap can be expensive. It’s easy to find charging cables that only cost a few dollars, but don’t expect them to last long.
Worse still, cheap charging cords can be dangerous. A girl woke up in her bed in flames after her charger caught fire. If you’re shopping for a replacement phone charger or cable, get an official or certified cable. As for third-party options, choose a reputable company like Anker or Belkin.
4. You pay for Photoshop and Word
Usually you get what you pay for. Sometimes, however, talented developers create useful apps that perform just as well as popular paid software.
Consider LibreOffice, Focus Writer or Google Docs as an alternative to Microsoft Word. Get direct links to these and other options here.
Photoshop is powerful, but you might not need everything it offers. Canva makes it easy to do photo editing and graphics quickly. GIMP is a solid Photoshop copier. Tap or click here to learn the pros and cons of all popular Photoshop alternatives.
Bottom line: Do your research before shelling out the money on an expensive program. Here are nine freeware copycats that work better than expensive programs.
5. You forget to check promotional codes
If you’re shopping online without using a browser extension or third-party site to help you get discounts, you’re paying too much.
• Capital One Shopping provides simple discount codes that apply instantly to your cart at checkout.
• Camelcamelcamel extension tracks price drops on Amazon, so you don’t have to cool off.
• Honey browser extension can help you search for coupons on over 30,000 websites. It can also automatically apply discounts as soon as you checkout.
You can even set a Google alert if you want a specific product. It’s worth it if you make a big purchase. To do this:
• Go to Google.com/alerts and sign in if you aren’t already.
• In the search box, enter the product name and a word such as “sale” or “discount”.
• Click the pencil icon to edit the alert. Here you can choose how often you want to receive alerts, sources, etc.
• To finish, click on Update Alert.
Looking for more tech tips? USA TODAY has you covered.
Grow your technological intelligence. Also listen to my podcasts.
PODCAST CHOICE:Apple Watch video calls, $30 Smart TV trick, free cable perks
Forgot to update your passwords? Now Google Assistant can take care of it for you. Additionally, TikTok will start sharing ad revenue with creators, and the new Apple Watch band will add video calling. In this episode, you’ll learn how to turn your old TV into a smart TV for $30. I’ll also share the best free perks you get with your cable subscription.
Check out my “Kim Komando Today” podcast on Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotify or your favorite podcast player.
Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for my last name, “Komando”.
Discover all the latest technology on the Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For his daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit his website at Komando.com.
The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of USA TODAY.