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Gadgets your budget will love

Gadgets your budget will love

Many Australian households are feeling the pinch of higher household costs and research shows that most are taking sensible steps to make money stretch further.

To help you get ahead, we’ve rounded up five affordable tech gadgets designed to save you money.

TrackMySpend app

Cost: Free

Investment regulator the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) reckons the average Australian household spent $1290 each week on general living costs in 2012. Yet only 54 percent of us know exactly what the money is spent on – that’s scary stuff!

ASIC’s Robert Drake said, “We suspect many households end up misdirecting thousands of dollars each year because they are not keeping track of where their money goes.”

One solution could be ASIC’s free ‘TrackMySpend’ app available on iTunes. Use it to record expenses on the go, set (and stick to) spending limits and find opportunities to save.

nPower PEG Personal Energy Generator

Cost: Approximately $US129.95

Never pay for batteries again. The nPower PEG (personal energy generator) captures and stores the kinetic energy created from walking, with a port that lets you transfer the energy to personal electronics like your mobile phone or MP3 player.

Waterpebble

Cost: Around $19.95

The Waterpebble is a tech toy designed to help you save water. It memorises the length of your first shower, then lets you know when to turn off the tap in subsequent showers with a series of ‘traffic’ lights, progressively reducing the allotted time to encourage shorter showers.

Energy monitoring sockets

Cost: From around $25

Discover which appliances around the home are driving up your energy bill. Just plug an appliance into the energy monitoring socket and see how much power it’s consuming and how much it will cost over a year. Check out some ideas at www.efergy.net.au.

Online comparison tools and calculators

Cost: Free

It’s amazing to think that not so long ago it was almost impossible for consumers to compare the cost of financial products without considerable legwork or phoning around. Online comparison sites and calculators, such as RateCity.com.au, have changed all that, putting purchasing power directly back in the hands of everyday Australians.

RateCity CEO, Alex Parsons said, “RateCity’s comparison tables give consumers fingertip access to the costs, features and benefits of a vast range of financial products. It’s giving all Australians the opportunity to get a better deal.”

When you’ve found the product that’s right for your needs, online calculators show how to get even further ahead. RateCity’s calculators for instance, show how much you could save with additional loan repayments or how much better off you’d be with a higher rate on your savings account.

To compare home loans, credit cards and savings accounts on the market today, visit www.ratecity.com.au.

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