Top 5 money-sucking technologies
Top 5 money-sucking technologies
4:13

Top 5 money-sucking technologies

Culture
Technology is a lot of fun. A new phone, a new app, a new smart TV. But if you?re not careful, technology can also be a quick way to go bankrupt. When you?re up to you neck in credit card debt, the idea of selling it all and forsaking technology for life on a communal spinach farm starts to sound like a logical option. But before you change your name to Moon Tiger and find a new life off the grid, let?s see if we can do some damage control. I?m Donald Bell, and in today?s Top 5 we?re counting down the five ways your high-tech life is robbing you blind. Starting off at #5: Anti-virus software. Any gig where you get to exploit people?s fear for cash is bound to be pretty lucrative. So how do these guys get your money? By preloading security bloatware into off-the-shelf PCs and swooping in like a superhero when your ?late-night browsing? gets you into trouble. When the family computer is hemorrhaging pop-up windows of boobs and boners, $80 sounds like a small price to pay to make it all disappear. The good news is that there are some stellar free security programs out there from companies like Avast and AVG, so go download those and save yourself some money. At #4: Printers. I really can?t think of any other technology that gets me more worked up than ink jet printers. Not only are they an eyesore and a huge pain to set up, but they need constant feeding and attention. You run out of blue ink, you have to replace the whole color cartridge at $30 a pop. Your printer head gets clogged -- Have fun priming the pump and wasting half your ink in the process. You?re probably blowing $150 year on ink just so you can print out the occasional family photo as a last-minute treat for Grandma. Save the money and the hassle by printing photos using those self-serve machines at the pharmacy, and if you need to print documents, a low-cost black and white laser printer will probably give you years of service before it needs a new cartridge. Coming in at # 3: digital subscriptions. In some ways these are the worst. It's like being covered in tiny leeches you have to burn off one by one. Netflix, Hulu, iTunes Match, Spotify, Xbox Gold, Amazon Prime, it?s gotten out of hand. Now, some of these you probably use day to day, but I'm willing to bet that you have at least one digital subscription that you've totally forgotten about and is just getting fat and happy sucking on the teat of your credit card, funding some corporate fat cat's down payment on a midlife crisis convertible. If you?re trying to stop the bleeding, digital subscriptions are a death by 1,000 cuts. At # 2: cell phone service. If you don't feel screwed on your cell phone bill every month, you're not paying attention. Americans are paying around $100 or more on their monthly cell phone bill, which let's admit it, is now a smartphone bill because basic phones are only around for drug dealers and grandparents. We literally need these phones to communicate now, Pay phones have disappeared, no one has landlines anymore, and have you ever had someone ask to borrow your cell phone to make a call? It?s weird. I'd rather french kiss this guy* than let some stranger use my phone. We NEED our phones, but $100 a month is basically a tax on humanity at this point. ? It?s almost as ridiculous as this next wallet vampire. At #1: cable. Cable TV. Cable internet. Cable telephone that you never really use but had to agree to in order to get the bundle price. Few corporations have bent over the American people further than cable companies. Which is why it's no surprise that there's a growing movement of people cutting the cord. I mean, cell service is criminal, but at least it's for something you have on you all day. For the 24/7 blast of high speed internet and hundreds of TV channels you pay to get piped into your home, you probably use about 1% of it. It?s silly, but what else are you going to do? They?ve got you two ways. If you can find a convenient and LEGAL way to shake loose, you let me know. Alright, now you know five ways The Man is getting at your money. If you feel my pain, let me know over at Top5.CNET.com. I?m Donald Bell, thanks for watching.

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