How to Save Money for Gadgets by Cutting Daily Expenses

Have a weak spot for gadgets? So do we. But with today's high prices, you can't always afford the gear you want.

Or can you? We created a list of 5 daily expenses you can eliminate to help you save up for the kit you want. Whether you stick with it for one week or one month, you're guaranteed to wind up with extra cash in your pocket.

Savings Plan

Daily Expenses
Amount saved after
1 Week*
Amount saved after
2 Weeks
Amount saved after
3 Weeks
Amount saved after
4 Weeks
Amount saved after
2 Months
Amount saved after
3 Months
Lunch out
(at $3.78 / gallon)
One Pack of Cigarettes/Day***
Total Saved
*Week does not include weekends except for cigarettes.
**Assuming a $10 lunch (incl. tax & tip) versus $4 if you bring your own
***Based on $4.20 national average. (PDF).

First off, your alternatives
We agree. Slimming your daily budget is no easy task. Fortunately, downsizing doesn't always mean cutting and many of the items we removed from our budget can be replaced. For instance, instead of eating lunch out everyday, try brown-bagging it. Rather than spend $1 on the newspaper, read it online. Other "fixes," such as Starbucks and smokes, should be treated as splurges, or better yet given up altogether. And while not everyone can carpool to work, you might be able to save a few bucks by taking public transportation, or better yet, telecommuting. So, just what can you buy with your newfound savings....

After one week
Even if you're not ready to take the full plunge, after just one week of squirreling away money you'll have enough funds to buy a decent amount of gear. For instance, you can get an entry-level GPS system like this Nextar S3 3.5" GPS Navigation System ($79.99, Or, if you're an iPod owner, you can put the money toward the purchase of some speakers, like this Logitech AudioStation iPod Speaker System ($29.99 after rebate, CompUSA) or the Klipsch iGroove HG iPod Speaker Dock ($79.77,, pictured). Need a new keyboard and mouse combo? The palm-sized Logitech diNovo Mini Keyboard ($112.49, Dell Home) will give your HTPC a new look and still fit your budget.

After two to four weeks
If you managed to last this long, you're serious about saving. With this kind of money you can splurge on big-name gadgets like a second generation 16GB iPod Touch ($299, Apple Store). Consider a Netbook (a.k.a. UMPC) like the Acer Aspire One AOA110-1955 Atom 1.6GHz 8.9" Ultramobile Notebook ($309.99, or an ASUS Eee PC Intel Atom 1.6GHz 10" Widescreen Notebook ($479, ZipZoomFly). Better yet, you'll have enough cash on hand to purchase a dual-core system, like the Dell Vostro 1000 Athlon 64 X2 1.9GHz 15.4" Widescreen Notebook ($399, Dell). High definition fans can upgrade to the Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-ray Disc Player ($198, 6th Avenue), though we'd personally wait for Blu-ray prices to drop before doing that.

After two months and above
Congratulations. Your diligence in saving money is about to pay off. Among the big ticket items you can afford with your new found money is this Samsung 50" Widescreen Plasma HD Television ($1,099.88,, pictured). In the market for a new laptop? With just over two months of saving, you can purchase the new, aluminum Apple MacBook 2GHz 13" Laptop ($1,299, Apple Store). And in case you were wondering, had you skipped lattés and cigarettes (and so on) for the past four years, you could now be driving a new 2009 Toyota Prius ($24,270 MSRP).

Even if some of these savings aren't applicable to you, this chart shows you how daily expenses can quickly add up. It's by no means an end-all list, but instead a guide designed to show you where you can begin cutting back. With the right amount of discipline (and the right deal), there's no gadget that's beyond your budget.

Louis Ramirez is dealnews' Features Editor.

DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).


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