10 Small Things to Give Up to Save Money for a New Smartphone or Laptop

These days, gadgets like smartphones and laptops are not just mere luxuries, they are a necessity. We don’t only use these devices for gaming, listening to music, watching our favorite shows, and other types of entertainment, they are also essential productivity tools that afford us flexibility and convenience when accomplishing tasks for our work or business.

That said, purchasing gadgets should be considered as some kind of investment. Used correctly, these devices will give us returns far greater than the original cost of acquiring them. If you’ve just bought a new phone or computer, you would be well advised to start saving for the replacement, which you can expect to buy a few years from now (after 3 to 4 years for smartphones, 5 to 7 years for laptops).

For many of us, however, saving cash is easier said than done. To make things simpler, we most likely have to give up on a few luxuries here and there. Below are some of the things that you can cut back on to save money for your next smartphone, laptop, desktop computercamera, or any other gadget.

Cable TV

Let’s face it; if you’re already subscribed to streaming services like Netflix or iFlix, paying an additional PHP 500 a month for a cable TV subscription is just plain wasteful. And let’s not forget the fact that cable TV in general is quite inconvenient—you can’t watch your favorite shows on demand, the signal is not very good, the channel lineup is bloated with useless networks, and the cable companies often interrupt the programming with their very noisy and very lame advertisements. Do yourself a favor a cut the darned cord. Save that money instead for your next device.

Fancy Coffee

We get the appeal of third wave coffee shops—or even your run-of-the-mill coffeehouses operated by international coffee chains. The cozy atmosphere can make you feel so relaxed, you’re serenaded by the soothing tunes of bossa nova songs, and your olfactory receptors are treated to the sweet, earthy aroma of coffee and spices. However, having a cup of their fancy coffee everyday can easily set you back between PHP 3,000 and PHP 4,500 a month—more if you’re buying one of those sugar- and fat- laden ice blended drinks. If you want fancy coffee on a daily basis, buy a few bags of your favorite single-origin java instead, and brew your own coffee in your kitchen or office pantry.

Restaurant Meals or Food Delivery

Eating out or having food delivered to your home is a great treat once in a while, but doing it every day can be an absolute burden on your wallet since prices for a restaurant meal in Metro Manila can range anywhere between PHP 150 and PHP 1000. Naturally, if you want to avoid these expenses, you should make your meals at home instead. Doing so also gives you an opportunity to create truly healthy meals for yourself since you can control the amount of sodium and fat that you put in your food.

Upsizing or Going Large

If you really have to buy coffee or get a fast food meal, avoid the temptation of upsizing your drink or food. Often, the cashier will even initiate the upsell, but if you give in, then it’s bye-bye money and hello added calories for you. These unnecessary expenses can add up over time, which is a shame because you could have just saved the money for your next gadget instead of using it to upsize your risk for obesity and heart disease (ouch)


We’re not judging anyone’s life choices here, but to be quite honest, buying cigarettes is not really the best way to spend your hard-earned money. Fags costs anywhere from PHP 60 to PHP 100 per pack—hardly cheap if you smoke a lot. Smoking tobacco is also one of the things in this world that are actually scientifically proven to cause cancer, so you might want to lay off the cigarette once in a while and save the cash instead for your next big gadget purchase.

Shopping Sprees

If you’re hoping to save cash, then avoiding the siren call of shopping malls and boutique stores is a must—especially when they are on sale. Now, savvy shoppers will probably tell you to buy stuff only when a store is having a sale, but sales these days are a dime a dozen and happen too often. Furthermore, many of us end up buying too much stuff anyway even when there’s a sale, so that practically negates the expense avoidance you’re supposed to make. Live by this rule: if you want something but it won’t really add value to your life, don’t buy it. Save instead for something that you’ll be using practically every day for work and entertainment, e.g. a smartphone or a laptop.

Gym Membership

You’re quite right to think that a gym membership is an investment on your health, but that’s only true if you use it to the fullest. If you only work out occasionally or the exercises that you do can be quickly replicated at home, then why maintain the gym membership at all? Consider exercising outdoors or buying a basic home gym setup instead.

Wasteful Use of Utilities

In many homes around the Philippines, you’ll find people wasting water and energy like there’s no tomorrow. They use so much water to wash their cars and to water their gardens, then they leave their light fixtures, electric fans, and air conditioning units running even when no one’s using them. Ano ‘yun, unli-tubig at unli-kuryente, bes? If you’re really serious about saving money for your new devices, then get rid of this practice immediately.

Bottled Water

If you were a person living in the past and someone were to tell you that people would be selling water in small bottles for ridiculous prices in the future, you’d probably think that individual were crazy. But that’s exactly what we are doing these days. So, unless you’re visiting a place with serious water quality issues, avoid buying bottled water and bring your own refillable bottle instead. You can save so much money by refilling instead from your home or office’s water supply.

Top-Ups and In-App Purchases

Whether its additional credits for your e-gaming account or products and services being sold by your favorite mobile apps, you can save money by not going overboard with your purchases. Regularly check your mobile accounts to see which recurring subscriptions you are not really using, and limit your gaming top-ups to within reasonable amounts.

Whether you’re hoping to buy a mid-range device or the flagship unit of your favorite smartphone or laptop brand, it’s important to be wise when it comes to saving money for your next big tech purchase. Giving up on some of the items listed above may very well put you on the right track.