The world financial crisis everybody has been talking about during the last few months does not affect only big banks and international corporations. Average people, people like you and me, also have trouble trying to make ends meet by the end of the month. Prices, taxes and mortgage rates are constantly raising while wages seem to have frozen, which means that keeping a reasonable standard of living is much harder than it used to be.
For those of you who are in this tricky situation, I’ve collected a series of software-related tips that can help you save some money. While this list is not the perfect solution for the financial crisis, at least you’ll be able to loosen your belt a bit.
- Track your personal monthly expenses more efficiently with a home accounting software tool. You can find very decent apps for free, such as Buddi, Money Manager Ex and Personal Finances.
- Save energy with LocalCooling, a small tool with very handy tips to use your computer in a more environmental friendly way.
- Use OpenOffice instead of Microsoft Office, Active Pixels or GIMP instead of Photoshop and in general any free/open source app you can find instead of the correspondent proprietary software.
- Buying movies and books can be an important burden on your budget. Try sharing them more often with your friends, and track those loans with Movienizer and BookDB.
- I know traveling is great, but it’s also expensive. If you can’t afford a trip abroad, at least treat yourself with a nice tour on Google Earth. Here’s some advice on recommended Google Earth sightseeing routes.
- Save on long-distance calls by using Skype, Gizmo or any other VoIP application. Plus some of them support webcams, so Mom will be able to check on you and immediately find out if you’re eating properly.
- Sell stuff you don’t use on eBay and also watch out for bargains. eBay Desktop can help you with this task.
- Forget about expensive gym fees. You can exercise for free (footing, jogging, biking…) and keep accurate statistics of your results with SportsTracker.