Each year tech-heads all across the globe rub their hands together and start salivating at the thought of upgrading their old gadgets and splashing the cash on the latest model. You have your Apple fans anxiously awaiting the launch of the new iPhone, and the Samsung loyalists are itching to get their hands on the latest Galaxy. You have those who won’t listen to anything unless it contains the word ‘new’, and perfectly working gadgets are cast aside for something much shinier.

But doing this every year gives your finances a substantial blow. If you can afford the latest model every year (or every other year, if you are locked into a 24-month contract) then, by all means, continue as you were. However, not everybody has that luxury, but the allure of keeping up with the trends is often too strong to resist anyway. And typically, the cost of the contract or games or extra accessories will eventually work out to you paying even more.

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There are, of course, solutions to this. If you are so desperate to get your hands on the latest version of, well, anything, then you can take out a quick loan to fund this purchase. Furthermore, many stores and vendors now will give you a discount when you trade in your previous model for the newest one.

And this is part of the reason that people can justify upgrading every year. However, just because these upgrades are marketed as can’t miss or any other buzzwords that are beloved by marketing directors all over the world doesn’t mean that they are the only options.

Of course, with all tech, you get what you pay for. You can’t expect a budget smartphone to perform as well as the newest iPhone. You can’t expect a refurbished Xbox One to run as seamlessly as a fresh-out-the-box version. But, much of the time people will buy a name, a logo, a brand, without using half of the features that make it as expensive as it is.

We all (most of us, anyway) are on social media; we take pictures, we like to play games, browse the internet, and use mobile banking. These are considered the essentials for the smartphone consumer. Most, if not all, smartphones of capable of this now, and so anything else that comes with it is just a bonus.

The budget tech market has exploded in recent years. These sorts of technology, typically confined to the smartphone market but in recent years has stretched further to accessories such as Bluetooth speakers and headphones. Places such as India and China have taken advantage of this, with many of the middle-level smartphone being produced in these countries and have proven popular among their citizens.

When considering your next smartphone, games console, or additional, complementary gadgets, then it would be smart to not merely spend half your paycheck on the latest model, but instead considering what you need from your tech. As long as it can do everything you need it to, then looking at products that won’t burn a hole in your wallet may just be the way forward.

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