From Alexa to Siri and the Nest to the Ring, we’re living in the age of smart home technology. Everything from your thermostat to your light switches can be controlled from an app on your phone, if you want.
But smart home technology can get pricy as you amass new tools and gadgets. Is it really worth the investment?
The answer depends on your needs and priorities. Here are a few considerations before outfitting your home with the latest tools.
1. Prioritize technology that can save you money.
Many of us are tempted by smart home technology because it promises ease: Why get up to turn on the lights or set the thermostat when you can do it from your phone?
But some of the best smart home gadgets also have money-saving potential. By carefully programming your smart thermostat, for example, you stand to save money on your heating and cooling bills. Plus, you can keep a close eye on your energy usage over time and anticipate which months will be more expensive.
Smart lights, fans and sprinklers can also be programmed to turn on and off automatically, helping you save on your utility bills.
2. Use smart technology to simplify chores or find peace of mind.
Smart lights and switches aren’t just for changing the lighting without getting up from the couch (although that’s a perk). These smart devices also make it easy to set timers. If you leave for vacation and forget to set a timer on your bedroom light, you can do it from your phone. If you worry you left the kitchen lights on while you’re away, you can easily check and turn them off.
Even if you don’t want to splurge on a full smart home security system, you can use a doorbell camera to keep an eye on packages and see who’s at the door. Before taking the plunge on a new tool, consider whether it will make your life easier or more secure in a meaningful way.
3. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
There are tons of gadgets marketed as “smart,” and some are more worthwhile than others.
For example, you can purchase devices that feed your pets and monitor their whereabouts while you’re away. For some pet owners, these tools might be a game changer. But if your cats are perfectly self-sufficient and your dog doesn’t get into trouble when you leave the house, ask yourself if these gadgets are truly a necessity or just nice to have.
On the other hand, a smart egg carton might seem silly to most of us, but it could be useful to a busy home chef. The smart home tools that are worth it are the ones that you’ll integrate into your daily routine.
If you’re looking for other ways to simplify your life and save you money, check out Digital Banking. It’s a streamlined approach to managing your finances 24/7/365.