New Year, New You
Tech tips to help you keep your New Year's resolutions
Published on LatinoLA: January 4, 2012
Do you feel as if you should make a New Year's resolution to not give up your New Year's resolutions? Research from Examiner.com shows that "after six months, fewer than half the people who make New Year's resolutions have stuck with them, and after a year, that number declines to around ten percent." If you want to make a change this holiday season, have no fear, Geek Squad is on your side. From cutting expenses to staying fit to traveling to new places, here are some easy ways technology can help you keep your resolutions all year long.
Cut Spending and Have More to Save: Don't let 2011 spending haunt you in 2012. Easy-to-use financial software, applications to track spending and coupons sent straight to your smartphone make creating a budget, and actually sticking to it, easier than ever.
Don't Budge on your Budget
* Whether you prefer to monitor your expenses on your desktop at home or on your mobile device, websites such as Pageonce.com and their smartphone app Pageonce (iPhone, Android and Blackberry, free) provide a free service to track your income, expenses, bills, airline miles, you name it! It will even send out e-mail reminders about upcoming bills and alert you to any unusual spending transactions.
* The constantly on-the-go lifestyle is no longer a legitimate excuse for neglecting your finances. Mint.com has created a free smartphone app that allows you to track your spending, create a budget and manage your money all in one place. Not only does it let you see where you can save, but it pulls in and categorizes your transactions, meaning that it will alert you if 60 percent of your budget is going toward shoes rather than rent!
Coupons ‘«Ű IN or OUT? The verdict is in‘«™ and coupons are too. But, that doesn't mean you have to anxiously await the newspaper delivery on Sunday morning. Download free coupon applications such as Yowza!! (iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch and Android, free) and Coupon Sherpa (iPhone and Android, free) to your smartphone. Heading to a store that you weren't planning on going to? Forget driving home just to get a coupon. While en route, search the application for deals that can apply.
Get Fit and Stay Fit: We've all tried it ‘«Ű the New Year's resolution to eat healthy, get fit and lose those extra pounds you packed on over the holidays. This year, Geek Squad found more than one way to keep you accountable and on track.
‘«ů Can you think of a better piece of equipment to hold you accountable than the one that is often attached to your hip? Download the MyFitnessPal (iPhone, Android and Blackberry, free) or the Nike Training Club (iPhone, free) smartphone apps that allow you to research nutritional information, keep a food journal and plan new workouts for the gym.
‘«ů Is running more your style? Measure your run with the free iMapMyRUN application (iPhone, Android and Blackberry, free) that can track your pace, distance traveled, calories burned, elevation and heart rate.
‘«ů Use technology to maximize an at-home routine with Wii Fit Plus for Nintendo Wii or Active 2 for Playstation 3, Wii or XBox 360. You can connect your gaming console to the Internet to help track your progress. You can also try free YouTube.com workout videos and even connect your computer to the big screen to get a workout-class feel in your living room. With more than 20,000 Geek Squad Agents nationwide who are available to come to your house and help you connect your technology with each other, you won't miss a beat.
Go Green: Focus on preserving the environment in your day-to-day life by making these quick, easy adjustments. These Greek Squad tips will help you "go green" and look tech-savvy all at once.
‘«ů GPS systems give users the option to take the route that uses the least amount of gas. Also, when setting the directions, choose the eco-routing mode that takes you on the shortest and less heavily traveled route.
‘«ů Paperless billing is one of the easiest ways to go green. But, things can get complicated if you don't protect your account information properly. First rule of thumb, don't use the same password for all of your accounts! Always create strong passwords that are more than six characters by using upper case and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. And never use a personal nickname, pet name, birth date, address or other public information as your password.
‘«ů Go paperless and simplify your 'season's greetings' with e-cards! Sites such as egreetings.com and SmileBox allow you to easily import your e-mail address book, as well as personalize everything from the message to the fonts and background music.
Travel to New Places: Get out of the house and see more this year by making your travels as easy as ever. Whether you're traveling by car or plane, technology is on your side.
‘«ů Hitting the road? Make the drive part of the fun by using these tips to make it as stress-free and economical as possible.
* If there is traffic or an accident, use your GPS to stay one step ahead by hitting the "detour" button. Not only will it help you get from point A to point B, all while avoiding the traffic, but it can even help you discover a new snack stop or tourist attraction along the way.
* Beat the high prices at the pumps by using the free GasBuddy app (iPhone, Android and Blackberry, free) to find the closest gas station with the lowest prices.
‘«ů Prefer to fly? Airlines are catering to the rise of smartphones with mobile services and applications to keep you in the loop, on the ground and in the sky.
‘«ů Skip the long lines at the airport by selecting online check-in. Avoid having to search around for that pesky boarding pass by having it sent straight to your smartphone via e-mail or MMS/SMS text. Not able to check-in on a computer? You can still skip the airport lines by logging in to the airline's mobile site to check-in and download your boarding pass.
‘«ů To simplify your plans, download a travel application to your smartphone such as TripIt (iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone 7, free), which allows you to organize trip details, book reservations, safely access travel plans and even share your detailed itinerary.
‘«ů Want to send a photo card to loved ones while traveling? Turn the photos on your smartphone into real, printed postcards using Touchnote (iPhone/iPad and Android, free) to quickly share your experiences with your loved ones!
For help with all your technology needs in the New Year, call 1-800-GEEK-SQUAD, find a location or an Agent near you at www.geeksquad.com, or visit the Geek Squad Precinct at Best Buy and other locations to speak with an Agent directly.