Don’t Forget to Include These Add-ons into the Price of Your Tech

Do you remember the last time you purchased a TV? If you don’t, then it was probably long enough ago that you didn’t have to purchase a lot of extra things to get it up and running. Sure, you had to buy a cable or satellite package. But you probably already had that from your previous TV. You probably just unplugged the cables from your previous TV and plugged them into the new one.

However, if you do recall your last TV purchase, you might just have a horror story about how you needed to go back to the store for an HDMI cable. This was almost certainly the case when you bought a set-top box. Your new TV was probably 4K if it was a recent purchase. You needed a new set-top box that could deliver 4K. You also needed to upgrade your service to get more 4K content. And it is probably time to add an HDR blue-ray player.

The point is there is more to buying a piece of tech than just the tech that comes in the box. There is a whole ecosystem of add-ons that you need to figure into the price. A new TV is just one example. Here are a few others:

The Internet

If you just bought an iPhone X, you paid $999 not including sales tax, VAT, or whatever your government calls the part of your money they take for themselves. In the state of Oregon, there is no sales tax. That means if you paid with a thousand dollar bill, you got a dollar back.

But let’s get real. That is not the way it really works. And if you only budgeted the sticker price for your new smartphone, you are not getting any use out of it. That tech is nothing more than an Art Deco brick without a few add-ons, in particular, the internet.

You are not downloading apps, streaming music, and updating social media without an expensive data plan. That’s a fancy way of saying, the internet. When at home, you will be using your fast wifi courtesy of Optimum, or whatever your provider of high-speed internet service of choice happens to be.

The same applies to computers and tablets. Almost everything we do on these machines is powered by the internet. Pretending there is no cost to that is to budget poorly and dishonestly. The internet is a necessity. And it has to be budgeted for every tech purchase we make.


About that thousand dollar iPhone X… If you didn’t also buy a protective case for it, you will need to budget money for AppleCare + or around $300 to replace the screen when it breaks. Accessories to toughen up your smartphone are a part of what you have to figure into the cost.

Desktop computers don’t need protective cases. But they do need protective software. Viruses, ransomware, and other types of malware run rampant due to the lack of protective software running on the average PC. You shouldn’t buy a bicycle without a bike lock. You can’t drive a car without auto insurance. And you must figure in the cost of protective devices and software when buying Tech.


Practically speaking, you cannot have a full computing experience with only the software that comes loaded on the device. The time when that was possible is long past. Today, we need productivity software, games, and creative applications that go beyond bundled apps.

You don’t buy a game console unless you are interested in games that cost $60 each. You don’t buy an iPad Pro unless you have serious work to do. Even if you are just using it to watch TV, those subscriptions to Hulu and Netflix are not free. When you buy a new piece of tech with new capabilities, you will likely want new software that takes advantage of those capabilities.

When it comes to tech, the sticker price is just the beginning. If you don’t budget for the add-ons, the sticker price quickly becomes sticker shock. So be sure to figure in the cost of high-speed internet service, protection for your devices, and the software that will define the use of those devices.

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