“Mom, I need a new phone.”
“Dad, there’s something wrong with my computer.”
While not exactly the sorts of phrases we as parents want to hear on a regular basis, we can’t be too surprised when they come our way.
After all, kids are often hungry for the next big thing in tech, especially when they get older. Whether it’s college or simply keeping up with their peers, a new device always seems to on the horizon, right?
That said, parents should think carefully before splashing cash on a new device for their kids. In fact, we’ve outlined three quick questions to ask yourself before spending a time on your child’s next piece of tech.
Is Now the Right Time to Buy?
The smartphone market seems especially volatile and random in terms of new releases, but in a way you can optimize the timing of your next purchase with a bit of know-how.
“The best time of year to upgrade your phone is easy to figure out,” notes Julie Ramhold of DealNews. Android phones are typically released earlier in the year; meanwhile, iPhones come later.
In other words, you could save hundreds by simply waiting out the next model of whichever potential brand you’re looking it. If you’re not married to one or the other, you’re in an even better situation when it comes to finding a good deal.
Additionally, the likes of Black Friday and holidays are always prime times to shop for anything related to tech. Although the some of the biggest brand names may never seem to go “on sale,” you can find offers and deals on new devices.
Bear in mind it also might make the most sense to upgrade your own device and give your child your current gear as a sort of hand-me-down.
Is The Device a Want or a Need?
In short, parents should be wary of making a habit of purchasing new devices on a whim.
For example, purchasing a new smartphone or laptop for your student going off to college makes perfect sense.
However, purchasing a brand new device for your child who serially loses big-ticket items or is notoriously careless could mean money down the drain.
On a related note, there’s a lot of debate over when kids when start using smartphones in regard to their level of maturity. Don’t feel pressured to buy your child a device, especially if it’s not out of necessity and you don’t think they’re equipped for the responsibility
How Much Control Do You Have?
If you’re the one footing the bill, you should most definitely have a stake in your child’s device.
This could mean a sort of parent-child “contract” that guarantees their good behavior in exchange for an active smartphone.
And speaking of responsibility, don’t neglect the variety of parental control apps if you’re worried about safety and security. There’s a lot that can go wrong with devices in the hands of children who don’t understand the seriousness of such devices: it’s better to be safe than sorry.
No matter how you look at it, buying tech for your kids can be a bit tricky as there’s so much to consider between their behavior and your budget. With these questions in the back of your mind, you can hone in on your perfect device purchase sooner rather than later that’ll meet their needs and tick all of your boxes, too.