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Survey: Technology Making it Tough to Save Money

Brett Molina, USA TODAY
Wednesday, 18 Apr 2012 | 12:27 PM ET
Empty Wallet
Empty Wallet

Technology is supposed to make your life easier, so long as you don't plan on maintaining a savings account. A survey conducted by Harris Interactive for the American Institute of CPAs finds only 3% of people felt the latest gadgets and tools made it easier for them to squirrel away money.

Meanwhile, more than 56% say technology has made it much easier to spend.

The phone poll of more than 1,000 U.S. adults found Americans spend an average of $166 a month on digital services such as cable TV, Internet service, mobile phones and digital subscription.

Media downloads such as songs or apps add another $38 to their bills, the survey discovered.

"The proliferation of smartphones and tablets has really increased the ease of purchasing them and the ease in using those things," says Jordan Amin, chairman of the National CPA Financial Literacy Commission.

About 41% of Americans take advantage of digital downloads or services, says the AICPA findings.

Amin offers three tips for digital consumers looking to cut back on costs: set a budget, create separate accounts specific for downloads and regularly monitor services to determine what's worth keeping.

"Our gadgets and connections can bring benefits like mobility and efficiency," says Amin. "But they can also bring financial challenges, taking money that could go to savings, for instance, or contributing to credit card debt. We have to mind these expenses and budget for them to ensure the benefits outweigh the costs."

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