As a physics teacher, people make the assumption that I have all the latest tech devices. I don’t. I held out on getting a smartphone until 2013 and still only have a plan with 2G of data.
I’m not anti-technology. Technology can be a great resource and tool.
I’m frugal. And I can’t afford to buy the latest and greatest everything.
I like to see if new tech really lives up to the hype before I invest. Often, I decide that it’s not worth the cost financially or otherwise.
However, there are three tech devices we have gotten in the last year that improve life at our house every day.
These three devices not only passed my cost-benefit analysis for the initial purchase but now that I have them, I’ll never go back.
Just to keep it real, I’m not being compensated by any of these companies. I just love them so much I had to share.
1. Ring Alarm
I started with the Ring doorbell last summer when we got a new front door that didn’t have sidelights. I live in a safe neighborhood but didn’t really want to fling the door open not knowing who was on the other side. It has the added benefit that I can see when my husband gets home with the kids if I’m at a meeting or tutoring.
I can keep a general pulse on the house regardless of my location.
Then we added the Ring Alarm system. Total game changer. It is easy to install (peel and stick), no ugly keypad on the wall, and I can operate it from my phone. From. my. phone. So no rushing the kids out the door before it arms – I just arm it when I get to the car.
The biggest thing for me is the cost. We only pay $10 per month for monitoring. That $45 less per month from the rate our traditional alarm company had systematically jacked up over 9 years. Increased functionality and saving hundreds of dollars a year. That’s a win.
I’m thinking about adding the “fire alarm listener” so I can stop obsessing that I might have left the straightener on and the house is in flames. (For the record it has never actually been left on but that doesn’t stop me from racing back home to check.)
My life: I have my keys in my hand headed out the door. Kid A went back to his room to get a book and got distracted by Legos so I tromp upstairs to extract him. Then Kid B reminds me she can’t tie her shoes yet so I go the other direction to help her. Finally, we are all headed out the door. Wait. Where did I put down my keys?
Fortunately, I put a Tile on my keys because the above happens way too often. Instead of losing my cool and retracing all the steps, I open the app on my phone and it “rings” my keys with a jolly tune. It also works in reverse if you can’t find your phone. You press the button on the Tile twice and it rings your phone.
I use this every. single. day. Because: mom life.
3. Speaker lightbulb
This one admittedly does not improve the functionality of our house, nor does it save us money. But it does add joy to our home. Worth it.
We have a lot of afternoon dance parties in our kitchen. A good way to celebrate a great day or shake off a bad mood. My husband listens to audiobooks while he does the dishes. Yup, does the dishes…so anything that makes him enjoy that is a win.
This Bluetooth speaker screws into a regular light socket. No extra cords or expensive audio system. You can even get ones that change colors. I’m not that fun.
Amazon has a lot available or I snagged mine locally at Lowes.