Household Budget: One Desktop Computer to Save Money

     Many families get along with only one household computer.  Between homework, working at home, and video games it is not hard to find households with two or more desktop computers. However, you can survive with one computer in your household. It may seem silly at first but you can save money by managing with one computer.

  1. Decide on the uses for the computer. Will it be for business, family activities, school, or playing video games? This will help you decide on a time frame each family member needs for the computer.
  2. For business use-make sure any sensitive client, patient, or vendor data such as social security numbers, bank account numbers, and sales information is kept locked.
  3. For educational purposes-Determine an approximately time frame for each person. Each elementary school child should be given a set time for computer use. Any reading, writing, and math can be done until his/her time. Also, the child can use non-computer time for chores/hobbies/playing.
  4. For family planning (budgeting/calendar managing/vacationing)-A flexible schedule can be explored. For example, write down ideas/issues/suggestions on paper then transfer to computer. To minimize paper waste, use for scrap paper.
  5. Rotate the schedule when possible. If child one has Mondays/Wednesdays for week 1, he/she can switch to Tuesdays/Thursdays for week 2. Meanwhile, it may be harder to rotate for business purposes such as interviewing/daytime phone calling but researching/writing can be changed.

     Try the schedule for a month then you can review the areas to adjust and remember to monitor the children when they are on the computer to make sure they do not give out personal information such as addresses.