Do Smart Homes Save Money?

smart homes

I was thinking about adding some smart technology to my home. I had been visiting a friend who had Alexa set up to control all sorts of different things in the house. I got a kick out of saying, “Alexa, turn on …” and choosing the lights I wanted on and off, the music I wanted playing, and so forth. I’ve seen those commercials with the refrigerators and ovens that practically do everything themselves with just the sound of a voice. We’re all moving towards having some version of smart homes. However, when I looked into the costs of just a few of those things, I wasn’t so sure anymore.

Do Smart Homes Save Money?

I’ve always figured that smart homes generally cost money to set up but have the potential to save money in the long run. However, I think that type of thinking primarily comes from the type of smart technology that makes a home more energy-efficient. When it comes to all of the technology available today to make a home more convenient, it may not actually save money. In fact, setting up a smart home can probably cost a lot of money that you don’t recoup. So, I’m trying to figure it out; do smart homes save money? Or do they at least have the potential to pay for themselves?

Energy-Saving Technology Can Save Money

Doing my research confirmed what I expected. It is possible for smart homes to save money if you’re talking about smart technology that saves energy. In other words, if you update your house to reduce energy waste then over time you can save a lot of money on energy bills. I found a helpful infographic that showed how some of this technology pays for itself then saves you money over the long run.

In fact, that research reminded me that I can make small investments that could make a difference. For example, I never thought about getting smart power strips. I use tons of power strips in my home already. Smart power strips monitor energy usage and turn the power off when it’s not in use. That could be really convenient. It could save energy. I like the green aspect of saving energy in addition to the fact that it helps me save money.

A smart thermostat is another really popular device in smart homes. It seems to also pay for itself in terms of quickly offering cost-effective energy savings. Of course, one could argue that simply setting your own thermostat to appropriate temperatures would achieve the same effect. So it’s not that we need the technology to save energy, necessarily, but it might be a small investment to make doing so more convenient.

Convenient Technology Doesn’t Necessarily Save Money

Some of the other technology in smart homes doesn’t seem like it pays off, though. For example, that same infographic shows details about smart refrigerators. A smart refrigerator can actually show you when items are about to go bad. Arguably, you might then use more of your food in time, and not wasting it could save you money. But it doesn’t save you that much. According to the infographic, it takes thirty years for a smart refrigerator to pay for itself. That’s before you would even start saving money thanks to it. Technology often needs frequent updates and repairs so it’s unlikely you’d keep that refrigerator much longer than thirty years (if you even make it that long).

Will I Invest In Smart Home Technology?

So, here’s what it boils down to … it doesn’t make financial sense for me to buy most types of smart technology for my home. The things that are most fun and add convenience generally cost more than they save. However, there might be a few small changes (smart power strips, smarter lighting) that could actually save me money in the long run. I don’t need them. It’s not something I’m going to get at this time. But as the technology keeps changing, I’ll keep reviewing the costs and benefits. It may make sense for me to look at smart homes again in the future.

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Should We Tax Robots?

tax robots

Should we tax robots?

The question sounds a little bit absurd. After all, a robot isn’t a person. Therefore, it doesn’t file taxes. Therefore, charging robots an income tax seems silly.

Moreover, it’s complicated. Your vacuum cleaner might be a robot. However, you obviously wouldn’t tax it, right? So where would we even draw the line?

Despite how silly it might sound, an argument can be made that we should tax robots. As more and more jobs go to robots, the country could benefit from just that move.

The Main Argument To Tax Robots

Computers are getting increasingly smarter. They are also replacing more and more jobs. As automation increases across many diverse industries, some people are starting to argue that it’s financially sensible to tax automation.

The main reason to tax robots is so that the government gets that money. Theoretically, at least, they spend it on things that we as a society need. Currently, the US government collects about $1.5 trillion dollars through income taxes. They collect another $1 trillion from payroll taxes. If the jobs go to the robots, then the amount goes down, unless we tax robots that are taking those jobs.

If people don’t find new jobs to replace the ones taken over by robots, then they will need to rely on the government even more. If we don’t tax automation, then there will be less money for the government to provide for those needs.

Robots Aren’t Necessarily Productive

There’s another reason that we should tax robots. Currently, untaxed robots may actually decrease business productivity. However, there are incentives to automation, so many businesses opt to use robots even though it might not make the most sense in terms of efficiency. If we tax robots, then the businesses have to look more carefully at why they are automating and whether or not it makes the most sense.

In other words, using robots should increase productivity in a business. However, that’s often not the case. However, since it saves the company money, a business might automate anyway.

Companies can avoid taxes and other costs if they get rid of employees. A robot costs less than a human to do the same job. However, if we tax robots, then we close the gap between those costs. If the human costs about the same as the robot but is more productive then the company will likely opt for the human.

At the moment, it’s more cost-effective for many companies to use robots. In fact, there are many different types of subsidies that encourage businesses to fire humans in order to hire robots. It benefits the business, but may not benefit society overall. Taking the robots would level the playing field, so to speak, which should be better for everyone.

Will We Tax Robots?

The truth is that we won’t necessarily charge robots taxes anytime in the near future. While it’s been done to some extent in other countries, such as South Korea, it’s a complicated process. Defining what a robot is and determining how to tax it are complex issues.

However, it would be possible to make changes to the subsidies. In other words, while we might not tax robots, we certainly don’t have to offer tax incentives for companies to have robots.

Moreover, the government could make other tax changes that even things out. For example, they might alter the way that companies are allowed to report depreciation of robots. Alternatively, they might have to finance the payroll taxes of employees whose jobs are eliminated in favor of using robots. Only time will tell how this will play out.

What do you think – should we tax robots?

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Source: New York Times

T Harv Eker’s Net Worth

t harv erker's net worth

Going from $0 to millionaire is already a challenge, so to do it in two and a half years seems almost like a miracle. That is exactly what motivational speaker and author T Harv Eker claims he was able to do, according to the biography on his website. Although numbers vary, T Harv Eker’s net worth reportedly stands at roughly more than $3 million. So, how did he accomplish such success in his life?

T Harv Eker’s Career

Eker always had a strong work ethic. Coming from a low-income home, he began working at the age of 13. Throughout his teenage years, he would deliver newspapers, scoop ice cream, sell suntan lotion at the beach, and so on. He dreamed of becoming a millionaire, and so, during his time in college, he left his studies at York University to pursue his ambitions.

With a variety of jobs under his belt, he started several different businesses, but they did not work out. Life took a temporary turn for the better, though, when he opened a retail fitness store in North America, which he expanded to 10 different locations in only two and a half years then sold a portion to a Fortune 500 company, his website states. Although the sale did make him a millionaire, mismanagement of his money led him to lose his fortune in less than two years.

After his financial loss, he began to study people’s relationship with money, which led him to develop theories, such as his “Millionaire Mind” concept, he wrote in his New York Times best-selling book, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind with over a million copies sold.

Sources of Income

Along with his book, Eker is a motivational speaker and developed programs that help others learn how to be successful through financial courses he created. These include but are not limited to Life Makeover Coaching, Million Dollar Business Secrets, and The Wealthy Marketer. These mentoring and coaching programs range from a one-time payment of roughly $300 to $500 to about $300 per month for the more involved courses. He also speaks at events and produces seminars, sharing his knowledge of obtaining (and keeping) your wealth.

t harv eker seminar

Additionally, he formed the seminar company Peak Potentials Training, which was then acquired by event production company Success Resources, according to the company’s November 8, 2011 press release. Eker, however, continued to support the operations of Peak Potentials.

Eker also wrote another best-selling book called SpeedWealth, which was self-published.

T Harv Eker’s Net Worth

The above resources brings T Harv Eker’s net worth total to an estimated $3.5 million, according to this source. With his reputation as a money expert still to this day, his net worth is likely to continue to rise as he continues to sell his online courses through his website and speak at events. He also continues to offer free trainings, which helps to lead to an increase in sales for his programs.

Eker is proof that you can go from zero to millionaire with perserverence, research, and good old-fashioned hard work. He is also proof that you can easily lose your wealth by not managing your money.

See another celebrity net worth article here

 

Photo credit: Risorse della Mente