We frequently see recommendations for man-cave must-haves and tips on how to tech out a bachelor pad, but what about a bachelorette pad? Technology can be just as important to women as it is to men when it comes to making an apartment or house feel like home. While tech costs can quickly add up, it is possible to incorporate smart technology into your home without breaking the bank. Whether you’re a tech expert or a smart home novice, here are five inexpensive ways you can tech out your bachelorette pad.
1. Transform current furniture into a tech hub
With the proper tools and a little imagination, you can incorporate technology into many of your current furniture pieces. You don’t have to pay $1,500 for a new smart oven to bring technology into your home — instead, consider a more DIY solution.
If your kitchen could stand some updating, hang a tablet on the wall or mount it within a cabinet door. Once your tablet is installed, download a few cooking apps and you’ll have a sous chef with you at all times.
Tech integrations don’t have to mean messy tangles of device cords, either. You can easily turn a nightstand or side table into a discreet charging station to connect your multiple gadgets. All you’ll need are charging cables, a power outlet and a few basic tools. Alternatively, you can purchase wireless charging pads for less than $100 and secure them to a table or desk.
2. Invest in DIY home security
A home security system is a necessity for any single woman, as it can help protect both you and your belongings. Depending on the level of sophistication and security you require, systems can be expensive. When you add up the installation, equipment and monthly fees, costs can top $1,000 for professional monitoring services.
One way you can save on your home security without skimping on your service is with Korner, a DIY, self-monitored home security system. Korner, which costs less than $100, is easy to install and only requires a small annual fee. The system works through a proprietary mobile app, which alerts you of a potential intrusion, allows you to arm or disarm the system remotely and more.
3. Make your current technology smarter
Home automation transforms even the simplest technology into an advanced smart system. Rather than invest in pricey home upgrades, such as smart light bulbs, coffee makers or televisions — which can cost thousands of dollars — you can turn your current technology into smart devices for less than $100.
Belkin’s WeMo home automation products allow you to tech out your home on the cheap. The Insight Switch can connect your home appliances and electronic devices to your Wi-Fi network, allowing you to turn devices on or off through an app (Belkin, $50). The WeMo light switch gives you the same control over your existing lighting fixtures (Belkin, $50).
4. Use Tech that Saves You Money
The upfront costs for technology are just one half of the investment. The other half is made up of ongoing maintenance and upkeep expenses. If you want to tech out your home while actively recouping some of those costs, look into systems that help you reduce your energy usage and decrease your monthly bills. While smart washing machines, which start at around $700, likely fall outside of your budget, a smart thermostat is a less expensive option.
The Nest thermostat, for example, helps you create a more temperate home environment, monitor your heating and air conditioning from any location and reduce your monthly energy bill (Nest, $250). Nest did a study that has shown the device will more than pay for itself over its lifetime. Nest is dynamic enough to keep your pad cool and comfortable during your next crazy dance party or warm and cozy for a long Netflix marathon.
5. Maximize IFTTT
IFTTT, short for “if this, then that,” allows you to use “recipes” that trigger an action in automated systems. You can use pre-made recipes or create your own. For example, if your coffee maker works with IFTTT, you can set it to start brewing when your alarm clock goes off each morning.
Numerous smart home devices work with IFTTT to make it even more convenient for you to automate processes. You can connect the Nest thermostat or Belkin WeMo line to nearly 300 different IFTTT channels for a variety of results. If you’ve been eyeing the Amazon Echo — which serves as an interactive smart home hub to control the smart devices in your home — the growing list of IFTTT commands may persuade you to finally make the investment.
You don’t have to pay crazy prices to bring trendy, useful tech into your home. Instead, use these few inexpensive hacks and devices to create a conveniently high-tech bachelorette pad you and your friends will love.