Frugal Living

7 Ways You Can Save Money on Essential Software

Computer programs can become expensive whether you’re a freelancer, a hobbyist, or a casual user. Fortunately, if you are looking to save money on essential software for your job, art, or college work, there are numerous ways you can do so with these top tips.

Use Free Trials or Limited Licenses

Almost every piece of software out there offers a free trial. Some are generous and offer full features for a limited time. Others offer limited features for an extended period. In many cases, a trial might be enough for your needs. No matter your sector, you can find what you need. Everything from digital art to AI software testing offers excellent trial software. For example, the superb software testing automation tool testRigor can be used for free, forever over a public, open-source server. A fantastic offer if you are on a limited budget or starting out.

Save Money On Essential Software with Alternatives

Currently, Microsoft Office is the dominant office suite with almost 50% of the market share. That’s a lot of cash, Microsoft, and you may not want to give Bill Gates any more money. Fortunately, there are always alternatives to the most famous pieces of software available. Almost all of them are significantly less to buy and some are even completely free. For instance, Open Office and Google Apps offer excellent word processing, spreadsheets, and database software for free. You can always find excellent alternatives to industry-standard packages.

Use Cloud-Based SaaS Instead of Packages

Further to cloud-based systems, they are often cheaper than purchasing licenses and software packages to install on your computer. Often, cloud systems offer software as a service for a small monthly fee rather than an expensive one-off purchase. Some of the best include:

  • Google Apps: excellent cloud-based office programs.
  • Adobe Photoshop Express: free for mobile and Windows 8 and above.
  • Winscribe: cost-effective VPN for secure cloud business access.
  • EyeOS: free cloud-based operating system with excellent sharing features.
  • Backblaze: easy to use and cheap overall cloud system.

Not all cloud-based software is free, but you can usually save money using SaaS cloud systems. Moreover, popular developers offer the features and benefits of desktop installations in their subscription-based packages at a lower cost. You just don’t own the software.

Take Advantage of School Software

If you are in school or college, your educational establishment probably has many of the software packages you need. In addition, you can typically access them for free. However, in colleges mainly, you might be limited by your course of study. For example, video editing software like Adobe Premiere might be limited or prioritized to AV students. However, you will likely have access to many popular pieces of software, such as office programs required for completing work. So, learn how to use industry  packages while they are available to you.

Save Money on Essential Software as a Student

Most software companies offer significant discounts to students of colleges and universities. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to access expensive and highly sought-after pieces of software while you can. You will likely need to know specific packages for certain careers. For instance, as a Windows programmer, you will need to understand Visual Studio and its add-on development features. Visual Studio Enterprise is available to students free of charge. So look for what you can get for free as a student to prepare for your career path.

Check for Generous Seasonal Offers

Software companies regularly promote their products during Christmas, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. Many of the world’s most popular apps offer massive discounts during these periods. For example, NordVPN cuts its prices in half for new customers who sign up during the holidays. And web hosting services like GoDaddy will often hold percentage-off promotions. You just need to keep your ear to the ground and check in with a product you want from time to time. Signing up for newsletters is a great way to get notified of incoming sales.

Use Publicly Available Internet

Internet costs are rising all the time, like everything else. And it might be the case that you cannot afford a good quality connection at the moment. However, all is not lost, as many free internet connections are available. If you live near a restaurant chain or a coffee shop, it’s almost guaranteed they will have free Wi-Fi you can connect to. And you can use the internet in nearby libraries. Of course, you can’t install software on a public computer. But these are useful if you only require a connection for using your laptop or their PC for cloud-based systems.


You can save money on essential software with alternatives. And if you are a student, you might be limited in which software packages you can access. Still, you can usually get discounts and bonuses on expensive and highly sought-after pieces of industry-standard software.

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