After spending the majority of your time at home over the course of the pandemic, you might be thinking to yourself that your space needs some upgrades. The trend to “level up your home” with smart gadgets has really taken off in 2022, and for good reason. 

Tech upgrades will not only make simple tasks easier, but will also make your space feel a little bit more livable. Even if you’re new to the “smart home” phenomenon, we came up with a few easy switches that can help you save time, energy, and money. 

Start with something basic, like a smart plug. 

There’s nothing like trimming your energy bills with a smart device that can turn your appliances off and on for you. For as little as $15, smart plugs enable you to control your appliances with your phone. You can even set a schedule to turn off your appliances when they’re not in use, which can reduce energy consumption and save you money. Talk about budget luxury. Some of our favorite smart plugs: 

Rake in the savings with a smart thermostat. 

If you don’t have a smart thermostat yet, you’re missing out. It’s an easy upgrade with a major return on investment, as smart thermostats can substantially reduce your heating and cooling bills. They have the ability to adapt to a household’s temperature pattern, when you’re home and when you’re away. Not to mention that some insurances even offer rebates when you switch to a smart thermostat. Some of our favorite smart thermostats: 

Level up your home security with a doorbell camera. 

Much like smart thermostats, doorbell cameras can add a lot of value to your home. If you have a smart doorbell, you can easily see who’s knocking without having to go to the door, all from your phone. A safety measure like this will surely keep the package thieves away (not to mention the convenience of knowing – and seeing! – your packages when they are delivered). In addition to being an asset, doorbell cameras provide safety and security for your home, especially if you aren’t there. Some of our favorite doorbell cameras: 

Smart home technology is becoming an integral part of home design, and familiarizing yourself with the basics can pay major dividends in the long run. For more budget-friendly home upgrades, check out our post on Furnishing Your Apartment for Cheap.