How to Save on SoftwareIn this day of age, even if your work doesn’t require professional software, planning a software purchase has become as important as paying the bills. As pen and paper have become redundant, you will need software even to access your work or school schedule.

In most cases it just so happens that the person providing the files has upgraded their software and you cannot access them with your previous version. This can create a huge hole in your budget plans and cause you to give up something you really looked forward to.
There are things like an office package, some image-processing programs, PDF readers, archivers, anti-virus software and so on, that you just cannot use your computer without. But, fortunately, there are programmers out there who work just for the sake of recognition and gratitude and are not in it for the money. They create the so called “open source” programs, which means they are open to anyone and everyone who wants to use them and do not require payment.
Let’s start with the basics – office. You might not realize it, but you use office programs pretty much every day. Word for opening documents, writing; Excel for creating tables, calculating your expenses, planning time; even PowerPoint sometimes when you want to create a beautiful presentation to send out for Christmas. The listed price for Microsoft Office 2010 is $149.99 (and that’s the home edition, the professional one is $499.99). Now how would that reflect on your monthly expenses…? It’s open source counterpart is Open Office, which can be downloaded from the internet, and has all the necessary tools and features you will require. Yes, it’s free!
Now think about this – how often do you use Photoshop? Resizing a picture to use it as a profile photo, adding some effects to create cards for loved ones, deleting some annoying people or elements from photos, etc… Now if you want to enjoy the latest and greatest, the Adobe CS6 Master Collection will cost you the unbelievable $2,599 or you can get just Photoshop CS6 for $699 or the extended version for $999. Sound good? Probably not… There is, however, and open source program just as good for the regular user as Photoshop – GIMP. In it, you can find all the tools you use in Photoshop, and you don’t have to pay for them!
Another crucial piece of software is the archiver – the thing that compresses your files and makes them easier and faster to send; and also the program that lets you unpack archives that have been sent to you. If you are planning on using WinRar, it will cost you no less than $46.67, or even more if you want the maintenance, or a physical delivery on a CD. However, there are multiple open source options for you all over the web like 7-Zip, PeaZip, Zipeg, etc.
Anti-virus is a bit more complicated. Here, it depends how high you assess the threat level to your computer. Most anti-virus programs have completely free versions, but they do not include all features. It’s all up to you on this one…
If you are, however, a professional, most open source programs will not provide you with all the things you need to perform your tasks perfectly. But, there is always a discount somewhere. Perform a thorough search before you decide where are you buying from, otherwise you might spend more than you could have.
Don’t forget trial versions – those are key when you are planning a purchase if you want to make sure the product will meet all your expectations before you spend money on it. They will also work for you, if you will be needing the program for a single task, or for a short amount of time.
All in all, there are plenty of options available to you all over the web – discounts, trials, freeware. What is important is to make an informed decision, to be aware of all your choices, and not waste money on things you will regret buying later on.
Rita Rova produces money savings articles on behalf of Love My Vouchers – where you can purchase software at a discount.
Rizwan Ahmad
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This article is contributed by Rita Rova and posted by Rizwan Ahmad Author and founder of, He is a tech blogger from India and he loves to share his thoughts by writing articles on this site to the different topics related to technology world,