Time is money—but so are repairs, replacements, and recovery programs.

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When was the last time you gave your computer a thorough checkup? Not many people give their Macs and PCs the TLC they need: deleting unneeded files or programs, updating software, checking for (and removing) viruses or malware, etc. It may seem like unnecessary work, especially if you're not exactly tech savvy, but taking some time to check up on your computer can save you money (and stress) in the long run.

Maybe you're the type to use a computer until it's too slow to operate, then you run out and buy a new one. (It's just a computer, right?) You may think it's easier, or even cheaper, to let the experts handle any problems that arise, or you might not think it's worth the effort to maintain your computer, but the illusion of convenience isn't worth the cost, especially when a little prevention can forestall all kinds of issues.

Think about the last time you had computer issues: Were you in the middle of working on a presentation all night? Or did you want to watch Netflix after a long day, but instead watched nothing but spinning rainbow wheels? You can waste a lot of time wondering if you've used too much storage, caught a virus, or if you just have slow internet. Worse yet, you could be transferring files during a crash and lose irreplaceable photos and videos from a wedding or vacation. While a major computer slowdown or crash is not the end of the world, it's easy enough to avoid. A good computer checkup routine can spare you those frustrating moments, and possibly save some of your favorite memories from disappearing forever.

Starting fresh with a new computer isn't always clean and easy, especially when it's an unexpected transition. And unless you have a proper computer backup, you may lose out on more than the money it's going to cost to get you back in action.

A computer checkup can save you money.

How much does it cost to fix a slow computer? It all depends. If you can't do it yourself, a safe estimate is between $50 and $150 for solving basic problems, but a common but expensive problem such as replacing a hard drive costs closer to $300.

One of the more popular tech services, Best Buy's Geek Squad, ranges from $40 to $330 per individual service, or you could pay $199 for a yearly subscription.

And if you need to hire someone for complete hard drive recovery for essential files, you're looking at as much as $1,000 or more to get your data back in a worst-case scenario. By comparison, it’s easier and cheaper to buy backup and recovery software (or paying for a cloud backup service such as iCloud), which can be free or cost on average between $40 to $100. A little prevention goes a long way to save money on computer costs over time.

Preserve your computer.

During a computer checkup, it's not enough to just clean up your files and folders: Cleaning your ports, keyboards, and mice along with the rest of your computer gear will make everything last longer and prevent more significant issues, like overheating.

Schedule a regular digital and physical computer checkup to avoid the majority of problems and costs people face. It could save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in the long run.

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