As 2013 winds down, construction companies may be considering their budgets for the new year. Planning for an entire year of technology spending can seem like a daunting task, but following some simple principles can make the whole exercise less painful.

Creating a budget shouldn’t be scary. eMazzanti Technologies, www.emazzanti.net, New York, N.Y., is an IT consulting firm, and the company has some tips on tech budgeting for small- and medium-sized businesses.

eMazzanti says it’s a myth that simply forgoing spending on new purchases—such as computer, servers, and printers—is the best way to stretch a budget. Instead, investing in new technology can help a business save money over the long term.

eMazzanti’s first tip is to “understand the total cost of ownership.” Many owners may look at higher prices for the latest equipment and be tempted to stick with the old, or choose consumer-grade devices. But eMazzanti says this often results in hidden costs related to using outdated technology, such as maintenance, resale value, and energy consumption.

Another tip suggests business owners try to host meetings and events using “digital space.” Instead of paying for travel, use technology to meet with people digitally. Additionally, look into purchasing refurbished equipment instead of new. The quality is often the same and the discounts can be significant.

While going green can be great for the environment, it can also cut down on expenses. eMazzanti suggests moving paper forms online, allowing for a reduction in printing costs as well as easier sharing among employees.

No advertising budget? Tools such as online blog publishers and YouTube can help business owners create a marketing campaign on their own. Save on advertising costs by using social media tools like Twitter and Facebook when possible.

Overall, business owners should look at the ways they can make technology work for them. Instead of fretting about the high cost of equipment, look for work-arounds, or make sure to invest in products that will provide a good return on your dollars.