Many software applications cost hundreds of dollars. Some software titles cost as much as the computer that runs them when you get into technical programs. There are several strategies to consider to keep software costs manageable.
If you are purchasing a new computer look at the software titles available at a discount from the manufacturer of the computer. Not really applicable if purchased off a shelf in a store but when purchased directly from the manufacturer they often have an extensive software library available with the purchase. The OEM license for software is often much cheaper giving you the ability to save substantially.
Similarly, if changing platforms from PC to Apple as an example, consider software compatibility and costs. If the vendor can arrange a discount on needed software it can be a good benefit. As hiring a computer becomes more common in both business and home use the rental company sometimes has a library of software available to add or technicians than can warn of compatibility issues between your software and the hardware you hire. Places like www.rentit.biz can answer these questions.
If you need more than a single license for software look for multiple license copies. Buying 3 individual copies will always be more expensive than a single copy with license to install on three computers. If more than 5 are needed call the software company and ask if they will make a special offer to you on it.
Just like IT hardware is often leased now, many software titles can be as well. The more expensive or specialized the title the more likely this is to be true. For this you never purchase program but just pay a monthly use fee for a set or indefinite term. This method has the added advantage of updates to the program or newer versions are typically included or available at a very steep discount.
Do not wait too long to upgrade the software you use. You may decide the newest version is not worth the cost to upgrade but if you do not upgrade every other version you may find you cannot upgrade at all and need to purchase a full copy. This may well exceed the cost of upgrading even twice.
Students, educators, and professional trade associations are often offered substantial discounts on software. Spending a few minutes on Google researching if this is available to you is time well spent. An extra caution here- many places will sell you these special license titles but it is up to you to validate your qualifying for the purchase. After you install it will list acceptable documentation to be provided for continued use and if you do not submit it in the time period the software is disabled and you are out the purchase price. If you do not qualify it is hazardous to try to fake it.
When comparing functions, suitability, and cost of software remember to compare these programs as well to stretch your budget further.