5 Ways the Internet Can Save You Money

5 Ways the Internet Can Save You Money

The internet is something that is part of daily life for the majority of people around the world. With work, entertainment, and education all being accessible online it is hard to believe a world without it. It has changed the way we do things. If you are not using it to save money, you are missing out on a great opportunity. It will put more money in your pocket

It’s hard to believe many people are not leveraging the opportunities available to save each day by getting online. Here are five ways you can start saving money now by using the internet.

1. Comparison Shopping

Comparison shopping is one of the best reasons to be connected to the internet. People buy things every day. It is the big-ticket items that can make a difference by using some research and comparison. Making purchases of smaller items can also add up over time.

When shopping at retail stores the businesses have overhead to cover. Prices on larger items and smaller ones can be less expensive by purchasing them online.

One example I will use that I recently encountered is purchasing furniture. Yes, even large items can be purchased online at a lower price. I was shopping for a new bed for my daughter at some of the local retail furniture stores. A solid frame wood bed can be expensive, but the prices were astronomical and came as no surprise.

The bed my daughter liked was priced at over $2000 with a new mattress. The bed frame was made of solid wood and this was not out of line with other retail prices. Most of the other places we looked at similar items were about the same range in cost.

Following the retail shopping and not making a purchase, I started to do some research online. I compared reviews, prices, and options at different places. The end result was a comparable solid wood frame bed with a quality mattress for about $1500 with free shipping. A savings over $500 for a little bit of my time.

I have also used shopping online to purchase smaller items. Most of my Holiday shopping is also now down through the internet. The only time I purchase at retail stores any longer is for convenience. But even this is starting to diminish with so many retailers offering fast shipping for free.

If you aren’t currently making a lot of your purchases online, you should look into it. This is especially the case for larger priced items. You can typically find a better deal.

2. Education

The old saying goes that time is money, which is certainly true. But spending some time learning new things can save you thousands of dollars each year and over the long run. There are specialists and repair technicians for just about anything that breaks. Also, the quality of many retail store items has decreased over the years due to more imports. It seems everything from some of the major retail chains comes from China. It is often poorly made ending up being a throwaway item.

I can’t say it enough. YouTube, YouTube, YouTube. There are so many how-to videos on YouTube it would be difficult to say how many. You can find videos on how to repair your car, buying a car at the best price, repairing televisions and the list goes on.

Tutorials and DIY education found online can save you money.

I have used quick videos online to repair a television, a dryer, computers and a long list of additional items. The investment of ten or fifteen minutes of my time-saving hundreds of dollars. There are still times I need an experienced repair person. But depending on the cost and time it will take me to do it on my own I often do it myself.

As I previously mentioned about the quality of items, I have even recently built my own patio furniture. Most of the retail stores and even many places online sell patio sets made of plastic, rattan, or cheap metal that will quickly decay. Solid wood outdoor furniture can be affordable. But teak is the best and so expensive you would have to spend a fortune. Researching wood types online and finding an easy to follow video I was able to build a sectional out of cedar wood. Cedar will last for quite a long time if taken care of. The total price for building it was almost half of what I would have paid for something of less quality.

When it comes to buying something that will last, the internet is priceless. Doing some research and reading reviews will pay off. The result will be purchasing things that last and do not have to be replaced every few years. Thus, making the price you pay go much further.

3. Banking/Investing

This may come as a surprise to many people, but you can save a lot of money not using a traditional local bank or brokerage firm. Both are notorious for charging fee after fee for their bottom line. This is quite evident in the ATM withdrawal fees many banks charge. Three to five dollars to get some of my own money out of my bank through another institution’s ATM? Paying these fees not only adds up in a month and years’ time, but it is also one of the most ridiculous ways to just give away your hard-earned money.

There are some local banks that will not charge for checking accounts and ATM fees, but they typically require a minimum balance. These can also be an option to save if you have the money to deposit and hold the balance requirement. However, there are some banks that are almost strictly based online and have little if any physical locations.

Online banks once again do not have the overhead for branch locations. They are able to pass the savings back to their customers. In my opinion, one of the best is USAA. You have to be military, previous military or have a related family member that has been in the military. If you qualify for one of these, I highly recommend that you look into them.

I use USAA and banking online is no longer a hassle as it might once have been. They have a relationship with a national bank for free ATM withdrawal’s. If I need money from another location, they credit the fee back to my account at the end of the month. A paycheck is deposited without an issue with direct deposit. Making a check deposit is immediate with a scanner or mobile phone. Free checking, a great app, and easy online access make it simple to bank with them.

USAA is so good at not charging the customer for every little service. When I have had to have another bank account with a local bank for business they always make the attempt to have me open other accounts. When I tell them where I do the majority of my banking and investments they have often said they are not able to beat the costs and savings.

Investment accounts are also another way to save by going online. If you do not have the need for a personal advisor or have the wealth to seek professional advice for tax savings and investments, then opening an account online for investing only makes sense. There are quite a few brokerage firms that offer online trading and investments. Do your research and find one that offers low-cost trading and investing. Look for low cost or no-load mutual funds and research the expenses. If you trade individual stocks, you shouldn’t be paying more than five or ten dollars a trade or quite possibly even having it be free.

If you are not in the minority for needing a financial planner or advisor, you will save by doing it yourself and having an account online.

4. Selling

I guess selling is really not technically saving. However, rather than giving away items or having a garage sale to sell that designer in-demand item for only the quarter you are offered, why not try selling it on the internet?

When it comes to the internet one person’s trash is truly another’s treasure. There are many sites, such as eBay, Etsy, Posh Mark and many others where you can sell stuff. Offer up and Facebook is also a good place to sell things locally. Craig’s List has become somewhat outdated and, in my opinion, loaded with scammers so be careful if you decide to use it.

Selling online really does not take much effort and does not have to be difficult. If you prefer not to meet up with someone for safety reasons then a site like eBay can work. There is a cost to selling online, but you may be able to get much more money for an item than giving it away or selling it at a garage sale. The end result will be the ability to put money away and save.

The only thing with selling online is there does come some risk and I would caution against selling higher priced items. All of the online selling venues have people that are less than honest, but I can tell you that I have been selling online for years and the people looking to take advantage of others is a very small percentage. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen.

It will take a little time to get going with selling online to learn the process, but once you have it down and build up some experience it becomes much easier.

Collectibles, antique items, tools, in demand popular clothing can all be sold online. These are just some of the categories I have had the best luck with.

Even if you decide to have a garage sale, it is always best to do some research on things you are not sure about having much of a value. With a little research on a site like eBay, you can find out the current market value for an item and see if it would be better to sell it online. The truth is that selling online is a very popular way for people to make extra money. Garage and yard sales are where they often pick up items to sell at a profit. If you have a garage sale, there is a good chance that some of those items you sold will be put online for sale. Why not get the most you can for your own stuff and use it to pay off debt or save?

5. Apps

The smartphone can make us smart if the tools and resources are used. Not only can we get news, entertainment and work through the use of a cell phone with access to the internet, but it is a great tool to save money.

Cell phone service can be expensive once you add up all the fees and services, but if use it to do some research, it can save you money. Finding useful apps could also put more of the outrageous cell phone charges back into your pocket.

First, let me start by saying I do not advocate large cell phone bills. If you are swindled into leasing the newest one-thousand-dollar cell phone or must have the newest one every year or two and spend the money to get it, then you are not motivated to being debt free unless you are independently wealthy. You can get an older phone that will work just as good for using the internet on it.

One way I like to use my mobile phone is to look up items I may be thinking about buying or need. I don’t make a lot of purchases at retail stores these days unless I need something quick. If I need a moderately priced item, I will look online at some of the stores close to me and find the best deal. I can then go straight to the place I need to go and pick it up. The cost differences in everyday items between stores is surprising.

Larger priced items I see while I am out, I can tell very quickly if I can get an item much less expensive online by searching Amazon. If the price is comparable or there are not much savings, I will typically buy the item. If it is much less expensive and I can wait a few days, I will make the purchase online. Most of the time I am able to find things at a much lower cost online.

If you get into selling items around the house online instead of donating them or holding a garage sale, the cell phone can also be a great tool. You may begin to pick up some extra money by flipping items you buy at other people’s garage sales. Having a cell phone with the internet you can quickly look up the going value for most items while out searching for them. This side hustle could easily pay for your cell phone bill each month.

Cell phone apps are another great tool for saving. I personally use an app called Mint. This lets me connect allow of my financial accounts to one place and I can see where I am spending. Thus, allowing me to save money in areas that I may be spending too much. In addition to Mint, there are many more apps available that will allow you to save your spare change, manage debt, and make a budget. Some of them will charge for their services, but there are plenty of free apps available as well that if used correctly will allow you to manage your money and save.

The internet is an invaluable resource for saving money. If you have not used some of the techniques and resources for saving by using it, give it a try. I think you will be astonished. You will pick up new skills and knowledge you never knew you had that will allow you to save on common household or auto repairs that can be expensive. It will allow you to save on purchasing the high ticket and everyday items and also manage your money so you know where you can save. This will only result in saving more and spending less.


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