We’ve always had some form of technology to aid us, but until now we have never had such an abundance of technology that is accessible and relatively cheap. With the expansion of the internet and increased computing potential, we should consider the ways we can make use of it and how it can improve our financial well-being.
Here are five tips to save money using your computer:
Comparison Shop Online
You probably know this by now, but if it can be sold, you can find it online. And whatever it is you are looking for, there is probably a great range of prices if you look hard enough. While the base market price doesn’t really change too drastically from store to store, you can almost guarantee that some major online vendor is having a special event or sale to bring in new customers. Be one of those customers and take advantage of it, only returning when there’s another deal.
Also, don’t be afraid to pay a little bit for shipping instead of going out to a specialty store which might be a long drive. You need to take into account all costs, including research time, when making a decision regarding the best option. Craigslist might be nice for some people, but if you live in an area that has few internet users, then you aren’t going to have much luck. While eBay can get you some pretty cheap prices, is it worth all the extra effort compared to making a few clicks? Only you and your budget can decide.
Use a VPN to Manipulate Regional Pricing
One creative way you can save a lot of money is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). What a VPN will do is connect your computer to an offsite server over an encrypted connection. While this service grants great security and privacy benefits to you, the main attraction for the purposes of saving money is that you can appear as though you are in any country you want to, so long as the service you subscribe to has a server in the country.
What this means for your wallet is that you can take advantage of regional pricing. Most commonly found on airline tickets, regional pricing means that the online retailer or distributor will take a look at where you are and then change your price according to that data to best take advantage of you. You can instead turn the tables on them if you search around with your VPN and buy the cheapest ticket available. If you fly once a year, you can probably make your entire cost back and then some.
There are a lot of VPNs out there, but one of most popular ones is IPVanish, a low-cost option with great features and that will save you money on travel. However, any VPN is better than no VPN, and the cost is worth it in the long run.
Save Time with Technology
Don’t be afraid to spend a little money for the sake of convenience. There is wasteful spending online, of course, but in many instances, spending a dollar or two to save an hour of time comes out to be worth it in the long run. You can use that time to research new ways of making money should you need it, or otherwise spend it at your leisure or with your family.
Technology is meant to save us time and effort (otherwise we’d all still be using wash bins) and to allow us to get more for less. Perhaps ordering your groceries online is worth a ten dollar delivery fee, and going out to the front porch to pick up a new toy for your kid is worth it compared to the time and gas of going to the toy store (another benefit, you won’t have to go to the toy store). Not spending money is not the same as saving money.
Find Free Media
I’m not talking about internet piracy here, so don’t search Amazon for an eye-patch just yet. There is plenty of free media all over the internet to explore first. YouTube has some extremely interesting and funny channels now that aren’t just cheap homemade videos of pets. There is also a strong likelihood you can find films that are in the public domain, as well as a few TV shows.
If you are a reader, the options for you are nearly limitless. There are things such as the Project Gutenburg that has a great many books in the public domain that you can read online or print out for your own reading. If you need audiobooks, then you can download recordings of these books done by volunteers and listen to them on your way to work.
Find Online Coupons and Discounts
This one might seem pretty obvious, but it takes quite a few forms. Of course there are websites such as Groupon that will give you a direct coupon if you meet certain requirements, but often being part of an email list will net you a ton of coupons and online discounts that will save you a lot of money over the long run. Clipping a coupon to go to the grocery store and save you a dollar probably isn’t worth it, but saving 5 dollars from a copy and paste code? Absolutely worth it.
Yet what about all that junk mail you will receive when you don’t want to buy anything at the moment? This is why you should have a separate email account that you give out to online retailers. When it comes time to shop you just search your inbox and see if there is anything open that you can use. Otherwise the account can stay closed and not bother the rest of your important business.
Thank you for reading, and here is to hoping that you will save a great deal using these tips in order to get whatever you need.