When the Internet was gaining steam some fifteen years ago, I was one of the people who held back. I didn’t see the point in wasting time staring at a screen and hoping to find some new conclusions or secrets that weren’t available anywhere else. Time has certainly changed my mind.
I realize now that the Internet was not offering new secrets; instead, it was mining the same information that existed everywhere else, only faster and cheaper. In other words, I know now that the power of the Internet is unmistakable. Whether you own your own company, work using the Internet, or simply use it for shopping and other types of recreation, it can be a tool for saving money.
Getting the Word Out for Next to Nothing
When I started my business years ago, I didn’t see how the Internet could help me. I got a website going, but no one in my company paid it much attention. People who visited the site couldn’t understand why I even kept it up. I obviously wasn’t concerned with it helping my business.
Later, I saw the power of social media sites, and how they could help me promote my services. I also understood that they could offer me advertising platforms for minimal money. If you want to get started and all you can afford is a quality website and SEO campaign, it actually can make a difference.
Saving Money on Things You Love to Do
Not everyone is going to need the Internet for advertising or promoting purposes. Most people will try to find deals on things they love to do, their favorite hobbies and recreational activities. My son found a boating tube online that would have cost us a lot more in a retail store. My daughter found her favorite pair of shoes online; the other option was driving 45 miles and wasting all that gas money.
People who love to travel now have a best friend in the Internet. While travel agencies seemed to make things more expensive for every client, the Internet airline and hotel sites have changed the game forever. Instead of hoping for a fair price, you have multiple sites trying to compete for your business. In fact, everyone can find the same items they used to buy online for less.
Fueling a Secondhand Market
Impulse buys used to linger in our homes forever, monuments to mistakes made and money lost. With today’s secondhand market in full swing online, you can move some of these impulse buys on sites like ebay and craigslist, and get cash back. You might not get it all back, but it will make a huge difference.
Monitoring Your Finances
Getting control of your personal finances was a lot harder before the Internet put banking and financial accounts at your fingertips. Now you can transfer balances from high-interest credit cards to other cards, or check your bank statement balances without leaving your desk. Smart moves like this one could lead to hundreds of dollars in savings. Catching mistaken bank fees and other hidden charges can save you even more.
Avoiding the Hooks and Finding the Right Product
Before the Internet put so much information online, it was easy for companies to scam people. Now, you can do research to make sure the information is valid and the investment you are considering is sound. They can’t fool everyone now. I have been saved on numerous occasions by websites that got me real facts when I needed them. When we were looking for a gps for our boat, we realized there were several features that would be worthless on the water. We looked through several Garmin portable GPS reviews and finally found one that was perfect for our needs, at a very reasonable price.
“If you would be wealthy, think of saving as well as getting.” –Ben Franklin
In the end, having the Internet’s information at our disposal will save us all money. With more choices, more options and more ways to control our finances online, we can finally be smart about money and the time we spend on it.
About the Author
Jane Warren is a boating enthusiast and freelance writer who covers topics ranging from boating and scuba diving to water sports safety.