The Many Ways the Internet Saves (and Makes) You Money

Ten years ago the Internet used to be a luxury that wealthy families could afford, but now most have it. 

According to Nielsen, of the 80% of American homes that have a computer, 92% of them have Internet access.

With this access, they also have a powerful tool to save money.

Sure, we have to pay monthly for our Internet service, but my guess is that people who use the Internet wisely save at least as much as they spend for Internet access, if not more.

Have you given thought lately to all of the ways the Internet saves you money?

Here are just a few I came up with:

Ways the Internet Saves You Money

Discounts

The Internet makes you eligible for many discounts.  From automating your student loan payments and saving .25% interest to avoiding fees by getting your bank and other account statements online rather than in paper form, you can save some serious money.

My bank charges $3 per month to send out a monthly statement.  Automating it online saves me $36 a year.

When I purchase something online, I always make sure to look for a promo code before paying full price, which has saved me nearly $100 this year alone.

Don’t forget daily deal sites like Groupon and Living Social where you can buy a voucher and save 50% or more.

Coupons

Many Americans have opted out of getting their Sunday newspaper with coupon inserts and instead search for grocery and toiletry coupons online.


The coupons online aren’t just for groceries, though.  You can visit a restaurant’s website and often find a coupon or like a restaurant on Facebook to get a free meal when they are having a promotion to grow their Facebook page.

Do It Yourself

internet saves you money on repairs

A few searches on the internet and you can save a load of money in repairs.

You Tube can turn you into an instant repair person.

Need to make a repair to your dishwasher?  Check YouTube for instructions.  A few months ago my spacebar on my laptop was sticking.  A few YouTube videos later, I had fixed the problem and saved myself a computer repair bill.  (Just be careful here.  Doing it yourself can lead to more expensive repairs if you try to tackle a job that is just too big for you to accomplish.)

[Editor: I've also used You Tube for repair information.  In fact I just fixed a window that wouldn't stay open thanks to a You Tube instruction video.  This saved us lots of dough by not calling in a repair person.]

Do it yourself is not just limited to repair projects, though.  Pinterest is alive and well and shares everything from how to make a fancy birthday cake for your child to how to decorate your home stylishly for less to educational activities for kids, and almost anything else you can think of.

Frugal Living

The web is now has a wealth of information (excuse the pun) on how to live frugally.  From learning how to make your own almond milk to alerts about clothing sales to alternatives to Microsoft Office, there are thousands of ways to learn how to save money and live frugally.

Green Living

If you are into reducing, reusing and recycling, the Internet can help you here too.

Have old books that you won’t read again?  You can post them on Paperback Swap and get new-to-you books in return.  The only thing you pay is the shipping to send out your books to other Paperback Swap patrons.

Want to recycle your electronics?  The web can help you with that too.  Not only are you safely disposing of your old phones and computers, but you may be able to make some money, too.

Interested in eating organic foods and finding organic coupons?  Recyclebank can help you while educating you on how to live a greener life.

Comparison Shopping

Want to save a few cents per gallon on gas?  Check out gasbuddy.com to see the station with the lowest price per gallon in your neighborhood.

What about buying a new car or even a small appliance for your home?  The Internet makes it easier than ever before to comparison shop and look for the best deal without ever leaving your home.

[Editor: I won't make a big purchase until I've checked out prices and reviews on Amazon.]

Saving Money on Everyday Items

Many stores offer special discounts available only to their online shoppers.  Snag these for extra savings, and make sure to shop stores that offer free shipping.  (Now you have saved on the price of gas you would have had to spend to get to the store.)

Need a will or a lease as a landlord?  The Internet can help you create those documents too and save you hundreds of dollars in legal fees.  (You may want to have an attorney look over the documents for any errors, though.)

Want to earn more interest than your brick and mortar bank is willing to pay?  Consider online banking, which is also a great way to snag free money when they try to entice new customers to try their service out and offer $50 or $75 in return.

Budgeting

If you need help budgeting your money, there are plenty of services available from Mint.com to Pear Budget and everything in between.  You will also find plenty of personal finance blogs that offer advice about budgeting.

College Savings

The Internet has revolutionized college funding.

Scour the Internet for popular and little-known scholarship sources.  Learn how to go to college for free or pick a low-cost option.  Learn how one family is paying cash for their daughter to attend college.

Make Money

The Internet isn’t only good for opportunities to save money; you can also make money via the Internet.

Whether you choose to work as a freelance writer, a virtual assistant, a blogger, or other career choices online, the Internet offers plenty of ways to make a little extra money or even a full-time income, all in the comfort of your own home.

Finally

You may not have given it much thought, but the Internet has truly revolutionized our lives, and our wallets.

What are other ways the Internet saves you money?

 

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Published or updated July 26, 2014.

Comments

  1. The internet has made me money by showing my about different cash back credit cards that pay out decent cash back percentages that I otherwise would not have known about!

  2. This is a comprehensive list! There are many ways the internet can help one save and make money, but it should be noted that time is valuable and some of us have a habit of spending too much time searching for coupons, price comparisons or on a DIY project. Use the internet to save time and money. Search it, find it, and move on to the next project.

    • It’s true, you can easily get distracted as well. But I think you can save tons of time with the internet. In comparison shopping and product research it helps to not have to jump in a car, with the kids, and head of to a brick and mortar location.

      But yes, you still need to keep focuses on your objective.

  3. The ‘do it yourself’ aspect is one I’m realizing more and more. Just by looking things up, I’ve found videos or instructions on how to do certain things, or just answering questions about things that made me afraid that would have stopped me before. Example, I had a plugged up sink. I knew that I could take the u-trap off but I wasn’t sure if I would be breaking any seals that might need to be reapplied afterward. A quick internet search answered that and helped me proceed.

  4. Mo' Money Mo' Houses says:

    So true! I don’t know where I would be without the lovely internet and all it’s money saving power!

  5. Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager says:

    I love saving money by finding good recipes and craft ideas online.

  6. The internet is a great resource. I use it for information, communication and shopping. Using the shopping bots makes shopping easier and less expensive.

  7. The Internet has saved me the most money on things you already mentioned: discounts, coupons, and comparison shopping. Whereas in “real life”, you’d have to do your comparison shopping either in the store or using sales papers, the Internet allows you to do all the comparison shopping from wherever you’re connected.

    Last night, I did some comparison shopping on plane tickets for my cousin, to find the best deal possible. I also always Google promo codes for places. You can get lucky!

  8. I save money for continuing education for my profession. Some of the websites for resources that I use offer free CE courses. My professional organization offers webinars, podcasts and downloads of journal articles for discounted prices. These fill in the gaps for when I need just a few more hours that the big in-person workshop that I travelled to didn’t cover.

  9. The internet can also save you money by the fact that you can check out different reviews for business before you potentially get ripped off. Sites like Angie’s List and Yelp give consumers a way to rate the performance of different business which really help consumers that may hire someone blindly without knowing they have a history of bad service.

    Has anyone ever used these types of sites to check out a potential contractor or business prior to doing business with them?

    Sally Stretton

  10. I absolutely agree with you that using the internet can save you lots of money. There are lots of discount coupon sites that will update you of the latest promos on hundreds of online stores. I have gotten as much as 75% off on clothes, home items & also office supplies. I also regularly visit GasBuddy to find the cheapest gas prices in my area. Let’s not forget about youtube..

  11. It also saves me a ton of money on gas. I don’t have to drive around looking for things, you can find directions and comparison shop right on the internet.

    Plus, money on my phone bill so I don’t use all of my minutes talking to people – most things can be done online. Also, saves me money on banking fees because I just use ING direct, which is online banking. It’s free!

  12. Anne Perdow says:

    The Internet has saved me quite a bit of money since I decided to invest in it at home over a decade ago. It was worth the initial investment and now our family could not live without the coupons, discounts, how-to info and special deals. It is also a source of additional income for all of us, including my 11-year-old daughter who recently discovered a couple of points programs she could participate in. She can’t wait to earn her first gift card.

  13. I agree with you, the internet is an unlimited source of information. Everything we need is available here, from answers to most frequently asked questions to trouble-shooting tutorials to food recipes that are free. All you need to have is the right keyword to search for the search engines and you’ll have everything.

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