There’s no question that saving money is a key step to controlling your financial destiny. But you can’t save money if you don’t really understand how to spend it effectively. These days, we have an extremely powerful tool for effective spending right at our fingertips: the Internet. Here are three ways that the Internet offers you unparalleled potential for spending improvement.
- The Internet allows for easy price comparison. Comparing prices among retailers used to be a time-consuming task. If the item didn’t appear in the weekly ad, you’d have to either visit several stores or call them to find out the price of the item you wanted to compare. Now, you can go online and search for products at various stores or use websites such as pricegrabber.com to compare prices before you buy. If you have a smartphone, you can download an app that allows you to scan barcodes in store and immediately receive prices from other retailers.
- You can more easily buy in bulk. We’ve always had the ability to buy certain goods in mass quantities, but in some areas of the U.S., where a warehouse store like Costco wasn’t available, options were limited. Now, with the Internet, we have even more options for buying large orders of goods and we enjoy the ease of having it delivered right to our door. As an added note, when buying in bulk, make sure you focus on nonperishable items that you use regularly. Buying in bulk only reduces your spending when the cost per unit of products you use frequently is reduced.
- You can find a wider range of used goods. Your local thrift shop might not have the DVD or small kitchen appliance you’re looking for. The library may not have a certain book you want to read and that local consignment shop may not have the accessory your outfit calls for. Before the Internet, if you couldn’t find the used goods you wanted locally, you’d generally turn to retailers and buy items new at a significantly higher cost. Now, a simple Internet search will bring up dozens of used options for many of the items you want to purchase, allowing you to save money on so much more.
These are just a few ideas—but there are so many more. What are some of your favorite ways to use the Internet to save?