Save Money Surfing the Web

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According to Nielsen-Online, nearly 156 million Americans are online every month, and while it may be costing you money to allow your family the privilege of surfing the Net, it could actually be saving you more money than you realize. If it isn’t, then you need to know how much you’re missing out on! Here are several ways you can be saving money online.

Shop online. We all know about eBay, Amazon and other online retailers that sell products at a fraction of the store price, but did you know that a lot of store’s sell their own products for less online than in their actual stores? This is especially true with store’s that sell electrical consumer goods such as computers, stereos, and the like.

Compare everything. For years we’ve been told to “shop around” before we buy anything, and while in the past this has meant trawling around the shopping mall for hours, in terms of the Internet, this couldn’t be easier. Many store Websites now offer comparisons of products on other Websites. You should be wary of bias, however. It would still be wise to check individual store Websites for yourself.

There are also many Websites dedicated to comparing products, but as with store Websites, be aware that some comparison Websites affiliate with company’s who offer them a commission for every customer that website brings to in. Make sure you always do your research.

Bank online. Sometimes it’s hard to remember exactly how much money you’ve spent, and it’s not always easy to get to an ATM. But these days, nearly every major bank offers the benefit of online banking, allowing you access to your finances 24/7. This guarantees you always know how much money you have and never overspend your bank balance, and allows you to keep an eye on all of the bills you pay.

Many banks also offer credit card deals and loans that are only available online and that are far better than what you can find locally.

Receive your bills online. With the encouragement to go green and save the planet, many companies actually prefer it if you only receive online bills from them, rather than paper copies–especially electric companies, telephone companies and other utility companies.

This is beneficial to you for more reasons than simply saving the environment though (and that’s a good reason!). Many companies have started charging customers who insist on receiving paper copies of their bills. And if you set up an automatic debit to pay your bill, many companies will reward you for that, too, with added discounts or other perks.

Freebies. When large companies, in particular, launch a new product, they like to give away free samples so people can try the product, love it and tell all their friends how brilliant that company is. While ten years ago these samples would be placed in the mailboxes of a privileged few–most of whom wouldn’t even use the product–in the Internet age, most free samples are offered online to the first 100 or so people who ask for them. This gives the companies more control over their disbursement and while you may not get every one, there are plenty of samples to be found. There are even Websites that specialize in doing the work for you and will find all of the free things they can so you don’t have to.

Travel. If you need to travel a long distance by air, bus or train, then you should definitely consider ordering tickets online. Look around and it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll find early-bird or last-minute fares at greatly reduced rates. And the same applies for hotel bookings and car rentals.

Moving. You can save 30 percent or more on the cost of renting a moving truck through Budget, Uhaul or Ryder when you order online. Be careful, though, if you book a truck and don’t pick it up as promised, or if you wait to long to cancel the rental, you could be charged a cancellation fee of up to $50.

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