Money Saving Monday: 3 Tips to use the Internet and Save $1500 a Year
This is a guest post by Michael Martine.
With more and more everyday activities moving from the physical world to the virtual
world, it becomes possible to save money by eliminating redundancies when these
activities create more than one cost. Doing this means you need to actively seek out
opportunities to eliminate redundancy and that you need to feel comfortable getting
around online and on your computer. If you’ve used email and made purchases online
before, you can follow these tips to save over $1500 a year.
No need to buy magazines or newspapers
I almost never buy magazines and newspapers anymore, because if I really want to
read or learn about something, I can read about it online. I used to spend an average of $14 per month in magazines. Now I spend $0.
Savings per year: $168
Use Netflix instead of cable television
Instead of paying for cable television and internet access, or phone and internet
access, only pay for internet access. If you really want to watch movies at home,
get Netflix. It’s way cheaper and you only get what you want–you don’t have to worry about what else is on that you may not want your kids seeing. Television news is pretty worthless, anymore. I get my news and weather online. Cable television plus modem was $120 per month. Cable modem alone is $50 per month. Netflix is $20 per month.
Blockbuster can also a good option. Read Netflix vs. Blockbuster for more information.
Savings per year: $360
Use Skype instead of a landline
If you’re already paying cellphone bills, and you have a land line, you can
oftentimes skip the landline. Use Skype instead. Skype is a program and a service that lets you use your computer as a phone. You can get a Skype number for a very low rate (few dollars a month) at which people can call you from regular phones. The best part is that you can call other Skype users for free. If you get your friends and family to use it, you will almost never pay any money at all, no matter how far away they are. Ther are even regular phones you can get that work with Skype, although a headset/microphone combination will often do just fine. Phone was an average of $89 per month. Keep in mind that if you ditch your landline you will only have 911 emergency capability through your cellphone.
Savings per year: $1068
So let’s add all these all up and see how much money I’ve saved throughout the year
by using the internet.
No magazines or newspapers saves $168.
No cable TV + Netflix saves $360.
No landline phone + Skype saves $1068.
Grand total saved in one year: $1596.
There are other ways to save money by using the internet that are harder to
quantify. I can’t really calculate how much time and gas money I save by banking and
paying bills online, but over the course of a year I’ll bet it’s significant. One of
simplest ways of all to save money using the internet is to shop for items online
that are less expensive than buying them from a nearby retail store. I haven’t
calculated how much money I saved by comparing to brick & mortar retail store
prices. Shipping charges can sometimes erase any savings you had hoped for, so shop
carefully at places like Overstock.com, where shipping even on large items such as furniture is only a couple bucks. Of course the best way to spend less is to spend less and buy nothing unless it’s truly necessary.
I hope you find these tips helpful and if you have any of your own tips for saving
money via the internet, please share them with everyone in the comments.
Michael Martine has been designing and marketing websites since 1996 and blogs since 2000. Now he is a blog coach and consultant as well as a WordPress theme designer. Once, he lived frugally in a small cabin in the woods… but he still had an internet connection!