Saving Money with the Internet

Surprise! The Internet can save you money. It’s not just a time wasting machine!

The Internet isn’t just a dangerous pit of quicksand that sucks us in with cat videos and social media. It can also be a powerful tool to help you save some precious cash. Here are some ways you can use the web to make your dollar go further.

Bargain Shopping

The Internet has made comparison shopping so easy. Using a comparison shopping engine like Price Grabber or BizRate, you can find the item you need at the cheapest price. These sites work best for electronics, clothing, and accessories

Want to save money on food? The Internet can help with that, too! Search for coupons at Coupons.com or even buy your food directly from Amazon. I get my granola bars, tea, and other non-perishable packaged goods from the online retailer delivered to my door in two days, thanks to free Prime Shipping. Students can get this shipping deal, along with other perks, with a free 6-month membership of Amazon Prime.

Ditch Cable, Get Hulu

Cable TV is expensive. Crazy expensive. That's why I don't have cable. Instead, for $7.99 a month I get all the shows I could possibly want through my iPad, BluRay player or other Internet-ready device device on demand with Hulu Plus. Most cable packages start at $30 and up. I like $7.99 much better.

Hulu also offers their online TV and video streaming for free. You won't get as many shows or episodes and you'll have to watch from your computer, but you'll save even more money on the cost of TV entertainment.

Track Your Spending

Many of Maine's Credit Unions offer online banking platforms to help you manage your finances. Using the Reports feature on the online banking platform from my credit union, I can track my spending from month to month in many different categories. Below is a graph from my CU's online banking platform that shows my spending on groceries since April of last year. (Keep in mind I shop for two people!)

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Getting a visual representation of my spending helps me see where I should cut back. The Reports feature also allows me to set a budget in different categories and will alert me when I am getting close to my limit. It’s a great tool available through many of Maine’s Credit Unions that will help save you money.

How do you use the Internet to save money?

Kylie K.