5 Areas Where Your Computer Can Save You Money

by Gina Blitstein · 1 comment

Most everyone has at least one computer these days. They connect us to friends, family and the whole world in addition to providing access to any information we seek. While computers can cost a pretty penny to buy, accessorize and hook up, they can also help us save money. Yes, you heard right — computers can help us to save money and at the very least, spend more wisely. For the cost of an Internet connection, here are some of the ways computers can help us live more frugally:

1. Wiser Shopping

Computers enable us to shop more wisely by helping us learn about products and compare prices among stores. As better-informed, empowered consumers, we spend more prudently.

Once we do that initial fact-finding, we can also locate online shopping sites where prices may be cheaper than at brick and mortar stores – or where we can delay paying sales tax. By shopping online, we save the cost of the gasoline to get us to and from a physical store – an increasingly bigger consideration as gas prices rise.

There are also a plethora of websites where consumers can procure money-saving coupons to purchase virtually anything at a discounted price, from groceries to electronics to clothing.

2. Keeping in Touch for Free

Staying connected to friends and family used to be pricey but email has made writing to friends and family both immediate and free. With the advent of Facebook and the other social media websites, we can remain in contact with far-away friends and family as often as we wish for absolutely no cost.

We can make free phone calls with GoogleVoice.com and even call or video chat with other members by joining a free service like Skype.com. Video cameras are available at low prices and also make seeing and hearing our loved ones possible for far less than long-distance charges or the cost of gasoline for the car or airfare.

3. Inexpensive Entertainment

Rather than paying for cable or satellite television, you can watch many shows and movies right on your computer. Many television networks allow you to watch recent episodes of their programs on their websites. Hulu.com is a free (or low-cost) service that provides a wide selection television shows, past and present.

Netflix.com delivers unlimited movies and television shows to your mailbox, computer or console gaming device for a minimal subscription cost.

4. No More Postage!

In addition to the stamps you save by not mailing letters, you may never need to mail a gift again. Many online shopping sites offer free shipping — so you can have a gift delivered directly to its recipient without incurring an additional cent getting it there.

Online bill pay is another way to save on postage. With stamps at $.44 each, it doesn’t take mailing many bills to add up to several dollars each month. Most businesses and utilities who send you bills provide you the option of paying from their website. Likewise, most banks have a bill paying service that allows you to pay bills online directly from your checking account.

5. Money-Saving Services

Keep in mind the myriad of programs and services that are available to help you do anything from making a will to doing your taxes more affordably than hiring a professional. These are worth looking into if your needs are fairly straightforward and uncomplicated.

As much of a money-pit as a computer can be with all the programs and add-ons available, it can also be a source of savings. Think of your computer as your economizing appliance and you’ll easily recognize many opportunities for saving in numerous areas of your life.

Bonus Tip:

Did you know that you can save money with Netflix? Even if you don't plan on using the service, you should at least sign up for the Netflix free trial here to get some free movies for a month.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

John in NL September 23, 2012 at 9:28 pm

I save a bundle using VoIP on my Internet connection. The old wired Telco was charging over $90 per month. My VoIP service costs less than $20 and messages go to my email address just like at the office.

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