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6 Ways to Use the Internet to Save Money

By Cary Anderson

Although in-home Internet access results in incurring another bill that needs to be paid at the end of the month, this can usually be viewed as money well spent. Think of your Internet access bill as an investment in a resource that enables you to save money and live frugally.

There are dozens of different ways that your Internet bill effectively pays for itself. Here are some of the ways we can use the Internet to save money:

1. Access to do-it-yourself resources. The Internet is basically a giant user’s manual for life. If there’s something you want to learn how to do, chances are the Internet can teach you. This can serve a very practical purpose when it comes to needing to fix something. Repairmen of all kinds are great, but they can also be rather costly. Why not try Googling your problem first to see if you can figure out how to fix it yourself? Not only does this save money but it comes with a pretty nifty sense of accomplishment as well.

2. Researching costs. Before spending any significant amount of money on a purchase, it’s a smart move to use the Internet to see if you can’t find a better deal. Completed eBay listings and Google shopping searches can both help give you an idea of how much to pay for a certain thing. A few minutes of homework could save you some bucks.

3. Free method of communication. There are numerous ways to communicate for free on the Internet. You can save on your cell phone bill by making calls over Skype. Emailing letters and birthday cards helps save on postage and stationery. You can even send free text messages to your friends’ phones using the Internet.

4. Being your own realtor. If you’re a realtor, you’re not going to like hearing this, but it’s true: the Internet has made realtors less valuable. The reason for this is that it is now much easier for people to act as their own realtor by house or apartment hunting from their living room without having to pay a handsome commission to having someone drive them around showing them places.

5. Free education. Spending a fortune on a quality education is becoming an increasingly difficult thing to justify. There are so many free, high-quality educational portals on the Internet that one can’t help but sense a bubble is about to burst in the “paid tuition” model. Khan Academy, MIT OpenCourseware, TED Talks, and several other mediums of education are giving Internet users access to learning from some of the world’s brightest minds at no cost.

6. Buying and selling used goods. One word: Craigslist. The online garage sale. As is the case with garage sales, most of the stuff is crap you won’t want. But when you find that rare gem on Craigslist nothing beats the feeling of picking up a coveted new (to you) item for pennies on the dollar.

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