Did you know you can use the internet to save on everyday expenses? Keep reading to find out ten ways you can use the internet to help you save money.
10. Use Social Media
Following your favorite retailers on social media can help you score some good discounts. That’s because retailers often advertise exclusive sales and coupons on social media that you won’t see elsewhere. But, it’s not just retail stores doing this. Restaurants, hotels and museums also advertise exclusive deals on social media. That means you could also snag a good deal on your next vacation.
DID YOU KNOW?
Customer service reps on social media sometimes have access to secret coupon codes and other discounts. “You can find out about those deals by just messaging the social media accounts or tweeting at them to ask if anything is available,” Andrea Woroch, a consumer money and savings expert, told Discover Bank.
9. Browse the Technical Support Help Center
Many technical support departments charge a fee when you call in for help. For example, NetZero charges a fee of $25 per incident for live telephone technical support. But, if you search the company’s online technical support help center, you can find solutions to many common technical errors, like what to do when the remote modem isn’t responding or why you can receive but not send email from your ISP email account. And, best of all, it won’t cost you a dime!
TIP: If you find you need additional help, you can try reaching out via social media. In fact, social media is one of the quickest ways to reach someone in the customer service department. Many support reps monitor their company’s social media profiles to respond to customers’ issues. For example, Comcast support reps are available via Twitter 24/7 to assist with any customer concerns.
8. Subscribe to Newsletters and Alerts
Many retailers offer discounts just for signing up for their newsletter. Plus, they periodically send additional sales promotions to your inbox.
Another option is to sign up for price alerts so you can be notified when the cost of an item you’re monitoring drops. With Skyscanner’s Flight Price Tracker, you can track the price of a specific flight or route. When the price changes, Skyscanner will notify you via email or push notification that the price went down, or up, and by how much. Skyscanner also offers airfare alerts to help you find the best flight deals.
For retail alerts, you can sign up with websites like CamelCamelCamel, which tracks Amazon prices, and PriceBlink or PricePinx, which lets you see which store offers the lowest price on an item.
DID YOU KNOW?
There’s an app that lets you automatically get refunds on purchases when prices drop. It’s called Earny, and here’s how it works: Based on receipts from your inbox, Earny will search for price drops on your purchases and claim the difference on your behalf. Earny will notify you on every refund you get.
7. Shop Online and Pick Up In-Store
Skip the shipping fees by shopping online and picking up your items in the store. Shopping online also makes it easier to find discounts and avoid impulse purchases, Jon Lal, founder and CEO of befrugal.com, said in a Reader’s Digest article. Plus, it’s a time-saver since you won’t have to fight the crowd or stand in long checkout lines–not to mention that some stores may deliver your purchases to your car. With AmazonFresh Pickup, an employee wheels your order out to the car and puts it in your trunk.
6. Switch to an Online Bank
Online banks have lower overhead costs, so they get to pass on those savings to their customers. For example, online banks typically don’t charge monthly maintenance fees or ATM fees, and some of them even let you open an account with no deposit. There are also no fees for money transfers. Additionally, online banks are able to offer higher interest rates. According to the FDIC, the average savings account interest rate last October was 0.06 percent. But, Bank of Internet USA’s high-yield Smart Savings Account earns 1.05% APY. And, Discover Bank’s savings account earns 1.15% APY–and the best part is that no minimum balance is required.
5. Get Free or Cheap Music
With a free subscription to Spotify, you’ll get access to over 35 million songs. You can also travel abroad with your music for up to 14 days and have on-demand mobile access on select playlists. So, just how is Spotify able to offer all this for free? Ad interruptions, of course. If you don’t mind the advertisements, this is a really great deal. For those of you who hate ad interruptions, you can sign up for Spotify Premium. It’s available for $9.99/month–that’s after a 30-day free trial. Options include the Premium for Family plan, for up to 5 members of the same household, and the Premium for Students plan, for students currently enrolled at an accredited college or university. With the student plan, you get 50 percent off a Premium subscription for an entire year, plus access to Hulu Limited Commercials and SHOWTIME at no extra cost.
4. Use Online Coupons
Sites like Groupon and RetailMeNot offer discounts upwards of 70 percent or more on everyday products at retailers like Sears, Target, Walmart, and Macy’s. Once you get the coupon code, you simply copy and paste it into the “promo code” field and redeem your rewards.
TIP: Use Google to quickly find coupon codes. Simply enter the brand’s name along with the words “promo code,” and you’ll be presented with a list of the latest discounts.
DID YOU KNOW?
You can digitize your paper coupons with mobile apps like the SnipSnap Coupon App. Here’s how it works: You take a picture of a print coupon with your Android camera. Then, when you get to the store, show the cashier your phone at checkout to redeem your coupon. You can download SnipSnap via Google Play or the App Store. NOTE: Manufacturer coupons redeemed at grocery stores are not supported.
3. Get Free Clothes
If you don’t mind getting some hand-me-downs, you can swap clothes online–and possibly end up with a whole new wardrobe–on websites like RehashClothes.com. Here’s how it works: Go through your closet to find clothing you don’t want (NOTE: It must be in OK condition). Take pictures of the items and upload them to the website. Then, click the “Rehash Something” button and fill in the required fields. You can also fill in the optional “Looking For” field if you’re looking for something specific. Next, start making trade offers or wait for trade requests from other users. Finally, accept an offer and ship your item(s) or wait for your item(s) to be shipped. You can buy and print a USPS label directly from your trade window through Rehash. You can also schedule a free pickup or take it to the post office and handle it yourself. Once you do, you’ll need to go back into the website and mark the item as “shipped.”
2. Forgo In-Game Purchases
Instead of forking over money to a game developer for more points, additional lives or to skip a level, head over to Google and enter the title of the game along with the level you’re trying to get past. Once you click on the search button, you’ll be able to find websites that list step-by-step instructions for beating the level. And, best of all, it’s FREE!
DID YOU KNOW?
In-game purchases can be quite expensive. In fact, one boy’s mother was charged £600 in FIFA add-ons. As a result, an organization called the Pan European Game Information, or PEGI for short, announced that an in-game purchase warning icon (a hand holding a credit card) will start appearing on video game boxes. The icon is already shown on digital-only games.
1. Get Affordable Internet Service
Speaking of saving money online, why not save on your internet service? According to U.S. News & World Report, you have several options for lowering your internet bill–perhaps even some you’ve never thought of. Here are a few of them:
–Check to see if promotional pricing is available. If it is, you could receive a temporary price break for six months or even a year. And, you can renegotiate this deal when the promotional price is nearing an end.
–Use a bill negotiation service. Did you know that there are services that will help you negotiate a lower price on your bills? Here’s how it works: You send them your bills, and they call your creditors and renegotiate on your behalf. If they succeed, they get a percentage of your savings. If they don’t, you don’t have to pay them one cent.
–Call in to cancel your service. You could end up with a lower bill if you do. That’s because internet service providers would rather keep you on as a customer, even at a reduced price, than lose out on money altogether.
–Buy your own modem and router. When you sign up for internet service, you rent the equipment (e.g. modems, routers, etc.) that comes along with it. Rather than having that cost included in your bill every month, you can save on internet costs by purchasing your own equipment.
What ways do you use the internet to save on everyday expenses? Let us know. We’d love to hear from you!