5 Ways to Save Money Using Technology

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Technology has a lot more to offer than many realize. Although it’s mainly used for entertainment, did you know that it can also save or make you money? Shopping online is one example of how you can save some bucks.

There’s not much overhead cost for online retailers compared to your local store, so they’re sometimes able to offer larger discounts. Another way shopping online can be helpful when it comes to savings is the ability to easily and quickly compare prices across several different websites. The days when you have to rely on paper fliers or visiting multiple stores to check prices are gone.

Luckily, it’s easier than ever to find a great bargain; a simple Google search is really all it takes. To help you out a bit more, here are 5 ways to save money using technology.

1. Earn Cash Back On Your Purchases

If you happen to be an online shopper, or plan on becoming one, Ebates is a great website to keep in mind. You can join for free, and they actually pay you for signing up. New members receive $10 when they make a qualifying purchase of at least $25.

What Ebates actually does is give you cash back for any purchases that are made at specific websites, all of which are popular, well-known sites. The percentages of cash back vary and also change over time. For example, they are currently offering 6.0% cashback on Overstock.com purchases, whereas it used to be only 3.0%.

Ebates also has a variety of coupons that can help you save even more on your purchases. If you’re looking to earn some cash, you can do so by taking part in Ebates’ referral program. After you’ve earned over $5, you’ll be eligible to receive your payment in the form of either a check or through PayPal.

A particularly appealing feature of Ebates is that you don’t have to remember to visit their website each time you want to purchase something online. You can install the Ebates Cash Back Button, and it will automatically let you know if the website you are viewing is eligible, as well as allow you to activate cash back without having to visit their site in a separate tab or window.

I would recommend that you also take a look at FatWallet, as they are very similar to Ebates and sometimes offer a higher percentage of cash back when you shop on certain websites.

2. Invest In Energy Efficient Gadgets

Using modern gizmos can save you money because many of them are energy efficient. Look for the Energy Star label when you’re picking up your next electronic. Energy Star certified products typically use around 30 percent less energy than required by government standards.

Whether you’re buying a brand new TV, appliance, or even light bulb, most gadgets are now Energy Star certified and can save you money compared to your old ones. Newer electronics are definitely a worthwhile investment; it won’t take long for you to save the amount you spent on the product just by having a lower electric bill.

3. Save Money With Software

Surprisingly, there are some programs that can help you save some money. One of the most important and widely recognized programs for your computer is the good old anti-virus (McAfee or Norton sound familiar?). Not everyone knows it, but paying for anti-virus software is completely unnecessary.

Did you know that you can actually get your anti-virus program for free? Well you can, and not just for your computer. You can also get free anti-virus apps for your smartphone and tablet, all which will provide the same quality of protection as a paid service.

Of course the paid services sometimes offer some additional features that can be useful, but those are usually a matter of preference, rather than necessity. The free anti-virus programs will keep you protected just as well and without the cost.

Another program that can save you money is a VPN (Virtual Private Network). The VPN adds extra protection that your anti-virus program does not, such as encrypting your entire connection to the internet. Encryption is a sort of code that hackers don’t typically attempt to crack unless there is a serious incentive that would make the effort involved worthwhile.

That makes the average person with an encrypted connection very unappealing to them. It takes far too long to crack the code, and it can actually cost them money because a powerful computer is required in order to successfully hack into a secure connection (keeping their computer running over 24 hours can definitely start racking up their electric bill).

A VPN can save you money three ways: it will prevent hackers from obtaining your personal information (identity theft isn’t cheap), prevent you from spending additional money if one of the websites you subscribe to happens to be blocked wherever you travel (such as Netflix or Hulu), and by allowing you to call long distance for free or a reduced rate over programs such as Skype. A VPN can do all of this because it is a remote server that you connect to, so websites will “read” your location as being the actual location of the VPN, rather than your own. This makes it easy to seem as if you are located in Canada when you are actually in the United States.

A VPN typically costs somewhere between $5 and $15 per month, but you can actually find one for free. In my opinion, the best free VPN available right now is CyberGhost.

4.Coupons

The internet has brought us lots of things, including tons of coupons that weren’t commonly found before. You no longer have to sort through flyers in order to find savings on your favorite products. Now, you can just look online.

The easiest way to find coupons is to either check Coupons.com or the website of the specific product you’re interested in. Manufacturers will sometimes send you coupons if you take the time to email them as well.

5. Use Apps To Your Advantage

There are several apps available on your smartphone that can actually save you money. Skype is one of them, as you can make free calls (voice and/or video) to other Skype users. Another one is Textfree, which lets you both text and call others free of charge. Lastly, there are also a handful of coupon apps (Ibotta being one) that can help you keep some money in your pocket. Check your phone’s app store; you’ll be surprised at what you can find!

Technology can bring not only savings, but also ways to earn money as well. When finances are tight, take a look at what your computer or smartphone has to offer. You might find that there’s more savings to be had than you would have ever imagined.

I’d like to thank Homejobsbymom.com for publishing my guest post on their page. Homejobsbymom.com is not only a great resource for moms, but for everyone. They offer great recipes, DIY projects, and tips for crafting, parenting, and of course, saving and making money! I would recommend that you take a moment to check out their article titled 4 Tips to Help You Stick to Your Budget.

What helps you keep money in your pocket?

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Comments

  1. Very interesting post. I knew about the online coupons and Ebates.com but I’d never heard of a VPN before and will look into it.

    • It’s worth looking into if you do a lot of business online. My husband’s jobs have usually provided him with one so their information is extra secure.

  2. Shopping online saved me money as when I went into the store, I was tempted to buy items that were not on my list. However, this did not last long as I received far too many ‘replacement’ products when the ones I ordered were out of stock. The supermarket actually charged me for the difference in price. Nine times out of ten, the replacement was always more expensive!

  3. Forgot to mention that since using Whatsapp for messaging, I barely dip into my text messaging allowance. Whatsapp is also great for calling family who live abroad – for free!!!

  4. This is filled with great tips I could use Krystle! The only one I knew about is coupons. Anytime, I mean anytime, I buy something online I search for it with + coupons. Astounding the savings I’ve racked up. Thanks for more tools to consider.

  5. I’ve used the free version of Avast anti-virus and found it perfectly adequate. I’ve also found that you can often get free trial versions of new software from some tech new sites like C-Net.

  6. These are some great tips, I never realized that you could do so much to save money with technology. I may try some of these out. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Great tips! The only one I stumbled over was coupons – hate dealing with coupons. This is the primary reason I do all my grocery shopping at Safeway these days, because their coupons are digital now. You just go to the website click on which coupons you want and it’s applied to your account and magically the discount shows up at the cash register – love it!

  8. Beth Niebuhr says:

    Nice combination of new ideas and old ones. We’ve been using coupons for many years but using apps is an up-to-date suggestion. Thanks.

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