When many of us think of the Internet, we think of time-sucking social networks, and the fact that it’s easy to get lost in reading all of the interesting information out there. However, the Internet isn’t just a distraction; it can also be a great tool. Here are three ways that the Internet can help you improve your finances.
1. Get Organized
You can improve your finances with better organization. The Internet provides you with ways to stay on top of your financial situation, and manage your money quickly and efficiently. Some of the ways that you can better organize your finances with the help of the Internet include:
- Online bill pay: Rather than taking the time (and the expense) to fill out paper checks and send them in, you can make use of online bill pay. Automatic withdrawals can also be helpful. You don’t have to worry about paying late (and the resulting late charges) when you have online bill pay and automatic payment.
- Track your spending: While I’m not a huge fan of online personal finance apps, they can be helpful for many people. Connecting to your account, and automatically tracking your spending and income, can help you know exactly where you stand. Even if you don’t use an online app, there are budgeting programs like YNAB that at least offer cloud sync so all your devices match up. The right budgeting software can help you see where you stand, as well as make a plan for a better financial future.
- Manage your portfolio: It’s not just about tracking expenses, though. You can use the Internet to manage your portfolio. From access to brokerages that can help you set up an automatic investing plan (think Betterment) to applications like Personal Capital that can provide you with a full financial picture, you can do a lot with your investment plan online.
Make it a point to see how the Internet can help you better manage your money. From offering you access to research on individual stocks, to providing you with bill pay services, the Internet is a great way to organize and manage your finances.
2. Save Money
Let’s not forget that you can save money with the help of the Internet, not just manage it. One way is to shop more frugally with the help of the Internet. You can find better prices, discounts, and promotions with the help of the Internet. Even if you do your shopping offline, the Internet can still help you save money. You can use the Internet to find printable coupons that can be used at your local store, as well as find other ways to save.
You can also save on entertainment. More and more, it’s possible to take your movie and TV watching to the Internet. Instead of paying for cable and Internet, you can just pay for online access, and save the $50 to $100 (or more) that you have been paying for TV.
Another way to save money with the help of the Internet is to ditch the landline. You don’t even have to pay the Internet company for phone services. Call people with Skype and Google Voice, and you’ll save big.
Paying for the Internet can be a way to reduce your overall telecommunications and entertainment bills, as well as provide you with access to money-saving deals.
3. Earn More Money
Technology makes it easier than ever to earn a little extra money on the side. You can use the Internet to start a side hustle, helping you make more money that can be used to better your financial situation.
From freelancing, to starting a web site, to opening an ecommerce store, to hiring out as a V.A., to any number of opportunities that didn’t exist 10 years ago, you can earn money using the Internet. Carefully consider what you might be able to offer via the Internet.
With a little planning and creativity, the Internet can provide you with a number of ways to improve your finances. Whether you want to manage your money from anywhere in the world, or whether you want to save or earn more, you can use online technology to give you a boost.
Photo by LarsZi.