The Internet has changed a lot in our lives: it has changed the teaching and learning processes, the information flow over the world, the way important news is shared and spread, etc. Most people already realize the power of the Internet; too bad only few, really web-savvy users know how to take advantage of the Internet in any sphere of life, including, naturally, spending and saving money.

Save by Getting Educated

There are plenty of ways to share knowledge online. You can learn how other people save by using one (or a combination) of the following tools:

  • Join and participate in forum discussions. People may get really open and frank when discussing money matters in a friendly environment of their favorite discussion board. It is easy to join the discussion by asking questions and watching what others discuss;
  • Subscribe and follow money-saving blogs. These are quite plenty and it is really a matter of personal taste which one you will choose to follow: some are more personal, some are more news-based, others offer more actionable advice, etc.
  • Discuss on Twitter. Monitor Twitter. Twitter is buzzing with conversations. Ask a question and plenty of your friends might know the answer. If your account does not yet have huge following, you can try using Twitter search to see what people are saying. You can also subscribe to Twitter search results to easier track new discussions on the topic.

Save by Learning Third-Party Opinions

Using the web search (Google, Bing, Twitter search, etc) you can easily find multiple people who have already bought stuff you plan to buy or tried a merchant you are planning to try. So the only trick is to find those people and see what they are saying. A few tips:

  • Use some additional words to help your search, like “reviews”, “opinions”, “experience”, “scam”, “feedback” etc
  • Make sure to only arrive at any conclusions if you have found and compared quite a few reviews. Remember that merchants may publish fake feedback and testimonials, so don’t get cheated.
  • Check forums if you want to research if the store you are considering has ever been caught cheating people.

Save by Aggregating Useful Information

There are quite a few really smart tools that let you aggregate relevant updates on any topic and receive it right to your email box or mobile phone. Google Alerts (as well as Yahoo! Alerts) is only one (obvious but not the best) example. You can create customized RSS feeds (with tools like Yahoo! Pipes), track blog search results (with Google Blog Search), or get updates right to your mobile (with smart Twitter apps). The only trick here is that you choose the tool that best fits your needs and interests.

An Example

The examples are really numerous. I won’t bore you by listing plenty of similar tools and comparing their features. Instead, I’ll share the one that combines most of the options above – just for the sake of visualization of what I have said above. Buxr is one of my most recent discoveries. That’s a social media community for bargain hunters who get together to share deals as well as money saving tips. What you will be able to find there is:

  • The collection of daily updated, user-submitted coupon codes and freebies (for you to save money when shopping);
  • Really active and friendly forums (for you to ask advice and feedback);
  • Customized web alerts (for you want to keep track of new deals and coupons offered for something you buy often or plan to buy soon).

About the author
Ann Smarty
Can be contacted on myblogguestmail at gmail dot com