Regardless of our positions in life, supporting ourselves financially is always going to be a concern. While technology and the complexity of modern life have afforded us a wide range of developments in nutrition, homes, and comfort, the comparative rise in living costs and stagnation of wages mean so many of us struggle, on some level, to get by. What many are not yet aware of is just how beneficial many changes and advances in modern technology, especially the internet, can be in building savings and earning a little extra cash. As this can mean the difference between being on the edge and being comfortable, these areas can be very important. In this article, we aim to take a look at some of the methods people can use to save a little extra or help give themselves the little bump they need to come out on top.
Seek the Sales
One of the biggest changes to the way we buy and rent goods and services in the modern age comes from the advent of online storefronts. Websites, while potentially high in initial development costs, end up with a much lower overhead than those encountered by traditional stores. In effect, this means that many goods and services directly ordered online will be much cheaper than their counterparts purchased in physical locations and stores.
This is aided even further by the proliferation of website aggregators. These are, simply put, websites which automatically compare the prices and availability of whatever you seek. This lets you know not only which is cheaper, but which stores might be the best suited for future use when it comes to rewards systems and free or cheap shipping. The exact website you want to use will vary based on your region and the types of goods or services you’re after but, generally speaking, searching Google for online price comparisons in your area should point you in the right direction. A good starting point would be something like PriceGrabber, for those unsure.
The Modern Garage Sale
In the early days of online sales, there were few websites which could measure up to the phenomenon which is eBay. This and similar services are an amazingly effective and efficient way to clear up some space in your garage or closet and earn you some spare cash while you’re at it. The really great thing here is that these systems allow you to quickly assess the worth of your good against similar products, meaning there is less guessing and a far greater chance of making real sales. It also might surprise you to find just how much cash can be made from your more unusual odds and ends.
Another area of potential worth, especially for those who experience downtime in their day to day lives, is that of online employment. Websites like Upwork.com are amazing opportunities to find work all over the world, with the only real limitation being a person’s access to the internet. These can cover a wide range of disciplines, from art and writing, to finance and programming, and can run the gambit from full-time work to occasional one-offs. This has moved beyond the infant years and into an age where more and more people are either filling the gaps in their pay or finding full employment online, and the potential here should not be overlooked.
Avenues of Investment
Investment has always been a tricky thing and, as such, it’s not something that we can whole-heartily recommend unless you have at least a basic understanding or interest in understanding before you start. Fortunately, in the age of the internet, learning about investment has never been easier. There are many websites out there which can teach you the basics of investment for free, and the internet also comes with the added bonus of opening up the new cryptocurrency market for investment.
This market can be highly volatile but those who already have a strong understanding of market trends or those who take to investing like a fish to water should really consider this new area as one to investigate. There are plenty of us who wrote cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin off in the early days, back when they sat at less than $20 a coin, and you can bet we’re kicking ourselves now that they can go for more than $5,000.
Building your Budget
Another important component of saving, which many of us don’t bother with directly, is the creation of an actual budget. By this, we don’t mean a general idea in your head of what you can and want to spend, but an actual hard copy of numbers written down, to give you an exact idea of what you have to deal with, and potential areas that need addressing. You might be surprised at the difference it makes when looking at numbers on paper or a screen, so this is a component which shouldn’t be overlooked. While there are a great many pay services available, there are also some free budgeting programs out there which are held in very high regard, and these are a great place to start.
Finding the Right Fit for You
We can’t say that every one of these tips will be right for you but there will almost certainly be something here which can be adapted to your life in some way. Remember to think of saving and budgeting in graduating terms, something to be adapted to slowly as you get used to the ins and outs. Before you know it, you can find yourself with more in your wallet, which means greater savings in the future, or just more fun hanging out with friends in town. How you spend your new money is up to you, and we hope you manage to have fun with it.