If there’s one thing that gets to me it’s wasting money. I know we all like to splash the cash a little and have fun – hell I’m known to buy the latest gadget, game or gizmo if my bank balance permits me. But it’s spending money when one doesn’t have to that gets to me.
Say for instance you’re buying a new iPod for almost 200 Euros. I’m always amazed by the amount of people (almost all) who’ll just pay it even through they could have put in 20 minutes work and saved themselves 30 Euros. That’s an extra thirty Euros you could have in your pocket for basically doing nothing.
As a younger person (although I know most people are affected by the recession) I’m kind of expected to be somewhat up to date with ‘fashion’ and of course technology. And that means expensive purchases. Many young people just bite the bullet not realising that they could easily save (and make) money by following even a couple of the steps I’ll outline below. I’ve compiled the following list of 5 ways to save money that you might not have considered before.
Go Open Source
Until a few days ago when I did a post about this subject on my blog I had no idea how much Microsoft Office cost. Not a clue. To be honest, I was a little shocked that Microsoft were charging a whopping $399 for the full version and $149 for students.
It’s completely unnecessary expenditure. As somebody who writes and blogs for a living, I check e-mails, type up articles, use spreadsheets and run the business aspect of things without expensive software. All those shiny features in Office won’t be used by over 90% of us. I think we just buy Office because that’s all there is on the shelf at the PC store.
Programs such as Open Office, Thunderbird, and easily manages all of my documents, e-mail, Photoshop and blogging needs so why not yours? I estimate that by switching to Open Source the average power-user could save themselves in excess of $500. Check out our directory for all the apps and open source programs you could ever need.
Buy Small Items In Bulk Online
There is a certain myth about online shopping and that is “Shopping online is always much cheaper”. And it is – if you use it right. For example, a big burden on many students are textbooks and other such school supplies. So we head online in search of these in the hope of saving a few dollars. But are we really? Postage on massive textbooks is expensive so it’s important you make sure you’re actually saving money.
For small items such as books, second-hand book stores often trump the internet. Some items that are cheap online when you buy in bulk (from the same seller to save on postage on sites such as Amazon and the products own site) include DVDs, CDs, stationary, magazine subscriptions and the likes.
More expensive items such as iPhones and laptops will always be cheaper and cost little for postage so it’s best to shop for these online too. Online will always be cheaper if you buy the right products in the right quantities.
Coupons & Promotions
If there was ever a place to find bargains it is the Internet. Everyday thousands of promotions are listed but few actually use them. Sites such as Coupons.com and [NO LONGER WORKS] Ask Deals list thousands of new promotions everyday. Each time before you buy something (either online or in store) do a quick promotion search on these sites.
I can’t remember the last time I bought a domain on GoDaddy without searching for a promotional code – each time I’ve saved a few dollars which adds up, let me tell you. If, at every checkout on sites such as Amazon and Play.com, when you see a promotional code entry box you ran a quick search you could save yourself hundreds of dollars per year just for Googling something like ‘Amazon Free Shipping Promo Code’.
Also make sure to check out Top 10 Grocery Coupon Websites for Cheapskates.
When I first started getting serious about writing I worked for a gaming network based in the Netherlands. Me being in Ireland meant international call charges. I just kind of accepted it for a couple of months and must have wasted at least fifty Euros on calls to and from my bosses/co-workers.
Some people may call me stupid for not using VoIP services earlier like Skype and Google Talk before but I just never thought of it at the time. A few e-mails later and I had switched my normal method of calling my bosses to Skype – and I saved money (lots by my calculations). I think that international calling will be extinct over the next few years as VoIP services gain more recognition as a good way to conduct long distance calls and conference meetings.
Also check out some Skype replacements which we have covered in the past such as ooVoo. Charnita also covered 6 other VoIP possibilities.
Make Money on the Internet
There are numerous ways to do this but only a few ways to make it work properly to the extent that you can call it a job. eBay businesses (when done right) can become quite profitable but I suggest you do your homework. To make online selling work you have to have a product that’s in demand. For instance, if you know a guy who refurbishes 16GB iPod Touches and will sell them to you for 100 bucks, you can then sell those for $150 and make money. Its all about the product.
Another way to make money online is by blogging (check out my authors page to see my posts about blogging). It’s tough work and the chances of success without actual interest in your niche are nil. Jimmy Rogers did two MakeUseOf posts on how to find blogging work and MakeUseOf is always hiring if your interests lie in the internet / technology area.
However, as students you may want a quick way to make an extra $50 per week. Well I have one that will work – and it’s not a scam or short-term solution. You simply write copy for a large company called Bright Hub. There are others out there but this one pays the best. It’s easy to get accepted to a channel there and they pay $10 per article (minimum of just 300 words). You can write as many articles as you want too.
In my experience, most articles take around an hour or so to write up. But they can be pretty draining considering some of the ‘less interesting’ subjects you may be asked to write about. However, spending a couple hours every day doing this and you’ve got hundreds of dollars at the end of the month. You also get 85% of the ad revenue from your articles. I don’t write for them anymore but I still get a monthly payment in excess of $50 just for the revenue my articles bring in every month.
In the past, we have covered numerous other ways of making money on the internet. Here’s some of them :