Q: I'm pinching pennies-how can I use the
Internet to save money and justify the cost of the
Tough economic times mean cutbacks, and many families may
be feeling the weight of Internet service costs, which average
about $40 a month. Before you pull the plug, consider how these
Internet sites and programs can help you manage your budget, save
money and rationalize your Internet bill.
Thrive and Mint.com allow you to pool all
your accounts in one place to get a full financial picture and
offer budgeting and saving tools, along with reminders and alerts
when you are charged fees or have low banking balances. Want to
create a budget? PearBudget offers a simple
Web-based budgeting tool that takes just 10 minutes to set up and
offers a free 30-day trial-after that, it's a budget-friendly $3 a
FatWallet.com and RetailMeNot.com both offer updates on
best deals and coupon codes for purchases. CheapTweet finds thousands of deals being
talked about on Twitter, and you don't have to have a Twitter
account to use it. CouponPrintster.com allows you to choose from
dozens of daily coupons and print them at home for groceries and
more. Also, check out group-buying sites (Groupon, LivingSocial and
Plum District), which e-mail daily deals offered at a pre-pay
If you do have to pull the plug on your home Internet
access to save money, you can find free access on computers at most
public libraries across the country. Laptop owners can also take
advantage of free Internet Wi-Fi access at Barnes & Noble,
Borders, Panera Bread, Starbucks and McDonald's, to name just a
few. Find more free hotspots at Wi-Fi Free
Sharon Cindrich is a mother of two tech-savvy kids from Virginia Beach. Learn more at sharoncindrich.com.
See more of Sharon's stories here.
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