The following is a guest post from Crystal at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff. That’s where she writes about her bills, saving for the future, and making sure that they fit in fun stuff along the way.
I remember when my family first went online. I was in 4th grade, and it was amazing. I mean, it was dial-up, but we didn’t know how slow that was back then. We just knew that info was easier to get to, and we had something else to argue over in the house.
The Online World Developed
Eventually the internet led to online businesses and regular companies going online. My mom jumped on the Amazon “fad” almost as soon as humanly possible. I followed suit as I started college.
For example, I was one of the first users of Bidz.com. It was amazing. I would sign up with one of my emails, and receive a free $10 off coupon. Then I’d bid on diamond rings that were $25 or less by the time that they sold, pay whatever I owed above the $10 coupon, and then resell the ring to a local pawn shop. I made a few hundred dollars over about 6 weeks.
I only stopped because of the pawn shop hassle part of it…plus, the employees at those shops started giving me funny looks. By the time college rolled around for me, it was 2001 and everything was on the World Wide Web. Now I even make my living there.
Between my blogs, my ad business, and my online social life, about 80% of my life is now centered on the internet. I go crazy when I can’t logon since it disconnects me from my own world. It is pretty freaky now that I think about it…
Spending and Saving Online
Having all of these things at your fingertips makes it way easier to spend money. You can buy stuff, gamble at places like GalaBingo Online, and even chat with people in other countries. The internet has made the entire world a small place indeed.
But it also makes competition easier, which reduces prices overall. Plus you can find great deals easier than ever. Even after hunting down whatever it is that I want to buy at the best price I can find, I then search for coupon codes before I checkout to see if there is way to save me even more.
The only trick to online shopping seems to be to make sure that you are buying what you were going to buy anyway. If you are just splurging on stuff that you want the second that you see it, you could go broke pretty quickly.
I browsed through my last 10 years of purchases on Amazon and was amazed. I’ve spent over $10,000, but if I take out text books, gifts for others, and things we actually needed, I’m left with about $3500 of stuff. And $3000 of that was stuff we planned for like our media room projector and surround sound. I think we’ve only splurged away about $500 over the last 10 years. That actually makes me pretty happy.
What do you log-on to do? How does the internet affect your life?