Spending money has never been easier thanks to the internet. We can buy anything we want, and we can buy it now. We can be the perfect spouse by ordering flowers for delivery next day, we can avert a birthday party disaster by getting the perfect gift to our doorstep within 24 hours, and we can spend more time with our families rather than fighting our way around supermarkets with the blessed online shop. But are we being as clever about spending our money online as we could be?
Here are some tips to get you more money savvy before you click the buy button.
You might not think price comparison is earth-shattering, but did you know just how much you can compare online? Sure, you’ve got your insurance, you’ve got holidays, all the usual big expenses. But what about the weekly shop? What about borrowing?
It’s actually possible to input your weekly shop and find the supermarket that will save you the most money this week. You can even split your shopping list between stores and save even more. The only limit is how much time you’re willing to use going from store to store.
But what about borrowing money? You might think borrowing money is just getting some extra cash you need, but you do actually need to see it as an expense. You’ll pay interest on what you borrow so looking at the different rates you can get is extremely important. It’s especially true of lending with high interest rates, so using someone like swiftmoney.com to ensure you know exactly what rates of repayment you’re looking at is essential.
This old chestnut? Why, yes. There has been a boom in selling things on that goes way beyond Ebay. There are specialist vintage clothing sites, there are apps like Depop and even Facebook has got in on an industry that was already churning away in closed groups across the world.
Selling online has never been easier – all you need is a decent photo, a few minutes for a description and a willingness to either go to the post office or have someone swing by your house for pick up.
If you hadn’t already guessed, these sites and apps are brilliant for a bargain. And don’t be afraid to haggle! You’re not dealing with a company, just Steve down the road who wants more space in his wardrobe rather than a collection of 90s jumpers – he’s likely to give you a tenner off if you ask nicely.
Everything runs on data nowadays, so there are a glut of companies willing to pay for your time and opinions. Big, official companies like YouGov run surveys for everyone from garages to charities, and your favourite clothing store wants you to be brutally honest about their latest line of jeans. They’ll give you anything from a discount code to an Amazon voucher, it depends on the company. And if being opinionated on the go is more your thing, there are apps you can use as well – that’s one way to make the morning commute go faster.
Earn While You Shop
There’s a new type of website about, one that saves you money as you shop online as you normally would, one prime example is Top Cashback. You use their site to click through onto deals and they earn a small commission. You then get a little pot of money that grows over time with all your savings, which you can then either spend or transfer into your account. These sites have the advantage of offering savings on more than just clothes, toys, and shoes – you can save on insurance, nights out and even tyres.
Another variant is a browser extension, where you you pop items into a separate shopping cart, and are then emailed when the price drops. This method requires more patience but the savings are direct and you feel pretty cool for getting all your favourite brands at a better price.
Swift Money have also created this money guide to help you with the basics of good finance – take a look.