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4 Ways Technology Can Affect Spending Habits
Access to the Internet and other technologies makes many things in life more convenient. This convenience can significantly affect personal finances and spending habits. We took a look at some of the different ways that your spending habits can be affected by current technology.
Makes it Easier to Spend
- Shopping Online. One of the major ways that the Web has changed spending habits is by revolutionizing the way we shop. You can go online 24/7 and with a few clicks of the mouse (and your credit card number), you can get any item shipped to you. The convenience is great, but remember that shopping online can also increase the urge to buy items you may not need such as concert tickets, clothes and other items.
- Smart Phones and eReaders. It can be very easy to spend your money with gadgets like a smart phone or an eReader. With these portable devices, you can shop anywhere you are connected—downloading content like songs or books for a fee. Remember that these little charges add up, and it can be easy to overspend without realizing it.
- Desiring the Latest and Greatest Gadget. It's a common feeling to want each new gadget that becomes available. If you experience this, take the time to ask yourself if you really need an item, and if its cost will fit in your budget. If you need an item (like a computer for school) but can't afford it, consider buying one used or refurbished, which is often cheaper. Avoid putting expensive items on your credit card just so you can get them now.
Makes it Easier to Monitor Expenses
- Online Banking. One of the most beneficial technologies for personal finance is online banking. You can now securely view lists of your transactions online, 24/7. For instance, with Web Branch, you can log on every day to check your account balances, and make transfers if you know you'll need to make a purchase or write a check. You can control your expenses if you stay on top of them.
- Track Your Spending. The first step to successfully following a budget is to track your spending. We've made it easy with Money Management Tools. Log on to Web Branch to categorize and label your transactions. See where you are spending your money and find out if you're overspending on things you may not need, all within Web Branch.
Increases Access to Discounts and Free Services
- Free Communication. With the Internet comes access to many types of free communication. Email and social networks are excellent ways to stay in touch, as are programs that offer phone and video chat services like Skype.
- Discounts on Products. Many online businesses offer great bargains and in many cases, free shipping. Since the Internet is such a competitive market, you can usually find fantastic deals. In addition, many of your favorite businesses where you shop in person have websites that offer greater savings than in store sales.
Helps You Make Informed Choices
- Peer Reviews. If you are in the market to purchase a product or service, you now have the ability to go online and read reviews made by fellow customers who have already experienced it. This way, you can research consumer opinion prior to spending your hard earned money.
- Comparison Shopping. The Web has changed the ways we comparison shop. Online research about products beforehand and comparing costs online can help you choose the best deal for you, without ever having to leave your home.
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