The Internet is a great tool. It helps you keep track of the latest celebrity gossip, play online games, and even while away a boring Sunday afternoon. But did you know that the Internet is also a powerful financial resource? There are many ways you can use the Internet to boost your financial situation: Passive income opportunities. The Internet can be a great way to boost your income by selling products or services online. There are also affiliate programs and many other programs that can bring in a little extra cash in your spare time. If you already have a small side business to supplement your income, the Internet can help you market and promote it.

Educational resources. The Internet can help you understand just about anything financial for free. There are many blogs, podcasts, videos, and online workshops that can teach you everything from budgeting to investing.

Freebies. The Internet is full of free stuff that can save you money. You can listen to music, audiobooks, and videos online for free. You can play games online for free and even learn about freebies or swap meets in your area. The Internet also lets you try software before you buy. A smart consumer can save hundreds of dollars online.
Financial planning and tools. You can bank online, keep track of your debts, and even open an emergency savings account online. In addition, there are mortgage and debt calculators, budgeting tools, and other planning tools. Many virtual banking resources are even free to use.…

Spending money can become a habit, but you can just as easily develop savings as a good money habit. Save something every day. A little bit everyday makes spending a habit and a regular practice. You can start small – put $5 in your emergency fund every day or every week. Or, take out all the change from your pockets at the end of every day and put it in a jar you can cart to the bank once a week. A little every day can really add up. Two dollars a day – what most of us spend without thinking about it – can add up to over $60 a month.
Develop something you can do instead of spending. Smokers who want to quit are often told to chew gum or fiddle with pens as a substitute for smoking. If you have a habit of shopping when you are bored, you need to develop new habits. Make a list of things you can do when you are bored (things that are free) and post it where it is visible. Then, when you feel like shopping do one of the other things on your list instead. Stay away from spending temptations. Looking at catalogues, online stores or window-shopping can sabotage your best budget intentions. Only shop when you absolutely need to and avoid ads and stores when you’re not shopping.…

Impulse spending happens to everyone. You’re cruising along, budgeting correctly and feeling good about your saving habits when suddenly you spot something wonderful on sale or some new gadget. Before you even know what is happening, you’re at the cash register, handing over your credit card. Too much impulse buying can lead to big credit card bills, too many personal loans, and no savings. Here’s how to curb the impulse:

1) Give ads a pass. Catalogs, flyers, commercials, and other forms of advertising are all designed to make you want to buy, buy, buy. Give these a pass and you’re less likely to crave shopping. Be especially vigilant about those glossy magazines – they tend to make you want to shop because they are mostly ads.

2) Talk yourself out of ads. When you are confronted with an ad or a great sale, use the same techniques advertisers use to talk yourself out of the purchase. Consider the flaws of the product, whether you really want it, how much room it would clutter in your home, how much you’d save if you didn’t buy it… Come up with a list of reasons not to buy and the desire for that item will melt faster than an ice cream in June.

3) Reduce shopping time. The less time you spend wandering around in a store, the less potential impulse items can catch your eye.

4) Shop with a list and intention. Before you leave your home, make a list of what you need and organize it so that you can shop most effectively. Shopping with a list can curb impulse shopping.

5) Check your list twice. Once you make your shopping list, go through it once or twice to make sure you really need everything on your list. Cutting out an item or two can save you a good amount of cash. Try to separate needs and wants.

6) Pay in cash and only bring what you need. This is one of the easiest ways to avoid overspending, since it places a physical limit on spending and makes you aware of overspending.…