Money management in Sarnia, using the internet.

by Joel Sandwith on September 28, 2010

This blog spends a lot of time talking about how to manage if your debt levels have reached a point that you can no longer manage them.  Today, we look at some resources for budgeting and managing money, as found on the internet

If you are experiencing severe difficulty with debt, you may need to consider a consumer proposal or a personal bankruptcy to deal with that.  Of course, the idea behind either of those options is to get a fresh start and build a better financial life.  So, even if clearing debt is your first priority, knowing how to manage during and after that process should be important as well.

So, here are some resources to help you manage better.  The first is a website which is also owned by the same company that produces this blog. Moneyproblems was developed to help people find ways to manage money better, understand how to deal with debt, and become better financial consumers.  The link directs you to the budgeting section of the site, where you can download a sample budget, get tips on money management and even join an anonymous budget support group.

The next site is called The Financial Webring.  This website is based around community forums, of individuals searching for better ways to plan savings, investments and retirements.   Financialwebring has been around for quite a while, and there is a great deal of content on that site.  It may take some time to dig in and learn, but it will be well worth it for anyone seriously interested in becoming financially independent.

Of course, many years ago the internet was projected to be the ‘information superhighway’ – and to some extent this is true today, but for the most part, the internet is a place to spend money.  There are a number of great websites that have been developed to help us spend our money more carefully and with an eye towards saving every penny that we can.

There are several Canadian based websites which are mostly driven by community forums, where the main purpose is to save money on anything and everything.  The most comprehensive of these is Red Flag Deals. This site has new ‘deals’ posted nearly every minute and also features several sub-forums where you can learn about how to save money on vehicles, travel, home improvements, etc.  A similar site can be found at smartcanucks.  It’s not quite as well established as redflagdeals, but quite often has different information and so is still quite useful.

Recently a new breed of money saving websites has appeared.  The concept is the group deal – a significant discount offered for a product or service, if a large group all purchases it.  This is similar in nature to bulk buying that major retailers do, or as another example, companies purchasing fleets of cars at a discount.  These new websites organize the deal, and the group.  Each day you are emailed the ‘deal of the day’ so that you can decide whether the deal is something you need and can afford.  They are more popular in the US right now, but are creeping into Canada.

Here are a few of the sites that offer this group buying experience:

DealFind

DailyDealster

Groupon

The newest one is WagJag – this site seems to be good for local deals in Sarnia, London, Cambridge, and so on, although since they’ve just launched there aren’t a lot of deals just yet.

Travel

If you are experiencing severe financial difficulty, we’d have to advise you to limit travel altogether.  It may make more sense to concentrate on paying down debt before going on a vacation.  For those of you who are just looking to save some money on travel, we would suggest looking to maximize your discounts and points programs through such websites as:

FlyerTalk – a community forum for sharing tips on miles and points programs

BetterBidding – a site dedicated to uncovering the best deals on travel through other websites, such as Priceline or Hotwire

Kayak – this website compiles the best prices on your chosen trip, from as many as six other websites, to ensure you are getting the best deal.

Watch this blog for more tips over the next few weeks on saving money.  We’ll look at online savings accounts, credit card reward programs and other topics.

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