Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Internet as a Valuable Learning and Money Saving Tool

I think that some people fail to realize just how valuable a tool the Internet can be. Especially with the economy faltering, the Internet can provide a wealth of self-improvement opportunities for just the cost of Internet service, and in some cases (such as when using the library or other public space Internet), absolutely free.

If you’re willing to spend a little time and search the Internet, there are all sorts of ways it can help you save money and teach you things you never expected to learn.

Fixing Things
Just the other day, my son’s Scooby-Doo DVD started skipping in the middle of one of his favorite episodes. Not only did this upset him, but it upset dad as well, since I was forced to sit there and watch annoyingly repetitive skips and jumps between scenes. There had to be a remedy to this dilemma, so I hopped on the Internet.

In a matter of minutes I had found numerous repair offerings, one of which was advice regarding using toothpaste. Since toothpaste is a light abrasive, the site noted that it could be great for removing scratches from CDs and DVDs. The person offering this piece of advice had successfully tested it on 3 out of 5 CDs. I then watched a quick two-minute video on the process and gave it a shot.

Since our DVD was severely scratched, the toothpaste repair it didn’t fix it perfectly, but at least repaired it enough to make it through the episode without too much aggravation. Now, I’m almost looking forward to testing this method again the next time a scratched disc rears its ugly face.

Learning New Things
I haven’t worn a watch in nearly eight years. While there were several reasons for this; the main reason being that I got tired of having to take it into the mall or a jewelry store to get the battery changed. It was time consuming and I didn’t like having to pay $20 for a tiny watch battery and the labor involved in the process.

While cleaning up the bedroom the other day, I found my watch sitting in my bedside drawer. I decided I wanted to know what was so tough about changing a watch battery that I’d been paying someone else to do it my entire life. After a quick Internet search and another two-minute video, I found there was no reason why I couldn’t do it myself.

After seeing how to make the switch, I dropped by the local dollar store where they were selling the size of watch battery I needed, eight for a dollar. It took me about five minutes, and 12.5 cents (per piece price for the battery) to get it changed. That’s much better than $20, and I now have the knowledge and confidence to do the job myself not only for myself but for family members as well.

Want to know what your mortgage, credit card, home equity loan, or other major purchase or debt is going to cost you over the term of the agreement? Want to know what how much interest a particular rate of investment return will earn you? Want to know how long it will take to pay off your credit card debt?

All these answers and much, much more are at your fingertips in only moments through a variety of free online financial calculators. Such devices can help put you in control of your own finances and break free from the reliance upon others when it comes to understanding and handling your money.

New Techniques
Have you ever thought about a great movie or television show idea but then reconsidered since you have no earthly idea of how to write a script? And you might not have the time or resources to take a whole class dedicated to the trade. But does that mean you have to let the dream die?

With the Internet as a tool, you might have the ability to teach yourself. Whether it’s how to write a movie script, how to do your own taxes, or whatever, the information is out there.

I decided that I wanted to write a screenplay, so I got on the Internet, printed off a bunch of examples, rules and techniques, studied them, practiced, and started writing. If I came to a point where I was lost, I got back on the Internet, looked up my question, noted it for future reference, and moved on.

It made me realize how great (and affordable) a teacher the Internet can be for those looking to improve themselves and try new things.

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