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8/28/11

10 Financial Advantages of Going Paperless

The days of the over-packed wallet are nearly behind us. With the advent of the electronic shopping receipts, some major merchants are already offering paperless proofs of purchase. With this new system, the buyer receives an electronic version that's either emailed or uploaded to a password-protected website.

Big names like Sears, Gap, Kmart and Whole Foods Market are already taking advantage of the new technology, which some plugged-in shoppers are welcoming with open arms.

Then the thoughts of how this process and other paperless systems can put money back into a consumer's pocket. Here are 11 ways you can save both a tree and some cash.


1. Opt for e-Receipts
Paperless receipts de-clutter your wallet while allowing you to organize your sales info in an electronic file. This new system will make it much easier to deal with refunds, apply for rebates and track price-protected purchases. You'll want to create a separate email address or addresses, however, to keep your receipts separated from personal email, particularly since stores will likely use this address to forward promotional info.


2. Pay Bills Online
Internet security has greatly improved so paying your bills electronically is much safer these days. Dealing with bills online helps ensure payments are made on time, even in the last-minute, to avoid late fees.

3. Stop Catalogs and Phone Books
CatalogChoice will remove your name for free from catalog mailing lists and stop useless phone books. Make a donation to one of their preferred non-profits and they'll remove your name from marketing lists. Frugal-wise, you won't be tempted by slick, glossy presentations of products you don't need. When you actually need an item, simply search online, look for free shipping deals, pay-up, and you're out of there.

4. Use Mobile Coupons
Forget clipping, filing and juggling paper coupons with apps that allow you to download coupons on the go. Some apps even have a mobile service that lets you search for a supermarket by ZIP code and, while you shop, download their mobile coupons to your store loyalty card. You then receive credit for the coupon at checkout. For a list of helpful shopping apps, read PCWorld's "15 Shopping Apps That Can Save You Big Bucks."
 
5. Trash Junk Mail For Good
Register with DMAchoice.org to stop the onslaught of those tempting credit-card applications and other unwanted snail mail. DMAchoice will not sell your address to marketing agencies or merchants.

6. Digitize Photos
Load your precious photos up to a cloud server, like Flickr, and never worry again about a fire destroying all those memories. Digitized photos are cheaper than prints and can now be displayed in a variety of electronic forms.

7. Electronic Invitations
Do you remember the last time you received a party invitation in your mail box? Even weddings are being announced with digital invites, saving the bride and groom a pretty penny at the printers.

8. E-Readers
There's a world of free e-books available through your library, Project Gutenberg and other outlets. Eliminate the expense of buying books or simply save gas and time because you don't have to run to the library. You might also save on library fines, if you tend to run late or lose books.

9. Tap into Loyalty Cards
Instead of sifting through your wallet every time you need to swipe a store loyalty card to receive perks and points, load them up to your phone. Mobile apps like CardStar file all your reward, club and loyalty store cards into one, easily accessible place so you never miss a sale or a reward.

10. Printer Paper
The less verbiage and visuals you have to print out, the more you'll save on both paper and expensive printer ink. Also, consider ditching the sticky notes. Although they serve as great reminders, you can use electronic ones that post right to your computer desk top instead!




Andrea Woroch is a consumer and money-saving expert for Kinoli Inc. and Andrea has been featured on NBC's Today Show, Good Morning America, New York Times, Kiplinger Personal Finance, CNNMoney and many more. For more savings tips visit AndreaWoroch.com or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.




Shared with permission.

About the author: Owner of JamericanSpice. Sharing my journey in the present, from the past or thoughts for my future. Mom of two who loves to travel and read and decipher people.
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