In today's modern age, there are very few things that you cannot do on the Internet. From handling your finances to ordering a pizza, the Internet is a convenient means to taking care of business and socializing with friends. There is, however, a down side to all of this convenience. The Internet makes it very easy to go off track with even a well-structured budget. Here is a look at how the Internet has destroyed my finances in the past and how I've learned from my mistakes.

SEE: Damage Control For A Busted Budget

The Internet has made it abundantly easy to spend money online. The temptation to spend is significant, with advertisements just about everywhere you look. If you are not extra-vigilant, you can fall prey to temptation and find yourself spending your hard-earned money at a store online. There are many tips you can use to help avoid the temptation to overspend online. Only buy things online that are necessities, and if you feel the need to impulse buy simply stop for a moment and think about how buying unwanted items will affect your long-term financial goals.

Another way the Internet has destroyed my finances in the past is through a phishing scam. While handling a transaction on Paypal, I was logged out of my account and prompted to log back in. Roughly an hour later multiple charges appeared on my Paypal account that I did not make. Because my Paypal account is linked to my debit card, the charges were paid immediately and I had a problem on my hands. My bank and Paypal both initiated their own investigations and a week later my money was refunded. One way to lower the likelihood of falling prey to a scam like this is to attach your credit card to your paypal account rather than your debit card. This way, if you end up being the prey to a scam the scammer will not have access to the funds in your bank account. You will be able to dispute the fraudulent charges with your credit card company much easier than with your bank. Take your time online. Many people fail to realize a scam because the offer or scam seems like a good opportunity or an urgent matter. By taking a few moments to think things through, you can decide if the scam is too good to be true or map the proper steps to research and report the issue.

Online Billing
Online billing can also add financial strain to your budget. Typically, you set up online billing to have funds automatically taken out each month to pay a bill, without much effort on your behalf. It can be a convenient way to take care of your bills. An issue arises when the withdraw date varies from month to month. You always need to make sure you have the total of the bill in your account for when the automatic withdrawal hits, or else your account will be overdrawn and you will be responsible for any fees or interest incurred.

Impulse Buying
Impulse buying is made even easier with advertisements for products just about everywhere. Also, thanks to social networking sites, just hearing your friends talk about a sale they have encountered or a great piece at a fashion boutique may tempt you to go online and shop.

No Need to Leave Home
When you shop online there is no need to leave home. Simply place your order online, pay for shipping and you can expect your package within a week's time. Some company's offer reasonable shipping, however; others charge astronomical shipping charges. It is easy to bust your budget online when your favorite store is only a few mouse clicks away.

The Bottom Line
While the Internet is a convenient venue for shopping, it may be a little too convenient. Be mindful of your monthly budget when shopping online, and keep track of all automatic billing arrangements you set up. Shopping from the comfort of your home is a great convenience as long as you use it with caution.

Related Articles
  1. Personal Finance

    How Sending Money on Facebook Works

    Learn how Facebook users can send and receive money within their social network, and understand how the site benefits financially from offering this service.
  2. Stock Analysis

    Can Affect the Costco Model?

    Find out how changed its business model to take on competitors such as Costco, Sam's Club and Amazon. Early success shows the company is succeeding.
  3. Economics

    The Court Cases That Have Shaped US Sales Tax Law: How They Apply Today

    Explore two Supreme Court cases that established legal precedent for the treatment and apportionment of sales taxes at the state level.
  4. Personal Finance

    The Ten Commandments of Personal Finance

    Here are the simple financial Ten Commandments that, when faithfully followed, can lead to a secure economic future.
  5. Professionals

    Project Manager: Career Path & Qualifications

    Learn more about what project managers job, the qualifications necessary for the position and the most common careers for these professionals.
  6. Home & Auto

    Are Kelley Blue Book Values Accurate and Reliable?

    It’s the most popular used-car buying guide. Here’s a look at just how trustworthy it is – plus a comparison with the competition.
  7. Credit & Loans

    Should I Use My IRA to Pay Off My Credit Cards?

    Cashing in an IRA to deal with outstanding credit card balances may not be the best way, but sometimes it's the best available way. Here's how.
  8. Personal Finance

    How Tech Can Help with 3 Behavioral Finance Biases

    Even if you’re a finance or statistics expert, you’re not immune to common decision-making mistakes that can negatively impact your finances.
  9. Taxes

    Internet Sales Tax Vs. Brick & Mortar Sales Tax

    Learn about the differences between sales taxes and Internet sales taxes, and the goods and services that typically incur each type of tax.
  10. Entrepreneurship

    How an Internet Sales Tax Will Affect Your Small Business

    Learn about how the Marketplace Fairness Act may impact small business owners should it pass in the House and what the act requires from business owners.
  1. Is Apple Pay safe and free?

    Apple Pay is a mobile payment system created by Apple to reducing the number of times shoppers and buyers have to pay for ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Can you use your Walmart credit card at Sam's Club?

    Consumers can use their Walmart credit cards to shop at Sam's Club. However, they cannot use their Walmart credit cards when ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How can you cancel your Walmart credit card?

    Walmart offers two types of credit cards: the Walmart MasterCard and the Walmart credit card. How to Close Your Walmart Credit ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Does the Walmart credit card have an annual fee?

    The Walmart credit card does not charge annual fees to its cardholders. It does, however, have other fees associated with ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How do NetSpend cards work?

    NetSpend prepaid MasterCard and Visa cards are popular prepaid debit cards requiring no minimum balance and no credit check. ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Can the Best Buy credit card be used anywhere?

    The Best Buy credit card can only be used in Best Buy stores and when making purchases online through the Best Buy website. ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Bar Chart

    A style of chart used by some technical analysts, on which, as illustrated below, the top of the vertical line indicates ...
  2. Bullish Engulfing Pattern

    A chart pattern that forms when a small black candlestick is followed by a large white candlestick that completely eclipses ...
  3. Cyber Monday

    An expression used in online retailing to describe the Monday following U.S. Thanksgiving weekend. Cyber Monday is generally ...
  4. Take A Bath

    A slang term referring to the situation of an investor who has experienced a large loss from an investment or speculative ...
Trading Center