Spending money saves money, sometimes

According to a recent report, sales of personal computers have been experiencing double-digit declines as consumers look toward tablets and smart phones to fill their computing needs.

There are often simple choices we make that can save us money, like buying a used car instead of a new car, or bringing your lunch into work instead of eating out every day. 

But sometimes, spending money in the short-term can save you money in the long-run.

The Internet Innovation Alliance, which supports providing broadband internet access throughout the U.S., recently repleased a report that highlights how buying internet access can save money. Clearly, IIA has a stake in the battle -- but in its research, the group found that comparison shopping on the internet can save significant amounts of money for consumers.  

In rental housing for example, the IIA used sites like Craigslist and Trulia to find homes for rent. Using those real-estate comparison sites led to saving 14 percent compared to the average rent in a city. Buying gas might seem like a straight-forward task, but using sites like GasBuddy that show the cheapest gas in your area can lead to saving 5 percent off your gas bill every month.

The chart below tabulates that data in a way that encourages broadband use -- but aside from that bottom line number, a lot of savings can clearly be had by comparison shopping online.

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But the internet can bring its own set of risks, like privacy concerns and data theft

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