Some More Things Baby Boomers can do on the Web Right Now (Still Not in the Want Ads)

Shop, bank, do your finances on the Web

“If you like Pina Coladas
And getting caught in the rain
If you’re not into yoga
If you have half a brain
If you’d like making love at midnight
In the dunes on the Cape
Then I’m the love that you’ve looked for
Write to me and escape.” — (Escape, The Pina Colada Song; Rupert Holmes, 1979)

Oh yes, another 70’s song about the want ads. Do you remember that one? Just started with that to remind us baby boomers that we can use the Web to find many resources for doing stuff. Remember back in August, I posted about 6 things you can do on the Web. Today, I will talk about some more stuff you can do.

 Who’s Birthday is It?

You forgot about your third-cousin’s third son’s birthday and you don’t have time to find a gift.  As a matter of fact, the kid lives in another state (or maybe another country). What do you do? That’s right, you shop on the Web. There are all kinds of places to go shopping on the Web. Of course we all know about Amazon, but did you know that you can shop Walmart, Sears, or any other major “brick and mortar” store that you want on the Web. Don’t know what the kid likes, that’s OK send her a gift card. Remember when you send a gift card it’s only good at the place you bought it. So pick a national chain or a Web store, like Amazon. Then send your gift directly by using your cousin’s address as the shipping address. You don’t even have to go to the post office.

Another option is to get a Visa, Master Card, or American Express gift card. These are good at any store that accepts that credit card. Go to the credit card Web site to buy and send the cards. Many banks even let you send a check directly to someone (or even to a company or store for paying bills). Just sign in to your bank account and find the page for sending a check. Everyone loves to get money! That reminds me, you probably should be keeping track of your bank account on the Web.

I Just Don’t Have Time to get to the Bank

You should know that banks today provide you with a code that lets you access your bank account online. This is very convenient. You can make money transfers, send checks, and even deposit money without leaving the house. You can also check to see how much money you have in the bank and whether your checks have cleared. The big advantage is that you see this as it happens. You don’t have to wait until the end of the month to find out. As soon as the bank’s computers knows about a transaction, you can see it displayed on your account page. But using your bank’s online service is not the only financial activity you can do on the Web. You can keep track of all your finances, too.

Where Did All my Money Go?

Most of us make sure to check our bank accounts from time to time, but do we always know why the account reads zero all the time? Well to know that, you have to keep a budget. Online programs, such as Mint help you keep track of all of your finances. It can even connect to your bank account to be sure all of your bills are getting paid and that you are not spending more money than you have. Mint doesn’t work for you? Well that was just an example using a well-known service. Just search for “online finances” or something similar and you’ll find some other good suggestions. If anyone is interested, I can do another post to explain just how these services work.

But you may not trust all of your financial information being stored on some remote island on the Web. Then I recommend that you use software like Quicken or even an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of your expenses on your local home computer. Just don’t forget to back up your documents. Quicken even works together with Mint so you can keep track both locally and have access to your information wherever you are.

I Want my MTV

Back in the 60’s and 70’s, we used to listen to the radio. First it was AM radio, then FM stereo. In the 80’s videos became the big hit and we all watched MTV. Now you see the same videos on You Tube! You do know what You Tube is, right? Just go to that site and you can see all kinds of videos, old TV shows, and of course music videos. You can even post your own movies there, but that is not our subject. Our subject is getting music.

But you say, you want good quality music that you can have all the time. That is where iTunes comes in. You can buy the music online and download it to your computer. Hook up to a great stereo system (more in another post) and you have a great source of sound. You can even put the music you buy onto your iPod to take with you.

Don’t have an iPod? You have another type of music player? You can buy good quality MP3 files from Amazon, Walmart, or even Napster.

 

Now that you are doing all of your shopping, banking, and music buying on the Web, you have no reason to even leave the house. Or better yet, when you do leave the house you will have time to enjoy yourself at a park, restaurant, concert, or movie. Have fun!

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Photo by: Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Hi, My name is David Goldman and this blog is not about the World Wide Web. It will talk about that, but mostly this blog will talk about how today's technology has changed the way we go about our everyday lives. Technology, especially the World Wide Web, has changed the way we live our everyday lives. I want to empower you with the knowledge of today's technology to compete with vigor in today's world. You can click the link below to find out some more about me and this blog.

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