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Shop around for the best deals

Finding the best value for goods and services depends greatly on your energy and interest level. You might not be an extreme couponer but, with the Internet, you don't have to be. Have you been counting down the days till your favorite movie or book comes out? Don't buy impulsively. Shop around online and find the best deals you can through sites like eBay or Amazon, which offer free shipping. With persistence you can save hundreds of dollars or more on big-ticket items like home mortgages, insurance for cars and vacation travels. Discounts abound on the web, and it's up to you to find out how to get them.
Opening a bank account Before choosing a bank to handle your checking and savings accounts, search around for new customer discounts, freebies and waived service fees. If you want to test the waters before committing, find a bank that offers zero percent APR for the first year, which some of the best business credit cards offer. Also use the web to check for current banking promotions. If you tend to go into overdraft often, search for a checking account that offers lower fees for overdraft protection. Look for better interest rates, if you tend to keep larger balances. If you always pay your bills on time, find cards that offer incentives to paying early.
Buying insurance Getting insurance coverage online is probably the most preferred way to save money and get better value for your time and effort spent. Many companies are willing to offer low rates and good premiums to a qualified insurance seeker. Try an insurance quote aggregator, which gives you quick access to rates from a number of leading US insurers.
Taking out a loan As the recession eases somewhat, banks are opening up their lending to individuals and small businesses. If you need a loan for a large upcoming purchase, or maybe for a new house addition, shop around for the best loan opportunities online. Like other financial areas, know how much you want to borrow, and how long before you can pay off the loan. Once you have a number, start browsing for different types of loans. Look for loans with low-interest rates and fewer penalties. Or get approved for multiple loans and use those approvals to secure an even better rate from your chosen lender. 
Planning vacation travel Find online sites that offer great rates for lodging, flights and car rentals. No matter where you intend to travel, search for different room rates, airline tickets and discount packages. Pricing is even better during off-peak travel times, so if you can travel to a cold climate city in late fall, you'll save more money than traveling in the busy summer season.
Searching for a mortgage If you're looking to buy a home, search online for mortgage options. Lending Tree suggests that searching for the best mortgage deals online can bring you lower loan fees, avoidance of prepayment penalties and more. Often mortgage brokers will recommend only one or two mortgage lenders to you, rather than giving you a wider range of lending opportunities. 


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