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Planning Retirement Online

You can do IT in laterlife 


You can do IT is a regular feature of aimed at trying to help laterlife visitors make the most of Information Technology on or off the web. 

Jackie Sherman who runs the You can do IT Question & Answer section is an IT trainer and author. Jackie has spent her career in education and specialises in teaching IT to adults. Her courses for adults include such topics as MS Office, the Internet, e-mail and basic web page authoring.  

Jackie has also written several books - you can find more details about these by clicking here. Jackie has also been running a course specifically for over 50s.

Via Jackie aims to particularly help those new to IT and the web to build up knowledge and confidence, so no question is too basic. At the same time she will cover Q&As for the more experienced user. 

So if you would like to ask a question of Jackie, why not email her 

Or if you have discovered something which may be of interest to others in making the most of the web, then she would love to hear about that too.

View previous editions of YoucandoIT for more useful Questions and Answers

February 2014

This month, I want to give you my 5 top tips for saving money by using the Internet wisely.  Let me know if you have your own favourites and I will feature them in future columns.


1. Say no to paying extra to phone premium rate numbers

Although some phone companies such as BT give you free calls to some of the most common prefixes such as  0845 and 0870 numbers, you may still have to pay when using a different service provider or for other numbers such as 0844.

We can't all use Skype or other free online systems, and so for the average Laterlife member, follow my lead and either enter the number you need to dial, or the company name, into the boxes on  after clicking: search to find an alternative number.


Click the Search button and you will usually be offered a list of numbers that site users have found worked in the past.  Sometimes these are out-of-date, but many will work and you can also add your own if you find a new one or send in a comment to update one that is no longer active.


2. Cash in when shopping online

Many companies offer incentives to websites such as Top Cashback or Quidco when they advertise particular products or services.  Browsers who make purchases via these links will be offered small cash returns – either a definite sum or a percentage of the purchase price - normally paid a few months later.

It is free or cheap to register with the cashback sites and, if you do a great deal of online shopping at major stores, you will find the cashback soon mounts up.  Find the product by searching (and check when the offer is limited to particular types of purchase, not every item in the store!), click the large button or linked text and shop as normal.  You should get some confirmation that the website has registered your purchase, but keep a note of the transaction just in case there is a problem.

Remember the warnings, though, and make your ENTIRE purchase via the Internet link.  Once you interrupt the process e.g. by phoning up about something, you lose the electronic trail from the website to the company and they won't pay.  Do not listen to any salesperson who says it will be OK – just sort out the query and then repeat your entire purchase online.


3. Look for voucher codes and coupons

Do you eat out at major restaurant chains such as Pizza Express, Ask or Slug & Lettuce?  Do you shop online regularly for wine or expensive chocolates?  Do you like the idea of cheap experience days?

For these and hundreds of general purchases, many companies offer discounts in the form of voucher codes or coupons.

You have to search for them, but when you find them they can save you £££.  Just use general search engines and see what offers come up.  Go to the site and follow the advice.  You may be asked to click through from there or note down a code you enter during the purchasing process.

A special case is Groupon which offers very good local bargains if you join.  They use group purchasing power to beat down the prices of hotels, services and meals.


4. Follow the money saving tips

I have often mentioned the website but in case you missed it, this website sends out weekly emails that highlight numerous cheap bargains in a wide range of fields, as well as advice on switching utilities, financial dealings and travel. 

Even if you skim and then delete each weekly bulletin, you may pick up some very good tips to help you save money in 2014.


5. Check online before buying on eBay

My final tip is for all those enthusiastic people who get carried away bargaining on auction sites.  In many cases, I have seen people bid  for second-hand goods, with no money-back guarantees that you get from proper companies, at prices HIGHER than a new item would cost at somewhere like Amazon or when using a search engine.

Before making any bid, ALWAYS check the price in a general search and make sure you don't go above standard prices from bona fide companies.

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The above article is part of the features section of called laterlife interest. laterlife interest contains a variety of articles of interest for visitors to written by a number of experienced and new journalists.

It includes both one off articles and also associated regular columns of a more specialist nature such as Healthwise, Gardener's Diary, our regular IT question and answer section called YoucandoIT and there's also 'It could be you' by Maggi Stamp laterlife's counsellor on human relationships. 

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