Internet Users Save $8,000 a Year More Than Those Without Access (But Spend More)
The information comes from a report released by the Internet Innovation Alliance titled The Real Cost of the Digital Divide. The report details the savings available only to online consumers in 10 common categories. In a press release about the study, author and certified financial planner Nicholas J. Delgado noted the importance of a connection to the Web, saying, "A critical step in shutting down debt and developing smart financial habits is getting online."
The report states that the group of offline Americans, "a disproportionate percentage of whom are minorities, seniors, lower income or live in rural areas – miss out on these cost savings every day."
Even though recent studies, like the Pew Internet & American Life Project show some uptick in the number of minorities coming online, there is still work to be done in providing affordable online connections to all Americans so that they have access to savings, jobs and more.
It's not all savings though for connected consumers, at least those who search for bargains. A PayPal UK study from August 2010 found that online shoppers who go looking for discounts spend up to 50% more online than consumers who pay the going price.