I love the Internet. It’s helped me meet awesome friends and helped me start my business when I was laid off last year. But one thing that has surprised me in a negative way about the Internet is the secret cost of being active on it!
Even though I make my living online, here are a few things that have directly lead to increased costs in my life that surprised me:
- Hosting costs and URLs. I spend about $15 per month in hosting costs and about $60 per year in URLs for maintaining my online spaces. Now, these are very low operating costs for what I get out of them, but still those are bills I never had 10 years ago!
- Back pain expenses for chiropractor and physical therapy. This is my fault, but I spend a lot of time on the computer. Poor posture or even good posture with long hours leads to lower back strain and upper back discomfort, for which I go to a chiropractor and sometimes physical therapy for. That costs $40 a pop, which happens once a month even though I wish it happened more.
- Internet. We’d have an internet bill either way, but working online a lot means I will never go without home internet. That costs $55 per month, or more when Verizon jacks the cost up without notice.
- Social media management. I also spend $10 per month on BufferApp to help me corral my social media profiles. It’s not a life-or-death expense, but social networking is incredibly important. BufferApp makes it easier to schedule updates and share other people’s updates, which in turns leaves more time to work.
- Online banking. I do a lot of billing through PayPal, which takes a fee of each transaction, and my online bank charges $1 per month to add the capability to take photos of checks to deposit them into a business account. These small fees add up!
- Online storage. I also recently upgraded my Google Drive at a cost of $1.99 per month to store tons of data and photos that were weighing down our computer. Costly!
All of these things are products and services that didn’t exist in my mind 10 years ago! It’s funny how awesome it is to embrace technology and then look back at where you were before… though I wouldn’t mind seeing a glimpse of what my wallet looked like back then without all of these expenses!
Do you spend a lot of money being active online? Where do your expenses come from?