How Twitter Can Help You Save Money

By April Dykman

Twitter may not have lured you into its social networking web -- after all, isn't it just idle chatter? Do you really care what your high school BFF ate for lunch today or that some celebrity is trying to break Twitter records by getting a million-plus followers? Notsomuch.

But what might interest you is the way people are using it to cut costs and save money. Many retailers have jumped aboard the Twitter train, advertising coupon codes and limited-time deals, and new applications are popping up that can help you manage your spending, all with less than 140-character tweets.

Now obviously you don't want to follow every retailer that tweets. That would be overwhelming, not to mention cumbersome! Streamline the deals with discount feeds. Discount feeds aggregate discount codes and deals from Twitter merchants and publish them in an easier, real-time format. Some feeds also let users vote on the best deals and categorize them for a more user-friendly experience. Check out the following discount feeds, along with a sample of deals offered by each:

(Note: Deals are representative only, and may have expired.)

  1. @cheeptweet--Students and teachers receive 25% off in-store purchase at Old Navy stores with school ID; one weekend only
  2. @couponbot--Get $50 off the purchase of a Casio EXILIM 10.1-MP Digital Camera at Best Buy
  3. @coupontweet--Save 10% off all online purchases at FlowerAdvisor, with delivery to more than 110 countries in the world
  4. @momswhosave--149 printable coupons, including cereal, Pillsbury, Yoplait, Betty Crocker, Nature Valley, 2-for-1 on Huggies wipes, and more.
  5. @dealtaker--$125 for a Motorola DROID X Smartphone for Verizon (regularly price: $600) with 2-year service plan
  6. @ebates--Get 6% cash back at Crate & Barrel with a free eBates account (one day only)

Tracking Your Money with Twitter

There are a few streams that offer more specialized services that can save you money, such as tracking your gasoline consumption. FuelFrog is a Twitter application that helps you to track your fuel costs by allowing you to log mileage and cost per gallon. You input the numbers, and the site does the math and creates a log for you. The information can help you make changes to improve your fuel economy, and if your fuel efficiency drops, you'll know your car needs maintenance.

If you want to track more than gas usage, try budgeting with Twitter. Tweetwhatyouspend allows users to send a direct message every time they make a purchase, entering the price and even categorizing the items they purchase. The application keeps tabs on your spending habits and can give you reports and feedback on what you spend in each category and how much you spent last week. Need to cut back on spending? Attack one budget category at a time.

Whether you love Twitter or you think it's for the birds, check out the various ways Twitter can pad your savings account. Between budgeting and coupon codes, there's money to be saved!