Here at Financial Helpers, we talk a lot about finding ways to scrimp and save money. This is especially true if you have a lot of debt. Your focus should be paying that debt off and putting as much money into savings as possible. What a lot of people do instead is spend as much of is as possible. They spend it on things they don’t necessarily have to spend money on.
One way to save a few bucks each month is to get a membership at your local library. This is no joke! Libraries in the modern age are about more than just books. If you’re a big reader, going to a library itself is a major help to your budget instead of dropping $20+ on a new book you’ll probably only read once anyway.
Let’s take a look at the 6 ways your local library can help you save money.
1) You Can Borrow Movies
This is a major expense for a lot of Americans. We love our movies. We enjoy our downtime at the end of a long day. If you’re in a struggling pattern, shelling out bucks to rent a movie can add up. Usually these days, people hit the Redbox, order Pay-Per-View, or are subscribed to Netflix. This can easily add up each month.
Instead, why don’t you give your local library a shot? Yes, libraries lend out movies…for free! Most of the time they have and up-to-date variety of new releases as well as classics. The selections will vary, but it’s worth a shot to see if they have something you might want to see. This option can save you hundreds of dollars throughout the year.
2) They Do Lend Out Music
These days, not too many people still use CDs. For the most part, anything entertainment has hit the digital age quite a few years ago. But if you’re in a bind, libraries do have CDs you can borrow. They’re great for taking on long trips or listening to your favorite albums. They’ll get you through a tough time financially.
3) Internet Service is Provided
Yes, we get it! Internet is expensive these days! As more people decide to cut the cable cord to save money, you can do the same with internet! Mobile is becoming increasingly popular, so you’ll be able to stay connected with family and friends. Of course, you’d probably rather pay for your own Wifi, but this is an option if you need to save a few bucks. You’ll even have access to printers if you need to print, scan, or fax materials.
4) They Have Workshops and Classes
Libraries have all sorts of different activities to entice more people to enter their doors. The local library has a reputation of being old, stuffy places with just books. But in most cases, that’s not true anymore. You can find a lot of neighborhood activities for kids and adults alike.
For example, the library can have book readings for kids, workshops, yoga classes, guest speakers, courses on computer skills, resume building, and so much more. The New York Public Library alone has over 93,000 programs each year.
5) Read the Latest Books for Free
Reading is fun for a lot of people. We enjoy being transported into the author’s mind and taken on a ride. Digital books have changed the game quite a bit. There’s still something special about that book smell and feeling of accomplishment every time we open the cover. Digital books can never replace the nostalgia.
While you may enjoy collecting books you’ve read, most of the time, people only read them once before moving on to the next one. Sure, there are the few exceptions, but what’s the point of spending a lot of money on a new book just to read once? Instead, rent the book at your public library. It’s free and will save you a lot of money throughout the year.
6) Get Help with Research and Other Stuff
As #4 listed, the library is a great place to go for workshops and help. Among the other types of events they hold includes tax preparation, resume building, and even healthcare enrollment. If you have a need, they provide options. Librarians are great at helping people find the information they need.
The library is no longer a place to drive by on your way home from work. A lot of these places have been renovated and updated for the modern economy. Give it a look and use it to your advantage.
Photo Credit: Panda Gossips