Especially when it comes to this time of year, as the credit card bills are piling up from all of the Christmas shopping that is being done this week than anything, as you scramble to get all your shopping done in time, which leaves 3 days remaining by the way, you can’t beat free. While we do live in a time where costs seem to be rising on just about everything, there are plenty of items that are still out there for free that you can take advantage, some of which you used to have to pay for that you can get for free, and legally. If you are looking to continue to free up extra money and take advantage of the many free items that are out there, keep your eyes open and keep your wallet in your pocket.
Reading the News
I still pay for the Sunday paper, partially because I feel bad if I cancel and that would contribute to the newspapers going away, but I can honestly say that every week I take it from the driveway and put directly into the recycle bin, so I probably should cancel right now so I can start saving money to start the new year off. For everyone though, you can now hear up to the second news without waiting for the paper to come, and stay caught up everything news related, for free, whether it’s your local newspaper online, or national news.
Just to make sure you are at least checking to see if everything on your credit report is accurate, once a year is fine, especially with the amount of fraud these days, whether it is taking your card info at the gas pump, or having a store get breached with all their customer’s information. The three major credit bureaus offer a free copy of your credit report at least once a year, so that is a good place to start. Your credit score will not be included, however, but with all of the credit cards including credit score on their account statements now, you can see your score on a month to month basis and ensure you are trending in the right direction.
A decade ago when you would hear about free music, it had to do with illegally downloading from torrent sites, but these days, you can stream, legally I might add, just about anything of your choosing, whether it’s on YouTube, Pandora, or Spotify. Even if you do way to pay, roughly $10 a month on Apple Music, you can download any album or song, no limit, of anything of your choosing, which if you’re big into music that is totally worth it instead of physically buying digital music.
It used to be that when you were in the market to make a purchase you had to drive all over town in order to find the best price, which cost gas, and your time just to find lowes build and grow, which spending an entire day is probably worth more than gas money. These days you can look online at endless amounts of websites in order to find the best deal, in the comfort of your own home, with important this time of year with crowds, can avoid traffic and lines, and even get free shipping to have arrive at your front door in a couple days.
Apps to Help with Your Budget
Since two-thirds of the population do not follow a budget, you can manually write down on a spreadsheet and still be ahead of the game, but now there are apps for your smartphone that you can download for free in order to help with your budget, such as Mint, that you can track as the month goes on to check your progress. At this point, if money is tight, any dollar you can free up will help, so maybe it will help just to watch a little closer.
I remember when I was so excited to get my Garmin GPS so I no longer had to write down directions, or print off online (some of us may remember going to AAA to get a trip map), but those days are over as well since our smart phones have maps included that is part of our data plan, but even many cars has free navigation built in, so you no longer can have any excuse for making a wrong turn and being late for an event, and you don’t have to open your wallet.