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12 Awesome Things at the Library I Wish I Knew About Earlier

12 Awesome Things at the Library I Wish I Knew About Earlier
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If you’re like me it’s probably been a long time since you’ve been in a library. That’s fine. Most of us have an antiquated view of what libraries do and are for. As it turns out, libraries can actually be pretty awesome and can save you money. Here are some ways you can save money from the library.

1. You can stream stuff for free

Many of us have Netflix accounts but there are other ways to stream. Using your library card, you can check out a service called Hoopla. Using Hoopla, you can stream movies and TV shows without spending a dime. It’s not as stable as Netflix or Hulu but if you can stand the bugs you can watch some pretty good stuff for free. There are also Android and iOS apps available!

2. You can get free audio books

save money from library

    Libraries have a lot of books but they also have a lot of ebooks. They may handle it differently depending on your library but the premise is pretty much the same. You get a download link, download the file, listen to it, and then in a couple of weeks the file will self destruct. Listening to ebooks is relaxing and provides great background noise when you’re doing other stuff like cleaning the house, cooking, or driving.

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    3. Borrow the latest movies on DVD or BluRay

    Everyone knows that libraries have movies right along with books that you can borrow for free. However, did you know that most public libraries will get the latest titles in the day they come out? Unfortunately, savvy library users will reserve their copy to rent weeks (sometimes months) in advance. You can always wait in line with the reservation holders if you prefer or you can check in with your library and find out how to hold your own copy so you can get in before everyone else. They also have countless older movies which can still make for a fun, quiet evening at home that doesn’t cost you a penny.

    4. Get free trips to the museum

    save money from library

      Many public libraries are becoming part of the Museum Pass Program which means they have free museum passes to give out every month. Not every library does this and the ones that do participate do not have a lot of passes. That means they’re first come, first serve. If you want to try this out all you need to do is inquire with your library and then get a pass!

      5. Access family tree archives for free

      There are a lot of genealogy websites out there and they can cost a pretty penny to join. Some libraries are already members of these websites and will let you browse on their dime for free. A lot of people don’t need a service like this except for school projects but a penny saved is a penny earned, is it not? Plus it can be fun to see where your family came from and what they used to do.

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      6. Read magazines for free

      save money from library

        We know a lot of people don’t really subscribe to magazines anymore but those that do pay for magazines don’t really need to. Libraries keep a stock of the latest magazines from the biggest publications on hand and you can go in and check them out anytime you want. Most magazine subscriptions are negligible but buying individual issues can cost upwards of $10 and even some subscriptions are pretty expensive.

        7. Free conference rooms

        Most libraries have conference rooms that you can book for an hour or two totally free of charge. They come with large tables and chairs and you can sometimes borrow things like projectors for presentations. You can use this for practically anything such as book clubs, Dungeons and Dragons campaigns (I’ve personally done this), work related stuff, or practically anything else. They’re there for your use.

        8. Yes, sometimes even tools!

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        save money from library

          This is something that is apparently catching on although I haven’t personally seen it in my area yet. Apparently more and more libraries have a section of power tools that members can borrow for a week or two. This is amazing if you don’t own a lot of tools and want to do some DIY home improvements or even something as simple as hanging a shelf. This isn’t everywhere though so call and check first!

          9. Music instruments

          A lot of libraries have a selection of musical instruments in stock for those who may want to learn. This is actually something they do for school students who can’t afford their own instruments and may have to borrow them. If you’re interested in learning an instrument or want to practice one you’ve been using, the library lets you do it for free. Musical instruments are insanely expensive so this is the only way some people get to hone their skills.

          10. They have computer labs with free internet

          save money from library

            Not everyone needs internet 24/7 and there are plenty of people who don’t have internet at all. If you need to hop online to check your email, apply for jobs, or check out social media then you’re in luck! Public libraries generally have computer labs with internet access that you can use for free. At my local library, they have a 30-60 minute time frame so if it’s a busy day you may not get all the time you need. On less busy days you can sit there almost all day if you have to. They’ll also let you print off things for a small fee. If you don’t print off enough to warrant buying a printer then this can also save you money.

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            11. It’s a free place to go to be alone

            The popular and hip thing to do is to go hang out in coffee shops. The only problem is that you generally have to buy something to stick around in a coffee shop. In a library you can walk in, buy nothing, and hang out in there all day if you need to. It’s pretty quiet, you can listen to your own music, and in some public libraries the couches and chairs are very comfortable. People looking for a quiet, chill place to work on things can find few better options than the library. Your “coolness” may take a hit, but coolness is overrated anyway.

            12. You can rent free books

            save money from library

              Lest we forget why the library is there in the first place. For books! Books are still pretty expensive these days and reading is still a thing that people do (and should do more of). As always, you can get a heaping pile of books from the library and keep them for a while. Books can usually be checked out longer than other items unless there’s a waiting list.

              Libraries are pretty awesome. Most public libraries have worked really hard to remain current when it comes to the needs of people. 20 years ago all they needed to have were books and they could have fallen into obscurity but they didn’t. If you haven’t done so in a while, just go visit your library to see what kind of stuff they can do now!

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              Featured photo credit: FanPop via images.fanpop.com

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              Joseph Hindy

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              Last Updated on July 20, 2021

              Financial Freedom is Not a Fantasy: 9 Secrets to Get You There

              Financial Freedom is Not a Fantasy: 9 Secrets to Get You There
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              Have you ever considered your life now, and how it would be if you had more time to spend with your family and less worries about money?

              Nowadays, financial stress is one of the most troublesome weights in life. If you’ve ever encountered financial stress, you know the difficulty of not having enough income to pay your obligations or bills.

              Many people say that money is not the ultimate goal of life. While that’s true, money certainly plays a very significant role. The meaning of financial freedom changes with the different phases of our life, but ultimately, it is something that many people strive for.

              In this article, we’ll explain how to capture that financial freedom you’ve been looking for. Read on to learn the secrets to financial freedom.

              Break Free of Your Finances

              Financial freedom is about having a constant flow of cash from your assets to cover all your regular needs.

              When you are not worried about your income, or living paycheck to paycheck, you gain a great sense of freedom. It’s the freedom to be obtain and do what you truly need to make your way through everyday life.

              Gaining financial freedom, though, is a process of growth, making small improvements and gaining emotional strength.

              Though it seems hard to believe, it is really very simple to get financial freedom.

              To do so, you simply need to make sure that your assets exceed your liabilities. In other words, you’ll need to find the sweet-spot where your residuals meet or surpass your expenses. This is something that you can achieve with the proper plan.

              While not every person will accomplish financial freedom, the potential for anyone to do so is certainly there. Anyone can achieve this success, regardless of their income level.

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              Outlined below are 9 secrets that will help you in your goals of achieving financial freedom.

              1. Stop Unnecessary Spending

              We often spend money inwardly, instead of objectively.

              For example, you may spend when you’re anxious, depressed, restless, exhausted, from fear of missing out, or to please others. This is a very unhealthy way to handle your finances.

              To stop this habitual spending, log down all your spending over the course of a month.

              Just as some people keep a food diary, keep an expense diary. Remember not to just write down how much and what you spent the money on, also include the circumstances of why you spent the money. Was it an impulse buy at the checkout line or was it something you planned to purchase?

              This increased self-awareness could enable you to avoid triggering situations in the future when you are considering an impulse buy.

              2. Plan a Monthly Budget

              This is a great opportunity to get serious.

              Take a seat with your spouse or partner and make a monthly budget based on your income, not your expenses. You are never again going to spend more cash then you have on hand.

              Overspending is the thing that led you to more financial obligations. Make sure you decide every month what is coming in and what will be going out and stick to that budget… no matter what.

              3. Cut-up Credit Cards

              Perhaps you are the type of person who always pays your credit card balance in full before the end of your billing cycle, and enjoys the reward points you gain. If this is the case, then you’re already way ahead of the game.

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              If not, you may want to consider ridding your life of the burden that credit cards bring.

              Many cards have strategies set up so that if you make a certain number of late payments, they will raise your interest rate much higher. This can really add up in the long run and you won’t be doing your financial situation any favors. If you’re prone to late payments or have a large balance due on your cards, cut them up!

              Without proper self control on credit card spending and payments, you are basically throwing your money away. To ensure that you have better control over your spending, use only cash or debit for all future purchases (and don’t forget to pay at least your minimum payment on your cut-up cards each month!).

              4. Increase Savings

              There is no doubt that for a comfortable retirement you must accumulate satisfactory savings throughout your working life.

              It’s good practice to save up to 15% of your income.

              Start with your workplace 401(k), if you have one. If not, a Roth IRA (if you are eligible) or a traditional IRA (if you are not eligible for the Roth) are the next logical steps.

              Increase in longevity means you might be able to look forward to 25 to 30 years in retirement, or possibly even significantly more. Investing now in good retirement plans will ensure that you have a guaranteed a stable monthly income when the time comes to stop working. [1]

              5. Invest Wisely

              Consider investing in funds.

              Specifically, you will gain higher returns if you invest in different types of mutual funds such as Debt funds, Equity funds and Hybrid funds with a proper balance, although it absolutely relies on your personal preferences and sense of risk taking.

              To get the most of these benefits, make sure you are investing in a variety of assets. Another resource of investing in mutual funds is SIP (Systematic Investment Plan) where you invest some money every month in funds. SIP works by averaging the per unit price of the stock.

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              Mutual fund investors are aware of the benefits of an SIP (Systematic Investment Plan). For one, it is the most secure way to invest in equity mutual plans so that wealth is created over a long period of time. This plan also helps you to gain a better sense of financial discipline, which will come in handy in all your financial endeavors.

              6. Invest in Gold

              There isn’t really a better way to invest in gold than to have the physical gold itself in your possession.

              You can purchase gold coins and bars from mints as well as from coin dealers and other private sellers.

              Another way to invest in gold is through ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds).

              These are is similar to mutual funds but they are exclusively investments of gold. ETFs are great because they offer more liquidity; the ETF owns the actual physical gold, stores it, and retains the value of the shares. These shares can then be bought and sold in the stock market, and one big benefit is that the transaction costs of gold ETFs are much lower than the that of physical gold.

              With its consistently-increasing demand, investment in gold can be very wise long-term investment to make.

              7. Stash Emergency Funds

              Whether it’s a cash gift or a work bonus, always try to save any extra money that comes your way rather than making unneeded purchases.

              If you get paid every other week, you’ll get an “extra” paycheck (three rather than the usual two) twice a year. Either save those paychecks towards your emergency funds or utilize the money to pay down other obligations, such as loans, credit cards or other debts.

              Make it hard to get your cash.

              Put your savings in an alternate bank, maybe an online bank that forces you to delay for several business days before transferred money hits your regular bank account.

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              8. Find Fabulous Mentors

              Find a mentor, such as a friend or family member, who has exceptional control over their finances and pay attention to everything they do.

              If you do not have any friends or family that are enjoying financial freedom, then find a mentor online! There are numerous blogs and guru websites featuring the advice of many people who have reached financial freedom, and they exist primarily to let you in on how to achieve it for yourself.

              There are also plentiful forums available that share tips and tricks on how to best achieve financial freedom. Read as much as you can and start changing your habits for the better.

              9. Be Extra Patient

              Patience is the key of financial success.

              Being patient can be quite tough, especially when you’re struggling with your finances, but having faith is worth it. You’ll continuously be on the right track if you are taking the proper steps above.

              So don’t be discouraged, even if you are only saving a few dollars a month; it all adds up. Within just a few years you’ll look back proudly at your accomplishments and be glad that you had the patience to get there.

              Financial Freedom for All

              Anyone can achieve financial freedom, regardless of their financial circumstance.

              Use the tips provided above to get yourself on the track to financial freedom and toss your monetary concerns out the window. If you wish to achieve a life with financial freedom for yourself and your family then you must adopt a disciplined approach towards your finances.

              Following the simple secrets above is a great start to making your money work for you, so you can work less and live more!

              Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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              Reference

              [1] Hartford Gold Group: IRA Retirement Accounts

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