You are reading Week 41 of 52 Weeks to Eliminate Debt & Curb Spending. Please read the overview here to learn more about the series & get your FREE financial planner. If you just joined us, please start with week 1.
Frugal masters world wide will agree with the statement: don’t pay for something you can get for free. This is ultimately the truth for everyone, but is most useful in regards to getting rid of debt.
There are really on two ways you can rid yourself of debt. You can either bring in more income or you can reduce your expenses. Finding things for free is one way to reduce your expenses. Below are some simple tips and ideas of things you can easily get for free.
1. Educational resources. Whether it is for homeschooling, school projects or study prep there is never a reason to pay for educational resources. Search online and you are likely to find thousands of results for quality free information at your fingertips. Your local library is another great source for everything from encyclopedias to text books that are there to teach you about how to take a test or what will be on a test.
2. Childcare on date night. Babysitters are expensive to hire. If you are lucky enough to live near family, you are likely to have childcare for free on many occasions. This, however is not an option for daily use when you have to put your child somewhere while you go to work. Don’t take advantage constantly, but never hesitate to ask grandparents, aunts or uncles to hang out with your kids for a few hours so you can get a break.
Also see what low cost childcare is available at your local YMCA or Rec Center. You can also trade childcare services with other parents. Maybe you take the kids on Mondays for 3 hours, Sally takes the kids on Tuesday and Molly takes the kids on Friday. This gives each parent time to themselves without someone feeling like they are running a free daycare center.
3. Entertainment. Why pay to go to a movie when you can take advantage of free local events like museums, galleries, kids museums or local small fairs? Watch your local community calendar as well as the local library calendar for great fun options for entertainment at no charge.
Every Friday, I share free weekend kids events for my area. Do a quick google search and see what’s available in your neck of the woods.
4. Music. Watch for specials on sites such as Amazon to get FREE music downloads. Keep an eye out for promotions to get hit songs for free as well. Amazon Prime members get access to Music Prime which provides access to a million songs for free with the app.
Pandora Internet Radio and the playlists offered through your iPhone music app are also great ways to listen for free.
5. Books. In addition to your local library, you can get ebooks for free around the web. Download FREE ebooks on Amazon or join Amazon Prime for even more benefits. Members can take advantage of Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and Kindle First.
NOOK users can get free books from Barnes and Noble and free books are also available directly through your Apple or Android device. Other sites include Free ebooks, Book Bub, Open Library, and Many Books. My Mom uses Book Bub all the time.
6. Shipping. If you’re shopping online, always do a search for free shipping codes before completing the purchase. Also, sign up for the email newsletter of your favorite stores. You’ll be notified of free shipping offers and coupon codes to help maximize your purchase.
These are just a very few of the things you can find for free on a regular basis. When you are working to get rid of debt, think outside the box. This isn’t to encourage you to take advantage in a negative way. This is a reminder that there are tons of free community opportunities, free cycle groups and even family offers that can help you stretch your already thin budget.
Make sure to take a look at my extensive list of birthday freebies for goodies on your special day.
Week 41 Challenge:
Start using at least one of these ideas to save money. Every penny saved adds up.
Disclosure: I am not a financial adviser nor do I have formal financial training. All articles are for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as financial advice or consultation. Please consult your account and/or financial adviser before making changes to your finances. All situations are different, so please consult a professional to determine your individual needs.