Monday, March 25, 2013

Money Saving Monday - The Library

This is a new series that I am trying out.  Every Monday I will give you a tip on a way to save money.  I figured Monday was a good day since you probably spent all of your money going out over the weekend, and if you didn't I am sure that you still would not mind saving a buck or two.

This week's money saving tip is - Use the library.  This is probably a no brainer for some, but hopefully this will be helpful to a few.  I am sure that most of you know that you can borrow books from the library, and I am sure that most of you have done it.  Did you know that the library has a whole lot more to offer then just books?  If you didn't then keep reading, and you might be surprised by what you find out.

DVDs - I'm not just talking about educational ones that you have no interest in.  The library has some great movies, tv series, and even workout DVDs.  When I lived in Florida I was able to borrow "Lost."  The most recent tv series that I borrowed from my library here in Oklahoma was "Downton Abbey."  Oh how I love that show.  The selections will vary depending on your library, but its definitely a cheap date idea if you can find a movie or show that you would like to watch.

I didn't know until recently that you could get workout DVDs at the library as well, and I really love this feature.  In fact I just borrowed some new ones this past week.  This way you can add some variety to your workouts without draining your bank account, or if you are thinking of purchasing a new workout DVD you can test it out first.  That way you are sure you love it before you shell out the cash for it.

CDs - Most libraries have a great selection of CDs to borrow.  I know CDs are kind of out of date now that everyone has MP3 players, but hey maybe you want to listen to them in your car.

Audio Books - My library has a great selection of these, and I love to listen to them while I am driving to and from work.  I have a 45 minute commute, so I can slip in a few chapters here and there.  I usually only listen to them during my commute or when I am doing long distance driving.  Otherwise, I am normally rocking Mumford and Sons or Lumineers (you get the idea).

eBooks - Yes they even have books that you can download to your Kindle, Nook, iPad, or whatever you have.  The selection tends to be a little more limited, but there are still some great books.  Some libraries will even let you borrow eReaders.

Computers and Printers - If you ever need to get on a computer you can use one at the library, and if you need to print something off you can usually do so for a minimal fee.

Classes - There are a variety of classes that you can take at the library.  They offer everything from arts and crafts to tax preparation to computer classes.  They even have story time for children.  Some libraries even offer online language courses through Mango.  Mine offers this, and I have used it a few times.  It is a pretty fun resource.  They usually have class schedules that you can check out online or posted around the library.

Clubs and Activities -  They also have book clubs and meet ups.  Granted a lot of these are geared towards older people, so you will have to check the schedule at your library to see what looks good to you.  My library recently had speed dating for people my age.  No, I did not attend.  Maybe next time, but probably not.  Speed dating just isn't my scene.

The best thing that I can tell you to do is visit your library or their website, and get a library card.  They are free.  What are you waiting for?  I think you will be amazed at what all the library has to offer.  It is no longer just a place to get books.

Remember though that it is only free if you return things on time.  My library charge 10 cents per item per day for late returns, and I have had a few here lately, which adds up to a whopping 40 cents.  If you are bad about due dates check with your library to see if they send reminders.  Mine sends reminders via e-mail and text message.  Unfortunately for me I changed cell phone carriers and forgot to let the library know.  Hence the late fees.

Does your library have any cool features?  What resources do you use at your library?

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