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Having a car in college can be a huge benefit. It can also be expensive. So we put together a list of the five best cars for college students.

best cars for college students

Before heading off to college, you have many decisions to make. What should you study? Should you take out student loans? How much can you budget for monthly expenses? You may even be considering a new car for getting to and from class or back home to visit the parents. But which vehicles are a wise choice for college students?

Let’s take a look at some of the most economical cars on the market today. These cars are both reliable and budget-friendly.

Vehicle Expenses

There are many costs to consider in college. Tuition and fees can run tens of thousands of dollars, on top of room and board, books, and even fun money. When you consider that most college students are working part-time (if at all) and strapped for cash, it makes sense to minimize expenses where you can.

Owning a vehicle can be a considerable expense. First you have to consider the actual cost of the car, of course. But you also have to consider its fuel efficiency, insurance premiums, and maintenance costs. If you plan to park a vehicle on campus, you also need to think about the added fee for parking permits. And don’t forget about the potential for citations for speeding or improper parking.

Of course, you also want a vehicle that meets your needs. Beyond simply getting you from point A to point B, you need a car that is reliable, safe, and has the features you use most often. Considering that some of these high-tech features like hands-free Bluetooth, USB ports, and GPS are standard in many of today’s vehicles, there’s no reason you can’t find exactly what you need.

With all these factors in mind, let’s explore five of the best, most cost-effective vehicles for students today.

Honda Civic

Honda has been a popular vehicle with the younger crowd for decades, largely because it’s affordable and fuel-efficient. Today’s Civics, though, also boast incredible safety ratings as well as a high-tech interior. All combined, it’s an excellent vehicle choice for college students.

The base model sedan has an MRSP of only $18,840, yet comes with an impressive list of tech features. Backup camera, bluetooth phone, bluetooth audio, and USB ports come standard. You can also add features like real-time traffic and

navigation, voice recognition, weather, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, heated and cooled seats, side mirror cameras, and more.

The 2018 Civic gets an impressive 40 MPG on the highway and 28 MPG in the city. This makes it easy to get to and from class or back home to visit, without spending a ton on gas.

Lastly, and most importantly, the new Honda Civics are incredibly safe. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the 2018 model an overall five out of five stars, the highest possible safety rating.

  • Sedan base price: MSRP $18,840
  • Standard features: backup camera, bluetooth, USB ports
  • Fuel efficiency: 40 MPG (highway) / 28 MPG (city)
  • Safety: 5-star NHTSA rating

Kia Forte

Another incredibly safe, yet affordable, college car is the Kia Forte. This little gem is fuel-efficient and sporty, while also giving you all of the newest features standard.

If opting for the most affordable model, the LX, you’ll see a starting MSRP of only $16,800. With that comes a backup camera, standard on all vehicles beginning with the 2018 model year. It also comes with heated mirrors, Bluetooth connectivity, an audio- and phone-controlling steering wheel, and USB port. Upgrade to the S model (with an MSRP of $19,400) and you’ll also get Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a 7” touch-screen display, and dual 12V outlets. There are also additional options like a Smart Trunk, blind spot detection, and lane change assist.

You won’t spend an arm and a leg for fuel with the Kia Forte, either. This car gets an impressive 37 MPG highway and 29 MPG city, while still bringing along between 147 and 164 horsepower.

Of course, it’s also a safe vehicle, getting a full five-star safety rating from the NHTSA.

  • LX base price: MSRP $16,800
  • Standard features: backup camera, bluetooth, heated mirrors, steering wheel controls, USB ports
  • Fuel efficiency: 37 MPG (highway) / 29 MPG (city)
  • Safety: 5-star NHTSA rating

Chevrolet Sonic

If you’re looking for a fuel-efficient car that offers plenty of storage space for your weekend adventures without being too big, the Chevy Sonic is for you. This car comes in three trim options, each with neat features standard and excellent gas mileage.

The base trim model, the LT, starts with an MSRP of $17,395. It comes standard with features like steering wheel controls, OnStar, power outlets and auxiliary jacks, and a rear vision camera. Bump up to the next trim, the LS, and you’ll also get a standard remote start system, SiriusXM, and heated mirrors. This model starts at only $19,295. All models boast 138 horsepower and get 37 MPG highway and 28 MPG city.

You’ll get a complimentary two years’ scheduled maintenance with the Sonic, as well as a 3 year/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a 5 year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty. This gives you the peace of mind that you won’t have to worry about any mechanical failures or added expenses for quite a while!

Yet again, we have another car with a perfect 5-star safety rating from the

NHTSA, so you can feel safe and secure in the Chevy Sonic.

  • LT base price: MSRP $17,395
  • Standard features: backup camera, bluetooth, OnStar, steering wheel controls, USB ports
  • Fuel efficiency: 37 MPG (highway) / 28 MPG (city)
  • Safety: 5-star NHTSA rating

Hyundai Elantra

This next vehicle comes with six trim options, giving you many choices for finding the perfect combination for your needs. The 2018 Hyundai Elantra is a sporty sedan with good gas mileage, reliability, and a ton of tech features.

The base model (SE) has a starting MSRP of only $17,950 and comes with standard features like steering wheel audio controls, Bluetooth audio and phone capability with voice recognition, as well as USB and auxiliary jacks. Upgrade to the SEL trim (MSRP $18,850), and you’ll also get a 7-inch touchscreen display, SiriusXM, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, Blind Spot Detection, Lane Change Assist, heated side mirrors, and individual tire pressure indicators.

All trims come with a 10 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty, 5 year/60,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, and 5 year/unlimited miles 24/7 roadside assistance. This added security can be invaluable, especially when a college student is living far from home.

The SE trim gets 38 MPG highway and 29 MPG city, while the SEL drops slightly to 37 MPG highway and 28 MPG city. The 2018 Elantra also scores well for safety, getting a 4-star rating from the NHTSA.

  • SE base price: MSRP $17,950
  • Standard features: backup camera, bluetooth, steering wheel controls, USB ports
  • Fuel efficiency: 38 MPG (highway) / 29 MPG (city)
  • Safety: 4-star NHTSA rating

Mazda 3

Last but not least, we have the sleek Mazda 3. This sedan comes in three trims (Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring), all of which have an MSRP under $25,000.

The Sport is the base model but brings with it an impressive 155 horsepower for an affordable $19,145 price tag. It also comes standard with a high-end suite of features, like a 7-inch touchscreen display, Pandora/Stitcher/Aha radio integration, SMS text message audio delivery/reply, steering wheel controls, rear view camera, E911 automatic emergency notification, power side mirrors, USB ports and auxiliary jacks, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, push-button start, 12V outlet, and a voice command system. That’s a pretty impressive list for a base model’s standard features.

It’s estimated fuel efficiency is 37 MPG highway and 28 MPG city, even though it has a SKYACTIV transmission with sport mode. But don’t worry, it’s also a safe car: it scored 5 out of 5 stars from the NHTSA.

  • SE base price: MSRP $19,145
  • Standard features: backup camera, Bluetooth, steering wheel controls, USB ports, 12V outlet, online radio integration, voice command system, 7-inch touchscreen, power side mirrors, push-button start, and more
  • Fuel efficiency: 37 MPG (highway) / 28 MPG (city)
  • Safety: 5-star NHTSA rating

Going off to college brings with it many new considerations and expenses. One of them might be a new car. That way, you can ensure that your child has a safe, reliable vehicle for getting to and from class, or back home to visit (and do laundry!).

These five cars are perfect for getting around campus, finding parking before class, and staying safe while on the road. They all have excellent safety ratings, high fuel efficiency, and a reasonable price tag, while still offering the features that young kids want most.

Is a new car a consideration for your new college student? What are your biggest priorities, if so?

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We cover the best airline miles credit cards of 2018. You’ll find airline-specific cards and offers that can be used with any airline. Our top pick offers up to a $625 signup bonus.

best airline miles credit cards

The cost of flying is going up. Airlines continue to add a variety of fees to compensate for keeping fare prices low to compete with each other. Adding to the base cost of a flight are fees like fuel surcharges, checked baggage fees, and in-flight fees for food, drinks, headphones and pillows. Some airlines are now even charging for carry-on luggage. Some of the best airline miles credit cards allow customers to waive a few of these excessive fees. The are also accompanied by a quality rewards program. These features help customers save money on fees as well as apply discounts to fares.

These are the best airline miles credit cards available to consumers today. If you fly frequently on any of the below airlines, you could save thousands of dollars in airfare every year. Even less frequent travelers will still be able to save money. If you own a card not on this list, leave a comment and tell us why you love it.

Editor’s choice

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: New card holders for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card can qualify for 50,000 bonus points by spending $4,000 on purchases during the first three months of card ownership. These points can be redeemed for $625 in travel rewards when booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards. This makes it the most valuable card for airline travel available today.

The card also includes a reward program, with 2X points for every dollar spent for travel expenses and dining at restaurants. As well as offering the standard 1X point for every dollar spent on all other purchases. The card has no foreign transaction fee plus Chip and Signature enabled for international travel.

There is a $95 annual fee, but it’s waived for all first year cardholders.

Other Top Airline Credit Card Offers

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit CardCapital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card: With the Venture card you can earn 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months. These bonus miles are worth $400 when redeemed for travel. You’ll also earn two miles for every $1 in purchases charged to the card. There is a $0 intro annual fee the first year, but $95 annual fee thereafter.

For a limited time, Capital One is offering a killer promotion when you book through hotels.com. Using the Hotels.com/Venture link, you’ll earn 10 miles for every dollar spent!

There are no foreign transaction fees associated with any Capital One product but there is also no intro APR to speak of.

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express: The Starwood Preferred American Express is ideal for those who frequently stay at Starwood properties. You’ll receive 25,000 bonus Starpoints after you use the card to make $3,000 in purchases in the first three months. There are no foreign transaction fees, and get free nights at over 1,200 hotels and resorts in nearly 100 countries with no blackout dates.

Cardholders receive two Starpoints for every dollar spent at participating SPG and Marriott Rewards hotels and one Starpoint per dollar spent on all other purchases.  When you combine those points with the Triple Starpoints you earn when you become a Starwood rewards member, this card has the potential of earning you five points per dollar spent on Starwood and Marriott brands.

This card carries a $95 annual fee, waived for all first year members.

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Card: New cardholders of the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card will earn 50,000 points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first three months. Two points per dollar spent are earning on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and card rental partner purchases and single points per dollar spent are earned elsewhere.

Every year you remain a Southwest cardholder, you’ll earn a 6,000 bonus points (credited on your anniversary date). There are no foreign transaction fees to worry about, no blackout dates or seat restrictions and as always on Southwest flights, bags fly free.

The annual fee is $99 (and it is NOT waived for the first year).

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express: You earn 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new card within the first three months of card membership.

  • With the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, you earn 2 miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta.
  • Earn 1 mile for every dollar spent on all other eligible purchases.
  • Take advantage of premium travel perks such as priority boarding when you book a flight with and fly Delta.
  • Check your first bag free on every Delta flight–that’s a savings of up to $200 per round trip for a family of four.

This card has a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year. After that, the annual fee is $95. (Terms and conditions apply.)

  • Learn more about this card HERE

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card: This is the no annual fee version of the Venture card. In exchange for avoiding the annual fee, the benefits are bit lower. You can earn 20,000 bonus miles when you spend $1,000 on the card in the first three months. And for every $1 charged to the card, you earn 1.25 miles.

With the fees on some of the airline miles cards, becoming a member may not be worthwhile, unless you pay your bill in full every month and fly frequently for the points to be more worthwhile than a cash back card. Many cards have fees. So consider whether you will use the card enough to justify the amount of those annual fees. Using an airline miles card also ties you into using a specific airline. If you fly the same route frequently, you may already have that level of loyalty.

This card also includes the same Hotels.com promotion, where you can earn 10 points per dollar spent using the link Hotels.com/Venture

Important Note! The information in this article is believed to be accurate as of the date it was written. Please keep in mind that offers change frequently. Therefore, we can not guarantee the accuracy of the information in this article. Please verify all terms and conditions of any credit or charge card prior to applying.

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Did you know there are 8 types of homeowners insurance? Here are the details on each type of policy, along with what you need to know to make sure your home is protected.

homeowners insurance

When it comes to homeowners insurance, all too many of us don’t know what we’re really buying. You hear about this all the time during major natural disasters. People think they are covered in the event of a flood, only to find out that they are not. Same goes with an earthquake.

To avoid this kind of tragedy, you need to know what your homeowners insurance covers. Specifically, you want to know what you’ll receive in the event of a total loss, and any additional coverages you might need. That’s where we’ve done the work for you. Here, we break down the types of homeowners insurance policies by several different categories.

The Basic Types of Homeowners Insurance Policies

Insurance companies have their own shorthand for different types of standard homeowners insurance policies. There are eight basic types. While they can vary from company to company, these eight types describe the kinds of hazards a policy protects you from.

Here’s a quick overview of the basic options and the types of hazards they cover:

Policy Type Hazards Protected Other Details
HO-1 (Basic Form)
  • Fire/smoke
  • Explosions
  • Lightning
  • Hail/windstorms
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Damage from vehicles
  • Riots and civil commotion
  • Volcanic eruption
As written, these policies typically only cover the structure of your home. You can sometimes add your personal property to them, though. And you typically don’t get personal liability insurance with this option.
HO-2 (Broad Form) Everything listed above plus:

  • Falling objects
  • Weight of ice/snow/sleet
  • Freezing of household systems like AC or heating
  • Sudden and accidental tearing or cracking of pipes and other systems
  • Accidental discharge or overflow of water or steam
  • Sudden and accidental damage from electrical current
These policies typically include coverage for your belongings and may also include some personal liability coverage.
HO-3 (Special Form) All hazards listed above, plus any other hazards not specifically excluded in the policy. Exclusions typically include floods and earthquakes, but you should check your specific policy for details. These policies typically cover your home and other attached structures and your belongings. They typically also include some personal liability coverage.
HO-4 (Tenant’s Form) Typically covers same hazards as HO-2 policies This policy is specifically for renters. It doesn’t cover the buildings you live in but does cover your belongings. You can sometimes also add personal liability insurance to your HO-4 policy.
HO-5 (Comprehensive Form) This type of insurance is similar to an HO-3 policy in that it protects against every peril except those specifically listed as excluded. It usually gives you more protection for your belongings and a higher personal liability insurance coverage. You need to look at your policy’s specifics, of course. But HO-5 policies often exclude the following:

  • Earth movement
  • Flood
  • Water damage
  • Damage from infestation of birds or other vermin
  • Settling, shrinking, or bulging of the home’s foundation
  • Pets and other animals
  • Mold, fungus, and rot
  • Intentional loss
  • War, government action, and nuclear hazard
  • Ordinance or law
  • Smog, rust, or corrosion
HO-6 (Condo Form) This insurance is specifically for condominium owners. It’s similar to a renter’s policy in that it offers protection for belongings and personal liability. However, condo insurance also protects the parts of the condo for which you are responsible, typically the walls, floors, and ceiling. The covered hazards for this policy are typically similar to those of an HO-3. Look for specifically excluded incidents.
HO-7 (Mobile Home Form) This type of insurance is similar to an HO-3 but is written specifically for mobile and manufactured homes. Again, look at your specific policy to understand what hazards are excluded from your coverage.
HO-8 (Older Home Form) Again, the hazards covered for this type of insurance are similar to those covered under an HO-3 policy. But these are made specifically for older homes. You don’t need this type of policy just based on the date your home was built. But most historic homes and registered landmarks carry this type of insurance.

The important thing to note about all these types of homeowners insurance is that they vary from policy to policy. Most HO-2 policies will cover the same hazards. Most HO-3 policies will exclude the same hazards. But your policy may have slight differences.

This is why it’s so important to ask your insurance company about the specifics of your policy. And you should also understand under what circumstances an event is covered.

For instance, if you lose power and your pipes freeze and burst, the related water damage may be covered. But if you take on water damage because of a neglected issue you knew about for a while, that may not be covered.

Again, this is why you need to be sure that you talk with your insurance agent about the details of your policy. And, of course, practice proper home maintenance to avoid long-term, avoidable damage.

What About Floods and Earthquakes?

You may notice that even the most comprehensive types of homeowners insurance coverage specifically exclude natural events like floods and earthquakes. That’s because these cataclysmic disasters often cause a lot of loss in a short amount of time. Insurance companies have trouble absorbing these losses.

Flood Insurance

Because of this, the federal government has a flood insurance program that offers insurance against this specific event. You can buy this insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program.

The program sells you federally-backed insurance policies through local insurance providers. You must buy the insurance from an agent who works with the program.

Flooding is very common, and it affects many uninsured homeowners each year. To find out if you need flood insurance, put your address into this interactive map. It will show you the level of flood risk at your address. If you have a moderate to high risk of flooding, you should definitely consider adding flood insurance to your homeowners coverage.

Earthquake Insurance

Earthquake insurance isn’t backed by the federal government. But if you live in California, you can buy it through the California Earthquake Authority. Some insurance companies, especially those in earthquake-prone areas, will let you add earthquake coverage to your general homeowners insurance policy.

Earthquake policies can be relatively affordable up front. But if you have to make a claim, they can be expensive. These policies typically charge between 10 and 20 percent of your dwelling coverage limit when they pay out a claim. So if you have $100,000 of coverage, between $10,000 and $20,000 would be deducted from your settlement.

One final type of homeowners insurance you might consider adding to your policy is sewer backup and flooding insurance. Typical homeowners policies won’t pay for sewer-related plumbing, and this can be a big deal if you live in an area with an old sewer system. You can ask your insurer about adding sewer coverage to your typical homeowners insurance policy for an additional premium.

What About the Amount of Protection Provided?

The covered hazards are just one major component of homeowners insurance policies. The other major component is the amount of protection your homeowners insurance policy provides.

Typical policies will include a payout limit for your actual home and its structure, as well as a payout limit for your personal property. If you have a personal liability policy, that policy’s limit will be stated separately, as well.

But knowing the dollar amount isn’t enough. You also need to understand how the insurance company will value your home in the case of a loss. There are three common ways the insurer will do this, lined out below.

Actual Cash Value

With this type of policy, your limit is based on the market value of your home, usually figured based on what you paid for the home. It’s the same for your personal property. In other words, the limit is the initial cost to purchase a property or item minus depreciation for the number of years you’ve had it.

In the case of your home, the actual cash value is not likely enough to rebuild your home in the event of a total loss. This is why most insurance policies operate off of the second option, replacement cost.

However, it’s not at all uncommon for personal property insurance to cover your property up to the actual cash value. So if you bought a brand new leather couch for $5,000 ten years ago and it’s damaged in a fire, you won’t get a full $5,000 for it. You might get $1,000 or even less, depending on how the insurance company calculates depreciation.

Replacement Cost Coverage

The replacement cost of your home is the amount of money it would take to build the same home in today’s market. So maybe you paid $150,000 for your home. But if it burns to the ground and labor and materials are now more expensive, it might cost $175,000 to rebuild.

This is the type of homeowners coverage you should look for. If your home is a total loss due to a covered event, you’ll be able to rebuild with similar space, features, finishes, and fixtures. Keep in mind when calculating the amount of coverage you need that you don’t need to count the value of your lot in replacement costs. When you buy your home, you also buy the land it sits on. And you won’t have to replace that even in the case of a total loss.

Guaranteed/Extended Replacement Cost

This is a common option for homes with special features or historic homes. Because of their specialty features, such as hand-hewn flooring or detailed woodworking, they can be very expensive to replace. In fact, they may cost much more to replace than their actual market value.

An extended replacement cost policy can also be a good idea if you’re in a disaster-prone analysis. When lots of homes are damaged at once, the cost of materials and labor can skyrocket. That means replacing your home can either take a lot longer or cost a lot more. So adding an additional 20 to 25 percent to your replacement costs can be helpful.

Which Should You Choose?

Most insurance agents will recommend at least replacement cost, if not extended replacement cost. This will protect you against most eventualities if a covered event happens to your home.

However, keep in mind that many policies operate differently for your home’s structure versus your personal property. For instance, you’re likely to wind up with a replacement cost policy for your home but an actual cash value policy for your personal property.

This can keep your insurance coverage more affordable. But it also means you may not be able to afford to replace all of your things if your home is a total loss. So keep that in mind, and ask the insurance company about the potential costs of upgrading to replacement cost coverage for your personal property.

Homeowners insurance is complicated, to say the least. But once you get the basics–policy type, additional coverage, and coverage amounts–down, you’re on your way to getting the right policy for your needs.

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Your local library has a lot more than just books. From magazines to movies, you can save money using your library’s resources. Here’s how.

Do you think of your local library as a stuffy place? Beaky-nosed librarians scowling over their glasses? Constantly being told to shush while you sneeze from all the dusty books?
Your view of the library could be more than a little dated. While a few libraries still operate in this old-fashioned way, most are getting more current. As cornerstones of neighborhoods across the country, libraries are coming up with innovative ways to engage their communities.

Plus, if you’re at all interested in living frugally, you should definitely get familiar with your local library. They’ve got more than a few ways you can save some serious cash. Here are some to consider.

Save on Reading, Listening, and Watching Material

Obviously the library is a great place to go to check out reading material. But these days, you can get way more than ancient, dusty books from the library’s shelves. Most libraries are great at keeping up with current trends in all sorts of genres.

I never have to wait long to get even the latest bestseller from my local library in Indianapolis. And I save the $20+ dollars by waiting a few extra days to read it. Sometimes I am about dead with anticipation by the time the book arrives, but that’s part of the fun.

Besides traditional crackly-covered library-bound books, though, you can also get digital books from most modern libraries. Our library uses the Overdrive app. You can add it to your phone and then access thousands of ebooks and audiobooks using your library card. The ebooks can even be pushed out to your Kindle if that’s your preferred reading device. Plus, libraries offer other types of reading material, including newspapers and magazines.

I mentioned audiobooks above because they’re often available through library apps. But many libraries stock loads of audiobooks on CD, too. These were favorites of my husband and me when we drove back and forth to college I won’t say how many years ago. They’re still an excellent option for long road trips with kids, too.

Another option is traditional CDs and even digital copies of music. Some libraries offer Overdrive-like services specifically for music. For instance, you might be able to access Freegal Music to get free songs each week. Both CDs and downloads are great option for checking out new music without spending a dime.

Finally, the library is a great place to go for new things to watch. Most libraries stock the latest releases of movies. You may have to wait on a hold list, unlike with Redbox. But it also won’t cost you anything to binge watch favorite classics and new releases on the weekend.

Save on a Place to Work or Hold Meetings

If you’re part of the growing telework workforce, the library can be a boon. If you’re anything like me, you just have days when “work from home” doesn’t cut it. The laundry and other housework is too distracting. Or the temptation to fall back into bed is too strong.

On these days, I tend to default to a local coffee shop, where I can get more work done surrounded by a bit of ambient noise and people who would look at me oddly if I fell asleep. But my library is a great place to get work done, as well.

And, guess what? They don’t even care if you bring your own coffee into the library. So there’s no temptation to spend money on an expensive coffee drink at the shop, but I still get to enjoy free internet and ambiance while I get my work done.

Many libraries also offer a variety of study and meeting rooms to their patrons. My tiny local library even has a couple of quiet rooms that can be reserved for small meetings or study sessions. And our larger downtown branch has loads of rooms for a variety of purposes.

Check your library’s policies and procedures, especially if you’re trying to schedule a meeting with others. But the library can be a great way to put on a presentation or hold a meeting or brainstorming session as a small business owner or freelancer.

Save on Internet and Computers

If your job is literally typing words on a screen for hours on end like mine, you can’t really get away with not having your own computer and internet connection. But what if most of your day-to-day internet transactions take place on your phone? Maybe you don’t need a computer except for once in a while when you need to do something more complex like write a paper or pull together a presentation.

In this case, the library is a great place to go. Most libraries have a variety of publicly available computers, and they usually have free internet and Wifi. So you can just head to your library to get done what you need to get done.

You might also be able to access more complicated software like the Adobe suite or coding platforms. These can be great if you need to complete projects or are trying to learn something new but don’t want to spend a ton of money on new software.

Save on Things to Do

Our local library has a huge variety of events and entertainment available. For instance, local branches host toddler groups all the time. They are great for stay-at-home parents who need something to keep their kids busy. But the library also hosts loads of events for adults, including speaking events with authors, music events, and even cultural events like its annual Kwanzaa celebration.

In larger cities, the bigger events are likely to take place at the central or larger branches. Ours normally take place downtown. But even the smaller outlying branches offer plenty of interesting evening and weekend events geared towards the local community.

If your library has a Facebook page or Twitter feed, follow them to stay on top of the latest events. Or check out the library’s website, which likely includes a calendar.

Save on Further Education

Are you looking at applying for a job or building a new career? The library should be your first stop. Research librarians are great at helping your sort through the information that’s out there on your intended career. They may even be able to help you find good websites for applying to jobs. And many libraries host regular resume and cover letter writing workshops.

Plus, more and more libraries are offering workshops on coveted skills for the workplace. This used to be mostly focused on basic computer literacy skills. And many libraries still offer basic workshops on Microsoft Office and using the internet. But now more and more are offering innovative options like coding classes and talks with local business owners about career development.

The library isn’t necessarily a place to get an actual certificate in your area of study. But it can be an excellent place to try out new skills to see which direction you want to go.

Save on a Bunch of Other Stuff

Honestly, libraries are becoming so innovative these days that it’s impossible to detail all the ways you might be able to save money at yours. It really depends on your particular library system and branch. But here are some of the most interesting items I’ve heard you can check out at some local libraries:

  • Museum passes: Some libraries loan passes to local museums, or at least get you a discount when you present your library card.
  • Artwork: Many libraries now offer you the ability to check out artwork. You can refresh your space for a couple of months, and then switch out the piece for something different.
  • Instruments: Think you want to take up guitar, but not sure you’ll stick with it? Before you invest a couple hundred bucks or more, see if your library lends out instruments to try.
  • Tools: Some libraries now offer a rotation of home improvement tools for those who want to DIY it without spending a fortune on a garage full of tools.
  • Tech Devices: You can check out Xboxes, iPads, and more from many local libraries. If you want your kids to try one out before you buy, check with your library.
  • Toys: Some toy libraries, usually focused on specialty toys for kids with special needs, do exist. But mainstream libraries may also offer you the option to check out kids’ toys for a while.
  • Seeds: More libraries are offering seed libraries. You just grab a packet of seeds with the promise to bring some back when you harvest the fruit later in the summer.

Your library could literally lend just about anything you can think of. That’s why it’s so important to check out your library’s website and social media so that you can stay on top of what’s offered. Just using your library for reading and watching material could save you a small fortune. But you might as well make the most of the resources offered, and see just how much money you can save.

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