Don’t Pay for These 6 Things

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When you're trying to save money, every little bit counts. Find out how you can get some everyday items for free and pad your pockets (or your bank account) with the savings.

If you feel like you’re getting nickel-and-dimed these days, you’re not alone. But you may be paying for products or services that are available for free – no wallet necessary.

Here are six things you can get for free:

  • Wi-Fi (outside your home): If you’re like most people, you pay for Internet service at your home, but that’s the only time you should have to fork over your hard-earned cash for Wi-Fi because you can probably tap into a free connection somewhere else. Your local library provides free access, as do a number of businesses, including Starbucks and McDonald’s. Another option to sniff out a Wi-Fi connection is to use a hotspot database like WeFi.
  • Books: Your public library is a great spot to check out books for free, either the old-fashioned way or as a digital download. I read lots of free downloaded books from Amazon. Though some books require that you’re an Amazon Prime member, there are others that are offered for free through promotions. Project Gutenberg offers more than 50,000 free ebooks, including “Anna Karenina,” “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” and “Jane Eyre,” which you can read on your computer or your smartphone. Check out this article on how to get millions of books and magazines for free.
  • Water: Sure, you can buy expensive bottled water, but chances are it’s no better than the water you get from the tap. So save yourself some money and ditch the spendy bottled water. If the taste or quality of your tap water really is bad, you may want to purchase a filtered pitcher or a faucet filter.
  • Credit report and FICO score: You can get a free copy of your credit report once a year by going to AnnualCreditReport.com. There are also now a handful of ways you can check out your FICO score – which is often used by lenders, bankers and landlords – free of charge. Many credit card companies provide their customers with a free copy of their score. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, you can also get access to your FICO score from a nonprofit credit counselor. Read this article for more on how to get a free look at your FICO credit score.
  • News: The Internet forever changed how people read or watch the news. You can get free news online 24/7. If you don’t have Internet service at home, just head to the public library (or anywhere with free Wi-Fi) and you’re set.
  • Banking: There are few things that Americans hate more than banking fees. You’re less likely to run into pesky (and expensive) fees for banking services at smaller banks, like credit unions, online banks and community banks. Taking advantage of electronic features and direct deposit also sometimes allow you to avoid bank fees. Find more tips on how you can avoid paying banking fees here.

Are you paying for the items you see on our list? What everyday items or products do you get for free? Share your tips below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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