Is your budget too tight? Do you need to save some money? Well, you might need to add a new card to your wallet — not a credit card, but a library card. This simple card can help save you a lot of money and get your finances in order.
How Can a Library Card Save You Money?
Naturally, you can borrow books for free from the library instead of stocking your bookcases with brand-new copies. According to a Gallup poll in 2021, the average American reads 12 books per year. If you bought 12 hardcover books, you would spend approximately $240. But if you borrowed all of those books, you would spend $0.
If you prefer to read ebooks, you can use a library app to borrow ebooks without having to step foot in your neighborhood library. Library apps also let users access audiobooks, which are often more expensive than hardcover copies. All of your reading material could be free.
TV and Movies
You can access free TV and movie streaming services with the help of your library card. Some of those services include Hoopla Digital, Kanopy and Acorn TV. And if you just so happen to have a DVD player, your neighborhood library branch might just rent out DVDs.
Have you heard of a Library of Things? A Library of Things is a type of library that allows visitors to borrow miscellaneous items that they need to use temporarily. So, if you have to go camping, but you don’t want to invest in purchasing an entire tent, you can borrow one. If you want to bake a Bundt cake, but you don’t have a Bundt pan, you can borrow one.
There’s no need to waste your money on an item that you intend to use once or twice. You can just borrow it.
Every single library will offer free Wi-Fi for patrons. You can access this Wi-Fi through the library’s set of computers or you can jump onto the connection via your own laptop, smartphone or tablet.
Many libraries allow guests to borrow devices like laptops or tablets while on the premises. This can be useful if don’t own one of these devices yet, or if yours is currently in need of repairs.
Your library might offer services to help members of the community tackle official processes, like preparing to file tax returns. Getting some assistance could make the process a lot less stressful. It could also prevent you from making expensive slipups.
Your library might offer financial counseling services to any guests that are in desperate need of it. And if your library doesn’t offer that service, you can always find strong financial advice on their bookshelves.
What to Do with Your Savings
One of the smartest things that you can do with all of the savings you get with a library card is to build an emergency fund. An emergency fund is a safety net that everyone should have. With an emergency fund, you’ll improve your chances of being able to pay off small urgent expenses, like when your kitchen sink gets clogged and you need to pay a plumber to clear it.
Without an emergency fund, you will have to consider alternative payment methods that won’t upend your usual budget. You could charge the urgent expense to your credit card and pay down the balance later. Or you could go to a website like CreditFresh to see whether you meet all of the qualifications for a fast loan. If you do, you can fill out an application and submit it online. Your application just might get approved! Then, you’ll have access to a fast personal loan, which you can use to pay off the urgent expense in a short amount of time.
While these payment options are effective, you shouldn’t look at them as your primary solution when something goes wrong. An emergency fund should be your first priority. So, start building one!
A library card is the ultimate savings tool. If you want to get your finances back on track, add one of these cards to your wallet!