A few years ago I started the extra-fun tradition of waking up on the day after Christmas and immediately paying off our credit card. It’s always a little bit painful because spending in December takes on a Monopoly money quality, but I vastly prefer it to having that bill hanging over my head. It also feels like a fresh start when we’re in the days of, “We never need another thing AGAIN.”
Plenty of people take on a no-spend challenge in January, and I understand the appeal. It’s a great time to reset your thinking about spending, change your habits and focus on needs over wants. While I’m not doing a no-spend I am focusing on eliminating impulse spending. I set a goal to avoid Target for the month, and while I’ve seriously cut down my Target spending, I have failed at staying out of Target completely. Still, I find myself stopping to think “Do we need this?” at least 20 times every day.
If you’re embarking on a similar challenge, whether your goal is just to stay on budget, or even if you just like free things, today’s post is for you. It feels especially important to talk about free things that bring us joy on the heels of a post about our favorite shoes that are a bit of an investment.
Free Things We Love
This is one of those things that I truly can’t figure out why it’s free. This seems like a service that the post office could charge for and make an absolute
If you spend any time at all searching for library books, the Chrome Library Extension is a must-have. If you are searching for books on sites like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google or Goodreads, it will show you right on the page if those books, ebooks or audiobooks are available at your local libraries. If you hold cards to multiple libraries, this is a great way to see availability at all of your libraries at once, so you don’t have to search each separately. It checks both physical and ebook/audiobook inventory. You can also click on a link to be taken directly to the
Hoopla wasn’t originally on my list for this post, but it’s worth noting. Many libraries include access to Hoopla along with your library card. You can download up to 6 movies, ebooks or audiobooks a month via this platform and there are no hold lists! The ebooks are not Kindle compatible, but you can read them on a mobile device.
I started using a password manager last year and now I don’t know how I ever lived without it. Actually, I do know how – I wasted so much time resetting passwords all over the internet.
LastPass is free (although there is a premium upgrade that I haven’t found to be necessary) and securely holds each of your passwords. They have an iOS app that I haven’t installed and I don’t know what I’m waiting for. Make digital security and simplicity a priority in 2019 and get yourself a password manager.
Every year our family tries to integrate new, greener, practices into our home. A few years ago we figured out how and where to recycle batteries and this year our goal is start recycling hard to recycle materials. Cosmetic packaging is notoriously hard to recycle, but so are things like pet food bags and squeezy applesauce pouches.
While Terra Cycle does charge for some of their recycling services, many are free, including shipping!
To find out more and sign up for the recycling programs that interest you, click here!
I’m spending a lot of time looking at my budget and eliminating unnecessary costs this month. It’s also great to take a look at the services we love that don’t cost a thing. If you love something that’s completely free to use, leave it in the comments below!