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Don’t Waste Your Money: A Few Common Expenses that Can Be Had for Free

Posted by : Premraj | Posted on : Tuesday, September 14, 2010

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This guest post is contributed by Lauren Bailey, who writes on the topics of online colleges. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: blauren99 @gmail.com.

To budget carefully is to really think about each item on which you are spending money. As a reader of BudgetPulse, you probably are serious about allocating money for specific expenditures, cutting out unnecessary items, etc. I myself am always looking for new ways to cut back on spending. One thing that occurred to me recently was that I spend quite a bit of money on items that you can just as easily acquire for free. Here a few things that we shouldn’t be having to pay for if we’re smart about it:

1. Books.

Some people have shoe shopping addictions, and still others have a compulsive need to get the latest electronic gadget as soon as it comes out. My personal waterloo was books. Even though I wouldn’t finish what I bought, I’d go out to the store and buy some more. While it was nice to amass a large collection of books, it was certainly expensive. If you let go of this idea of collecting things, you’ll find that books can be had completely free at your local library. Skip the expensive retail booksellers and get a library card.

2. Movies.

I used to be pretty old-fashioned when it came to purchasing films. Whether I was renting or buying, it added up to quite a bit of money. Then my children informed me of the wonderful capabilities of the Internet. Although NetFlix is a great, cheap option as well, if you do a little searching, you can find almost any movie through torrent sites or you can find streaming sites as well. Invest in a computer-TV adapter if you would rather watch a movie on your big screen.

3. Sunday afternoon entertainment.

If you find that you’re bored on a quiet day, skip out on the brunch appointments or happy hours, which can be quite the money-drainers. Instead, check out what museums or parks are in your area. They’re fun, family-and date-friendly, and, best of all–they’re often either super cheap or completely free.

4. Bottled Water

I used to be pretty picky about what kind of water I would drink. However, I soon realized that purchasing bottled water can really put a strain on your pocketbook, while the added benefits–health or taste-wise–are really rather negligible. Get a good filter and enjoy the fruits of free water.

5. Internet

Okay, so this one may be a bit of a stretch, because the fact of the matter is that, in our increasingly hyper-connected world, we may need Internet access at all times wherever we go, in which case, you’ll have to pay. However, if work or school doesn’t require you to be online at all times, then consider nixing that expensive wireless connection at home. Almost everywhere now has several free Wi-Fi spots, and if you look, you may just have to occasionally purchase a coffee to enjoy Internet access without the monthly bills.

While each one of these items may be worth paying for if you have a high set of personal preferences, if you are, on the contrary, not that picky, then you could stand to save a lot of money by getting what you want for free. I did, and it’s made a huge difference.

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