Yeah, between summer vacations and back-to-school, my wallet’s pretty tapped out. Yours too? How about a nice change of pace: free stuff!
- Free TV and Movies: Seems like there’s nothing good on TV these days; good thing we’ve got Hulu.com as our go-to source for TV-over-the-Internet. Not only do they have hundreds of shows cataloged on their site, they’ll also tell you where to find other favorites. An umbrella site, ovguide.com, also serves as a massive pointer toward other TV and movie favorites.
- Free Debt Help: feeling overextended? Evolution Finance (EF) just completed a new credit card debt help area. It’s chock-full of tips, definitions, and referrals for people who are feeling a little overwhelmed (or a lot overwhelmed) and want to get their debt load under control. EF is also the parent company of Wallet Blog, so I’m happy to assure you that it’s worth a look.
- Free Music Education: Always wanted to learn to play the ukulele? Ukulele Underground offers free online video ukulele lessons, tabs, chords, and more. Go Piano offers free piano lessons from basic to advanced. And eHow offers a series of 15 videos that will get you started on the road to violin virtuosity. There are similar lessons on the Internet for every instrument — just type “free online <instrument> lessons” into your search engine and watch it go!
- Free Food for Kids: About.com’s travel with kids host has cataloged many sites that offer coupons or information about where kids can eat for free (usually while dining with an adult who pays full price).
- Free Time-Sucker: Facebook. ‘Nuff said.
- Free Money for College: Besides the myriad grants and fellowships out there, you can start saving for your kids’ college now by registering for Upromise. By shopping online through upromise.com, eating at participating restaurants, or shopping at participating stores, you can be credited with bonus money in a Upromise account that can then be rolled over into a 529 account. Makes sense!
- Free Mind Expansion: Find Hub is a compilation of all major search engines in one place. From comparison shopping to videos, from travel to maps and a dictionary to help you define it all, it’s a one-stop site and super convenient (and yeah, it’s under the Evolution Finance umbrella too, but it’s really helpful and you’ll like it).
- Free Stationery: Once you register for Vistaprint, you’ll receive about four emails a week and they’ll all offer you free printed items. It costs a little more to upload your own designs (rather than using their templates), but it’s worth it! I’ve ordered from them for years and have never been disappointed — just make sure that you double-check that they don’t put their logo on the back side of anything you’re ordering.
- Free Comparison Shopping: How did we ever save money before the Internet? Whether you’re looking for travel deals on Kayak.com, item deals on Shopping.com, credit card/gift card/prepaid card deals on Card Hub, or mortgage deals on Lending Tree, the Web is chock-full of sites that help you become a savvier consumer. Thanks, Tim Berners-Lee!
- Free Credit Report: You are allowed one free credit report per credit-reporting agency each year. Get in on the fun at annualcreditreport.com. Watch out for other outfits that promise a “free” credit report — they usually sucker people into paying a subscription fee.
- Free Software: Paying for software is so 1999. Nowadays you can use Google Apps for your personal and business use. Microsoft Office replacements are available online at OpenOffice, and you can keep your PC safe via AVG’s free anti-virus protection.
Disclosure: Some links point to CardHub.com or FindHub.com, which are both owned by the same parent company as this blog.