When’s the last time you went to the library? I’ll bet it’s been years. Sure we all went there during our schooling days to hit the books, but these days most of the people I know don’t even have a valid library card and, if they do, it’s probably stuck at the back of a junk drawer. However, there are plenty of reasons to get a library card, not the least of which is savings: the library is your gateway to lots of free stuff you might not know about. From books to music to free passes, I crunched the numbers to show how using your local library can save you more than $200 a month on books, movie rentals and more!
A few months back, I wrote this post about people cancelling their cable to save. Your library can help too – borrow DVDs or download videos for free.
Savings: $24 a month, based on replacing your Friday night movie rental with one borrowed from the library.
Free book downloads
You don’t even need to go to the library anymore to borrow books. Instead, you can download them right to your Kindle or onto your computer. Why pay $15 or more for an e-book when you can get it for free? And, of course, you can still go to your local library and pick up a hard copy – or even better, order it online in advance and choose from any book in your entire local library system.
Savings: $45, based on two to three book purchases a month at $15 per e-book.
From CDs to downloads, the library is a source of free tunes that can help you make sure your playlist is always fresh. If you’re like me, that’s a big savings considering I’m always downloading something new from iTunes – at $1.29 a song and $10 an album (or more), which really adds up.
Savings: $30, based on the purchase of two or three new albums a month.
Libraries also offer programs for kids and teens, from storytelling to music to homework help. Some also offer help teaching your child to read.
Savings: $66 a month (or more) based on the cost of two $33 one-and-a-half-hour sessions I sourced at one local tutoring services business.
Some libraries let you sign out passes for local museums that can also save you big money. Not all libraries offer them, but I found programs in Toronto and Ottawa. With a bit more digging, you might find them at your local branch.
Savings: $90 for a free pass to the Royal Ontario Museum for two adults and five kids (cost of tickets ‒ $15 per adult and $12 per kid).
Free magazines and newspapers
Read the news and browse your favourite magazines at the library either in hard copy or online.
Savings: $52, based on the monthly subscription price of one national current affairs magazine I checked out.
Total savings: $212 = not too shabby!