10 Ways to Get Free Stuff and Entertainment

Free is a wonderful four-letter word. Getting stuff for free lets you enjoy more of your paycheck each month and lets you funnel more of your money towards repaying your debts and saving up. It’s also truly amazing what people give away for free. You can furnish your entire home with free furniture, enjoy free entertainment, and even enjoy that proverbial free lunch. Here’s how:

1) Use trading sites. Online trading sites allow you to swap you no longer need or want for things you do want. You can often post wish lists of what you are looking for, too. If you can’t find what you need online, check local swap meets.

2) Send away for freebies. Many products send free samples (and coupons) to customers. All you need to do is ask. Just Google “freebies” or “free samples” and you can sign up to get everything from free soap to free cereal.

3) Check out freebie sites. Many online classified sites and even auction sites have “freebie” sections, where people post stuff they want to give away. Everything from tires to furniture is listed.

4) Check out rummage sales and yard sales towards the end of the day. By the end of the day, yard sale holders and people selling things through a farmer’s market or flea market are ready to start offering bargains. Some are more interested in giving away stuff than hauling it to the local junk yard.

5) Try events with free lunches. Plenty of local events (which are free) and meetings offer free refreshments. It’s a great way to enjoy a free lunch.

6) Free entertainment. Many communities have free events, free concerts, free readings and even free days of admission to museums. Check around and you’ll be able to enjoy lots of fun with no cash. Be sure to check out college campuses – many offer free concerts (including some by big bands) and free movie screenings. You can also always check out the public library, which offers free audio books, movies, and music.

7) Freecycle. Freecycle is a non-profit organization that helps people give and receive free stuff. You can find a local Freecycle group online and start browsing for free items that people are giving away in your area. You can also post items that you no longer need, and someone else in your community might be happy to take them off your hands.

8) Craigslist. Craigslist is another great resource for finding free stuff in your local area. You can search for free items in the “For Sale” section or check out the “Free” section. You never know what you might find – from furniture to electronics to clothing.

9) Dumpster diving. While it might not be for everyone, some people have found great items by diving into dumpsters behind stores and apartment complexes. Be sure to use caution and common sense when doing this, and always ask permission before entering private property.

10) Ask friends and family. If you’re in need of something specific, ask around to see if any of your friends or family members have what you need. You might be surprised at what people are willing to give away for free.

Remember, while getting things for free can be a great way to save money, it’s important to be respectful and grateful for what you receive. Don’t take advantage of people’s generosity, and always say thank you. Happy freebie hunting!…

Debt vs. Savings: Why Prioritizing Debt Repayment Pays Off

Savings are a great thing to have, but if you are in credit card debt, should you tap your savings to pay off your debt? In most cases, the answer is a resounding “yes.” Although you may want to see your savings grow larger and larger, paying down your debts first and then attacking your savings account with more fervor makes sense.

Most credit cards charge double digits for interest while most savings earn low one-digit interest and take a tax hit. You’ll save more by paying off that credit card than you’ll earn on the savings. So it makes more financial sense to pay off that credit card.

Keep in mind, however, that you should never use all your savings to pay off a credit card debt, car loan, or other debts. Make sure you have en emergency fund in place. If you use up all your savings and emergency fund to pay off your debts and then land right in another financial emergency (a sick pet, and unexpected medical bill) you’ll land right back in debt again.

Additionally, if you have high interest debt like credit cards, it’s important to prioritize paying them off as soon as possible, as the interest charges can quickly add up and make it even harder to get out of debt. Once your high interest debt is paid off, you can redirect the money you were using to make those payments towards rebuilding your savings.

In summary, while it can be tempting to let your savings grow untouched, using them to pay off high interest debt like credit cards can make a lot of financial sense. Just make sure to keep an emergency fund in place to avoid falling back into debt in case of unexpected expenses.…