- Personal Finance
How Much Is Your Library Card Worth? 10 Easy Tips for Saving Money at the Library
I am going to start by stating the obvious, you can save money by using your local library. I am hoping this is not a surprise to anyone. If it is you’ve already missed out on thousands of dollars worth of savings. You might be surprised however by just how much you can save by using the library. Sure you can go check out hat new best-seller instead of heading to Barnes & Noble and paying ten dollars for your own copy, but that is just the beginning. My estimated library use in the last year is worth approximately $2,000. Two thousand dollars. This is as a single individual, not currently in school, or otherwise using the library for extensive research projects.
10 Easy Tips for Saving Money at the Library
So how exactly did I use more than $2,000 worth of library services? Well, first there's the more than 150 books I checked our both for my own personal reading, and for work, but books are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to using the library to save money. Here are a few other ways, the library can save you some cash --
(1) Use the library's computers
(2) Access free wifi on your laptop or mobile device
(3) Take your children to story hour or another free event
(4) Read newspapers and magazines from the library instead of buying your own
(5) Borrow CDs
(6) Borrow DVDs
(7) Borrow a book on tape for your next roadtrip
(8) Learn a new money-saving skill with the help of a frugal cookbook or a DIY book
(9) Participate in a coupon exchange
And my personal favorite....(10) MUSEUM PASSES!!
Just how much can these museum passes save you? My library has passes available for free or reduced admission at 10 different museums, as well as a free parking pass for the Massachusetts state parks. A family of four who used all ten of these passes would save a total of $318! Over $300 is far from pennies for any family, and means choosing between saving vs. having fun is no longer an issue, with the library's help you can do both! I saved my parents' and I a collective $45 with a free pass to the Norman Rockwell museum - normally $15 per person. And this is a library in small-town USA which fights for funding, imagine how many savings options might be found in a larger urban library?
And a little bonus tip - if your local library is part of a larger regional or county library system, don't forget to check out the museum pass offerings at other llbraries within the system- especially libraries which are in larger or wealthier communities.
Have you ever used museum passes from your local library?
So how much is YOUR library card worth?
What I have listed above are only the direct, easy to calculate savings results of my library use. I calculated these savings using a great calculator from the Massachusetts Library Association. Check out the link yourself to see just how much you've saved through library use in the last year.
And remember these are just part of your savings opportunities. You could also check out DIY books to help you with that new home project. You could help slash your grocery bill with books on frugal cooking, or home gardening, or by using one of the coupon boxes popular at many libraries. Educational programs and seminars are also offered at many libraries for little or no cost.