I used to subscribe to a few magazines but then I stopped because well, it was an added expense that I didn’t need. Using the library instead of subscribing to your favourite newspaper or magazine is a great way (and might I add, relatively unknownn way) to save money.
There’s something very comforting about cracking open a magazine and reading it from cover to cover.
I used to do this all the time.
Starting with Seventeen magazine and then YM magazine (which is now not in existence, but Buzzfeed agrees that YM was the BEST ten magazine), I would read cover to cover and stare the pictures all day in my teen years when I had no responsibilities. Then I moved onto Cosmopolitan magazine (which is apparently being pulled off the shelves due to the inappropriateness of their covers) and Psychology Today magazine. I started limiting myself to buying one issue of Cosmo magazine in January when they have the astrology issue out (not sure if they still have this feature). I also subscribed to Moneysense magazine and paid the annual subscription fee. I loved Moneysense magazine. They canceled the print edition in 2016.
Despite my love of glossy magazines, In the past few years during my minimalism embracement, I stopped buying magazines altogether. I found that Cosmopolitan magazine tended to influence me the way that social media (in particular, Instagram) does. I ended up feeling more poorly about myself because I didn’t have that new moisturizer they recommended or that trench coat that was all the rage. Some of those magazines I had collected were lumped into the 365 things I got rid of in one year.
Anyway, back to how the library is the best thing.
I wasn’t always into using my library card. It was all thanks to my husband that I found my library card (after not using it for like 15 years) and dusted it off, and logged in again. He convinced me to use my library card again after showing me that he can access The Globe and Mail articles without having to subscribe. I had no idea that you could read the newspaper and read magazines for free from the library.
Check Your Local Library
The library is a hidden gem of free stuff. Our local library has everything. You can borrow a pass for attractions in Vancouver (I think I am still 345th in line for this pass, but I am still excited), borrow instruments (ukulele, a xylophone, a guitar, even a violin), and borrow DVDs and movies. I’m looking forward to learn how to play the ukulele once I am retired and FIRE’d.
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Of course, there are books and magazines in addition to ukuleles and xylophones to borrow. I’m a bit lazy to go to the library to spend my time there but I do go there to pick up books I’ve put a hold on. I like the flexibility of being able to use the library even when I am at home. Logging into the public library portal, you can put a hold on ebooks and even audiobooks. They have really updated titles, including books by Dave Ramsey “The Total Money Makeover” and also Tony Robbins. Not only that, they have Canadian personal finance author Shannon Lee Simmons “Worry Free Money” too!
the New York Times For Free Online
My friend recently told me that she got a weekend subscription to The New York Times for only $17 a month which she states is a steal (that’s $4 per weekend issue, which is pretty good considering it is a publication from New York, but still that’s over $4 for a newspaper). Anyway, reading the New York Times sounds like a really cultured thing to do, but you can do it online through your local library. New York Times allows you free viewing a number of times, and then after that, you have to pay for a subscription.
Of course, there’s something romantic about having a physical newspaper to peruse through while you sip your Sunday coffee, rather than looking at a screen, and that might be worth $17 a month 😉
However, for me, I wouldn’t mind spending that $17 a month on a few lattes instead when I head to the coffee shop to meet up with friends.
You Get The Globe and Mail for Free Online
Just like the Globe and Mail they give you 10 views for free, and then you need to subscribe, but through the library portal, you don’t need to pay. I know that subscribing to the Globe and Mail online is only like $5 a month but what’s a few more clicks to get to Pressreader to save you $5 a month?
You just need to link your Pressreader to your Google account and it will save your favourite newspapers and publications so that they are easily accessible.
The Limitations of Pressreader
Unfortunately (or fortunately?) Pressreader doesn’t have Cosmopolitan for Canada/US but there are publications of Cosmopolitan from other countries- Cosmo Malaysia, anyone? That’s okay though as I haven’t read Cosmopolitan in years. They also don’t have Psychology Today or Moneysense magazine, two of my other favourite magazines. There are a number of other publications on Pressreader from around the world that are good though and it’s definitely worth a perusal.
There are a number of Canadian magazines but they aren’t anything that I would really search out to read, but Canadian Living for the recipes would be good!
There you have it. Free emagazines, enewspapers, audiobooks, attractions passes, and instrument rentals. Our local library is teeming with free stuff and is a great place, even if you are too lazy to visit it other than for baby activities and songs (like me).
Or looking for the best dividend investing books out there.
By the way, speaking of books and writing, if you haven’t downloaded Grammarly you are missing out! It’s a free proofreader that you can download onto your browser. I love it because it’s free and has really helped my terrible grammar and spelling mistakes!
Check out Father with Cents and his opinion of why his library in San Francisco is a great place to visit as well.
Readers, what does your local library have to offer? Is it as beefed up as my local library?
GYM is a 40 something millennial writing about personal finance since 2009 and interested in achieving financial freedom through disciplined saving, dividend and ETF investing, and living a minimalist lifestyle. Before you go, check out my recommendations page of financial tools I use to save and invest money. Don’t forget to subscribe for a free dividend yield spreadsheet and the free Young Money Bootcamp PDF.