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 30 something millennial 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 blog updates, a free dividend yield spreadsheet, and the free Young Money Bootcamp eCourse.
15 thoughts on “Cancel your Newspaper and Magazine Subscriptions: Use the Library Instead”
Great resource. Mrs. DD is a librarian (2nd career) when she’s not shoveling snow and painting the house. 🙂 At least in the US, our property taxes pay for the library so we try to take advantage of everything that makes sense for us. Tom
@Tom- Nice! I love the library (especially now with a baby, there are so many free things available). Oh yes, she’s a librarian at the college that you work for! Do you get her to do your literature searches for your classes 😉
well, your idea is good but I read the newspaper daily for almost 8 years and now its difficult for me to change my habit of drinking tea with the newspaper in the morning after morning walk… But I’ll try to change my habit soon. Only because of we can get most updated news online of the whole world in one place also in hands…..
@preprepandfulfillment- Yeah, hard to change habits, I personally like to read physical books and not ebooks.
Borrow musical instruments?!! That’s too cool GYM! Our library started a program a few months ago where you can borrow laptops now but it’s not as cool as musical instruments.
Even though I have a Kindle Fire and have read a couple of ebooks, the feel of reading from an book actual feels more authentic for some reason. Like reading an actual newspaper than reading the news online. Although I mainly read my news on the web, I would sometimes stop by the newspaper stand and grab an actual newspaper to flip through pages. Like when I was in the library not too long ago, I stumbled upon the Wall Street Journal and reading through the articles, there is some feel to it that makes it romantic going through an actual newspaper like you mention.
Thanks for the shout on here GYM!! Libraries are our friend.
Even cooler is if you have kids and you don’t want to shell out hundreds of dollars for an instrument they’ll abandon after a week!
@Jim Wang- Yes! A good way to test out which instrument they like to play.
@Kris- I have a Kindle too but I haven’t touched it for like 2 years. That’s cool you can borrow laptops! My sister borrowed a cello from the library recently but I haven’t tried myself. I should probably give it a try.
It’s stunning what you can borrow from the library, I especially like the idea of borrowing power tools because those are usually things you use once and then they sit around being unused.
@Jim Wang- You can borrow power tools from your library? That’s brilliant. I don’t think there’s such thing at our library here.
Very good recommendations. Yeah, here the local libraries have a lot of good stuff. I go there very often, mainly look for new books. Sometimes, I do sit down and browse some magazines quickly. Some people still prefer subscribing the papers and magazines. That definitely takes more space at home.
@Helen- I’m so amazed at how many new books there are at the library. So far I have not had to buy any books to read on my 5 Personal Finance Books for the year goal.
I think our teenage years were spent reading the same! 🙂
We still get hit up buy kids who are selling magazine subscriptions through their HS…”can I just give you cash? No? It has to be a subscription. Don’t you have any trail mix or cookies? Oh…that’s the boy/girl scouts. doh.” sigh, we’ve resisted so far for a couple years!
I am super impressed by the rental of ukulele’s (does grammarly work on blog comments? If so – I need it!) and so I will have to check out what our library offers! Haven’t visited the library in this city since we moved…but I know they are so good for kids activities, summer reading programs, etc.
I would even support my kid if he wanted to try a ukulele!
@Mrs. DS- Really? I haven’t heard of magazine subscriptions selling from kids! That’s smart because it’s hard to say no to kids. Grammarly works on blog comments!! It’s great. I would love to learn how to learn a ukulele (Joe from RB40 plays one, so it’s instantly cool). Your kid would look so cute with a ukulele, with his little preschooler hands!