JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) With holiday shopping in full swing, many of us are looking for some extra cash. A new report from U.S. News and World Report suggests there are some things you shouldn't be spending money on - any time of the year. In fact, if you look hard enough, you can get them absolutely free.
Number 1:exercise--experts say if you still want to get fit, but are flexing that saving muscle---ditch the gym membership and enjoy the great outdoors. There are also a number of exercise techniques that don't cost anything but calories. After all mother nature doesn't charge you the fresh fall air.
You might get thirsty on that run so consider money saver number 2:
Instead of bottled water, turn to the tap and a refillable bottle--it's better for the environment and your pocketbook.
Number 3:books--fact or fiction, on tape, and downloadable--there's a great resource where you can find it all.
"We just try to keep growing and keep offering what the community may need or may be helpful for them," said Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library Virtual Library Manager, Alissa Reynolds.
There's more than just books at the library too, including computers, videos, magazines, DVD's, but remember, in this check out line-- no cash is required.
"We want to stay ahead of the curve on technology, so that we can bring that service to our patrons of our community as well," said Reynolds.
Speaking of your local library consider money saver number 4: using the Internet, which is free at some libraries, to get your news. You see, the paper is another item U.S. News and World Report says you shouldn't pay for.
Number 5: with the holidays near, before you go to the post office and pay to ship parcels, go online. Look for free shipping coupons or promotion codes offering free shipping. They're out there, you just have to look.
You could call these next three items a trifecta of ways to save when it comes to credit.
Number 6 is credit cards. The U.S. News and World Report says unless you need the perks of fee cards, look for one that's fee free.
Number 7: if too many credit card transactions, have you needing to make a budget--don't add another expense--look for free budgeting tools online.
Finally number 8: your credit report, again go online, there are free credit monitoring services, you just have to know where to look.
"For more money, you get potentially added value, and each consumer has to decide whether the extra value they get justifies the price," said ASU Economist, Dr. Dan Marburger.
Dr. Marburger says it's all about what's important to you the consumer.
What one person pays for, another person may say " that's really not important".
"Someone's always willing to take your money. Someone's also willing to give you nothing for nothing. You really have to look at the value added versus the price and decide personally whether this justifies the extra expenditure," said Dr. Marburger.
These money saving tips may not work for everyone, but it may make you think the next time you make that purchase. They are simple ideas that could help you save, and in these financial times, we could all use ideas like that.
Here are 7 other items the U.S. News and World Report article says you shouldn't be spending money on:
Basic computer software—there is free software available. One option is open office. It's free and files can be made into compatible formats.
Cell phone—the service plan itself might be costly, but many providers will give you a phone free of charge if you have a contract.
Debt reduction help—no one will be able to take your debt away, but there are free services that can help manage it. You can visit the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.
Basic tax preps—check online, not only are there free services, there are also many free e-filing services as well.
Pets—check your local shelter. Many places don't charge for the pet, just shots or other basic care needs for the animal. A shelter animal will love you just as much as a pure bread dog.
Checking account—many banks offer checking accounts for free.
DVD rentals—again, head to the Internet to find free rental coupons.
Click on the links associated with this story to help you find some of these freebies.