There are only two ways to become richer – make more or spend less.
There are a few ways to make more, from getting a raise to finding weird ways to make extra money. And there are tons of ways to spend less. One of the best? Stop paying for things you could get free.1. Free cars
Many people want their cars moved from place to place, but don’t want to do the driving. Sometimes these cars are delivered by truck, but often they’re driven – by people like you. If you have a clean driving record, a car delivery company like AutoDriveaway might hook you up.
I did car delivery a few times when I was in college – it’s a great way to get where you’re going. It’s best if you’re flexible about when you leave, return, and perhaps even where you go. You still have to pay for gas, and the trip home can be problematic. I used to hitchhike, but smarter choices today would be bus, plane, or waiting at the other end for another drive-away car.
2. Free lodging
Why stay in a hotel when the nonprofit Couchsurfing.org offers tourists a chance to stay at homes for free? Make friends with sponsoring families throughout the United States and countries ranging from Croatia to France. You have to set up a profile on the CouchSurfing website, which provides tips on how to find families willing to open their homes to you. Obviously, the digs won’t be fancy, but they’ll be free.
Another way to get free lodging is to home-swap.
3. Free audio books
Now you can find out for free the fate of Pip in Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations” or Elizabeth in “Pride and Prejudice” as you drive or jog. Download free audio books from the nonprofit LibriVox.org, which has volunteers recording classics in the public domain – including many Shakespeare plays. You can also volunteer to help by reading. LibriVox will even provide you with free recording software.
4. Free food
There’s at least one day every year when you shouldn’t think of paying for a meal. Frugal Living has a list of hundreds of businesses that offer birthday freebies, most of which are food. For a free libation at your favorite pub, do what I do: Loudly proclaim it’s your birthday and demand that everyone within earshot pick up the next round.
5. Free food for kids
Don’t go to another restaurant that doesn’t feed your kids for free. MyKidsEatFree.com offers a roadmap of where you can save on kids’ meals – just type in a state and city. You’ll pay but your kids won’t at more than 5,000 restaurants across the country.
6. Free samples
Before you go to the drugstore and shell out silly sums for travel sizes of your favorite toiletries, go to Volition.com or one of many other websites that offer free samples. In addition to soap, shampoo, etc., you might find all manner of interesting things. For example, we’ve spotted circus tickets, a free diet analysis, and free advance movie screenings. Other free mega-sites include TheFreeSite.com and freechannel.net.
7. Free TV
Despite that more than 100 million Americans shell out an average of $75 every month for satellite or cable TV, local channels are still free. And thanks to digital signals, reception is better than ever.
8. Free software
You can get free software for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and other uses by going to OpenOffice.org. And that’s the tip of the iceberg. No matter what kind of software you want, you can probably find it free.
9. Free anti-virus
This one could go under “free software,” but it’s important enough to warrant its own spot on the list.
10. Free speech
Make your voice heard around the world with your own blog. Many companies will help you set up your own site at no charge, such as WordPress or Blogger. They’ll even give you free, easy instructions and a choice of blog templates.