4 Free Services You’re Not Using But Should

sign for free street

Take advantage of free services | Source: iStock

What’s better than free? Usually, nothing. If you can enjoy something without paying for it, it’s a win-win situation. There are many no-cost services that you may already know about, but you may or may not be using them. Free Wi-Fi has become available at so many locations in America, and around the world, that it has become very easy to use.

There are other services that are less well circulated, such as the resources that local libraries offer, and the possibility of a free education. You can even look sharp if you’re willing to give a new stylist or dentist a try. While some things are worth paying top dollar for, not everything is. It makes sense to save money where you can, and there are many services you can use without losing out on quality. Here are four to try.

1. Use free Wi-Fi

Chances are, you do use Wi-Fi at no charge in many situations. However, you may not be using it as much as you should be. Yes, you can take your laptop to the cafe and enjoy the atmosphere while you work on your presentation. However, you can also connect to Wi-Fi pretty much anywhere. If your phone has a data plan, don’t use your data to use the internet when you don’t have to. Instead, connect to the free Wi-Fi, even if you’re only using your phone for a few minutes to find some quick information. Many restaurants have this service now, and even many gyms.

There’s absolutely no reason to use your data if you don’t need to. MegaBus and BoltBus also offer free Wi-Fi; you can even download an app to help you find open-access Wi-Fi hotspots. Just remember to protect your devices and personal information when using this service.

2. Join a library

books

Books | Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

DVD, game, and video rental purchases are declining because more people are streaming and purchasing online. If you subscribe to Netflix or another streaming service, you can watch many movies online without purchasing them. However, there’s little reason to pay the extra fee to purchase any film, even in a streaming form, when you can probably get it for free at the library. Most libraries offer free rentals (or at the most, you might pay a dollar for a rental at some libraries). Many libraries also have game rentals.

Of course, there are also books to rent, but while many people associate books with a library, some forget about the other free services that libraries provide. During the summer, many libraries also offer a free summer reading program (and no, it’s not just for kids!) You can earn many great prizes or get coupons to use at local restaurants or stores. You can find your local library here.

3. Look your best

dental tools in mouth

Dentist | Source: iStock

If you’re a man or woman on the move, and you’re busy but you still want to look your best, then consider getting free beauty care. Search for a dental school: You may be able to get free dental care if you’re willing to let a student help you. Also, many cosmetology schools will offer free (or very cheap) cuts or other services. If you pay an expensive gym membership each month, consider a running club instead, or watch videos online for free. You don’t have to pay a lot of money to look and feel your best, but you do have to be comfortable thinking outside the box, and possibly, allowing someone to perfect their craft by practicing on you.

4. Keep learning

A cafe customer uses free WiFi access in San Francisco

Studying in a cafe | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Community colleges have made education much more affordable for some people, but they haven’t completely eliminated student debt. During the 2013-2014 school year, public, in-district community colleges cost an average $3,260 annually, according to the American Association of Community Colleges. While this doesn’t compare to the cost of a private school, it’s hardly free.

On the other hand, if you want to take classes without earning a degree in order to learn something new or learn a necessary skill for work, you can take free classes at many institutions. You can see a list of schools offering free courses here: The list includes impressive institutions such as Stanford University, the University of Notre Dame, and Yale University. If you need to brush up on your computer skills, you can also take free Microsoft training classes.

There are many free services available if you are interested in finding more. From free movies, to free cell phone minutes, to free long distance calls, and more, there are many free services available now.

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