If you’re anything like us, the last time you stepped into a library was to borrow an obscure textbook that you needed for a school project. Or, perhaps if it was raining and you were killing time before meeting friends and a library is a quiet hangout that doesn’t involve a bajillion coffees in order to secure a table.
But if you happen to have stepped off the beaten path and entered into a library in the last few years, you might have been very surprised at what’s on offer.
Yes, there are loads of physical paper books (which, btw, are great to read before bed without falling down a social media wormhole), but there’s also heaps of other cool stuff. And that’s where you can save serious cashola.
You can borrow ebooks. Emagazines. Audiobooks. Movies. Comics. Robots. Software.
Yeah. A good city library will have seriously upped it’s game in the last few years and you’re missing out by not taking advantage of the free goodness.
At happymess, we know that changing little habits make big changes over time. One switch? Unsubscribe from Audible and use your local library for your audiobook love.
We reckon that if you make the most of your library, you’ll easily save a grand each year. Here’s why.
Your local library will have a bunch of books that are available are ebooks. Just download the app your library uses to your phone, and you can borrow, read and return books from your phone without stepping foot in the building. If you buy new books at all across the year, this is a massive money saver. This will save you a hundred bucks if you buy just three books a year.
If you have a commute in a train or car, you might have experienced the joy of audiobooks. Buuut audiobook services like Audible are $16 per month – which is $192 per year. Just like ebooks, you can borrow audiobooks and download them to your phone using the app your library uses. Solid savings right there.
Did you know there are movie rental sites like Google Play that your library has access to? That’s right. You’re looking at a free version of Netflix. Whether you are looking for a movie or a TV series, you can stream movies at home using your local library. …And let’s face it – broadcast TV doesn’t always represent. With Netflix being $14 a month, you will have over $150 a year going the library option
Libraries are really branching out to become community centres, with access to cool tech you might not have access to otherwise. Whether it’s 3D printers, or robots, you can borrow some ahhmazing tech from your library. It’s kind of like a toy library, but for adults. Love it. If you’re looking for a weekend activity to nerd out, don’t fork out hundreds for a kit you’ll only use sometimes.
There are heaps of language learning schools out there, but libraries often have access to apps and programs which otherwise you’d need to pay a pretty penny for. If you’re saving up to go travelling, don’t subscribe to a language course, just swing by your local library. It’s a really simple way to save your spending money for your trip! Thailand? Heck yes!
So, it’s super awks when you click on an amazing article on Facebook and then you hit a paywall. “You have to pay to continue reading.” Nooo! Our little lifehack is that loads of libraries actually subscribe to these websites, and if you log in through your library, you can get the goods.
InDesign and design software
There are heaps of software programs like InDesign or the Adobe Creative Suite that cost a pretty penny. A single program is in the hundreds, and the full suite is almost a grand. Yikes. Not only do some libraries have this software available for you to use, but they run training for it, too. (I mean, that’s almost grand in savings right here if you were doing the maths at home!)
Lynda and online courses
There are also online course websites like Lynda.com. Many libraries also have access to online course websites, too. If what you want to learn in a little more niche, but you’ve found an online course that covers it, why not see if your library has this available? It’s a serious way to skill up without the cost.
Become a library hopper
Not every library is created equal. We totally get that not every library has access to all these resources. But did you know that you can join more than one library? In fact, if you live in NSW, you can join any library in NSW. If you happen to pass a library branch, head in, sign up and then you can use it all for free. You don’t need to live in the area. And with so many of these resources being digital, you could easily use these libraries resources without being a local. Heck yes.
Sweet as savings
So whether you’re an avid reader, watch movies or love to make stuff, switching some of your subscriptions over to using the freebie version at your library adds up over time. We bet you can save a grand in a year. So over two years, you’ve saved enough for a trip to Thailand and back. Thanks, library!
Do you subscribe to entertainment like Netflix or Audible? Or how many books do you buy a year? Explore your local library and see how much you would save if you switched for a few months!