Only one thing beats getting a good price on something, and that’s getting it for free.
Our list of freebies is packed with 70 something-for-nothing deals. We don’t allow any useless junk on our list–only quality goods and services that you would happily pay good money for (perhaps you’re already doing so). From free food to free investing and financial services to free technology and entertainment, we have something here for everyone.
Go ahead. Put away your wallet. We insist!
Whether you are a fan of true-crime, comedy, or technology podcasts, there are apps and websites that help you avoid subscription and download fees so you can tune in to your favorite episodes while you’re at work, in the library, or tackling a home repair project on the weekend. Spotify let you listen to unlimited podcast episodes without paying. You can listen online, or install their free apps to listen on-the-go.
Free Music Lessons
Have you always wanted to learn an instrument or are you itching to revisit your glory days of playing the drums in your best friend’s garage? Those dreams can become a reality with free websites and apps that help you beat the often steep prices of private music lessons and recording and editing software. Hoffman Academy and Drum Ambition offer free tutorials and practice sheet music to beginning learners. MusicTheory.net offers free lessons on music theory for those looking for a more advanced understanding, and MuseScore is a free, open source site for composing and notating sheet music.
Free Credit Freezes
Congress just passed a law that will prohibit the three big credit bureaus–Equifax, Experian and TransUnion–from charging a fee to place or lift a credit freeze. The free freezes will be available throughout the country this fall; the credit bureaus have until September 21, 2018, to implement the new law. A credit freeze prevents new creditors from reviewing your credit report, making it harder for identity thieves to take out credit in your name.
Until the new law goes into effect, the cost to freeze your credit record varies by state. In many states, each credit bureau charges $5 to $10 to freeze your credit record and may charge a similar fee to lift the freeze if you’re applying for a loan. (To hinder ID thieves, you need to freeze your record at all three credit bureaus.)
Go to www.experian.com and www.transunion.com to initiate the freeze and find out more about the cost and procedures. Equifax, which experienced a massive data breach last year, is offering free freezes for all consumers until June 30.
Also check with your state attorney general’s office or consumer protection bureau to find out whether your state offers additional consumer protections on security freezes beyond what the federal law provides.
Sometimes you just need somebody to talk to. The website 7 Cups provides free counseling and listening services to those in need. The site (and its corresponding app) is based around an instant messaging model where you can either volunteer as a listener or message confidentially with a volunteer. The site does have a premium version where you can chat with licensed therapists, but it’s designed to be an initial step for those seeking help.
Similar to 7 Cups, Blah Therapy offers a premium version where you pay a monthly subscription fee to message a licensed therapist. However, it also has a completely free version that connects you with a trained listener who most likely has also been diagnosed with anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Reachout, while not designed to take the place of in-person therapy, is a network of people diagnosed with chronic illnesses that provide peer counseling to each other.
Free Smoke Detectors
According to the National Fire Protection Association, three out of five home fire deaths occur in houses that don’t have properly working smoke detectors. In January 2018, Maryland passed a law requiring all residents to have a working smoke detector installed, and Virginia lawmakers have now made it legal for localities to implement similar policies. If you’re a resident of one of these states – or you just want to save $15 when replacing or installing a smoke detector – check out organizations near you that provide free smoke detectors, free installation, and free battery replacement services.
Several local fire departments offer free smoke detectors, and will even come to your house to install them. For example, residents of Baltimore City can call the fire department’s non-emergency number to request a free smoke detector. Through its Home Fire Campaign, the American Red Cross provides free smoke detectors to residents of 12 states. You can submit your request through GetASmokeAlarm.org.
Free Stock Trades
The 4 million customers of online and mobile brokerage Robinhood don’t receive the investment research or portfolio tools offered by more-established brokerages. And no, the brokerage’s app doesn’t let you steal from the rich to give to the poor. But Robinhood does offer no-commission and no-fee trades for all U.S.-listed stocks and ETFs. (Broker-assisted phone trades cost $10; foreign-listed securities cost $50 per trade.) There’s also a free options trading service and, in some states, cryptocurrency trading. (Robinhood’s revenue comes from selling premium subscriptions that allow after-hours trading and margin trades.) There’s no minimum to invest. Just sign up, link your bank account and enjoy the savings.
Also, check with more-traditional online brokers such as Fidelity or Charles Schwab to see if they are offering any promotions.
Free Resources for Income Investors
You can find millions of pages of free information online, but how many of them enable you to reap a tangible benefit? Consider our favorite free sources for reasoned discussion and hard-to-find financial data for income investors. For example, the Closed-End Fund Association has a tool for sorting and screening more than 600 closed-end funds. InvestinginBonds.com offers real-time market data on bond trading action and prices. Screen the tax-free bond universe for top yields with the
This article provided by NewsEdge.