One of my very favorite ways to save money is by using my public library.
The library has a wealth of free resources – from books to movies to activities – to help you enjoy life on a budget. Of course, if you have a lousy memory, borrowing all that free stuff could end up costing you some cold hard cash in the form of fines.
Avoid library fines with these simple tips:
Make a note of when your library items are due on your calendar. You can enter a reminder on your phone, write it on your calendar in your kitchen, or use a service like LibraryElf to make sure you return your items on time. Check with your library to see if they offer e-mail alerts when an item is due.
Designate a special tote bag and location for library items. It’s great to remember when things are due, but you also have to be able to find them in your house. Use a bright colored tote and keep your books and movies in a place you’re likely to see. Make a point to check the calendar and grab the tote before you head out the door.
Renew online. If you know you won’t be able to hit the library before your item is due, you can buy yourself some time and avoid overdue fines by renewing it online through your library’s website.
Go digital. Many books now come in electronic formats for eReaders or to listen on an MP3 player. Not only are these convenient formats, they also disappear from your device after their due date has arrived, so you never have to worry about remembering to return them.
Don’t avoid the library because you’re afraid of the fines. You can’t afford to miss out on all your library has to offer.