Contributed by Tim H.

We are encouraged to spend our money throughout the day—whether its convenience or fast foods, convincing advertising messages, the pressure to keep up with the Jones‘ and any other factors that motivate us to part with our hard-earned cash.  But there are some things you really don’t need to pay for and that’s as good as putting money in your pocket:

Books. I haven’t bought a book in years.  Besides not wanting the clutter of a book I’ll read once, and probably won’t read again, sitting around my house, there’s nothing better than getting my books for free at the library.  In NYC, you can search for and order your book to be delivered to your nearest library; they even send you an email when your book is in.  There are also plenty of book swapping websites like PaperBackSwap, BookMooch, as well as sites where you can swap e-books like ebookfling and swap-bot.  Or you can download free books at ManyBooks, Classic Reader, and Public Bookshelf.

Cable.  I actually have only two friends that still have cable.  I gave it up a year ago. I had debated for over a year and thought I would miss it too much. But I dropped it and subscribed to Hulu.  You can also subscribe to Netflix, enjoy streaming movies in as an Amazon Prime subscriber, go to a network’s website and watch the show for free or borrow DVDs from your local library.  And, for that drive-in movie feel, invest in a projection TV which could save you some bucks since you don’t have to spend the $13 and upwards price to go to the theater for that big-screen effect.

Movies.  AMC Theatres has the greatest dealhalf-price on all movies before 12 Noon.  Plus, if you join the AMC Stub’s Club you get movie rewards over time and concession upgrades almost right away!

Water.  Buy a filter—I use the Brita water filter and use a reusable bottle like Klean Kanteen.

Communicating.  Skype is a free on-line service where you can video chat or voice chat with anyone who has an account.  I have been using it for over  five years.  Plus, getting rid of land lines in favor of mobile phones has become quite the cost effective norm!

Can you think of any other savings tips? We invite you to share you ideas in the comment box below.