14 Free Things Online Everyone Should Take Advantage Of
Put your wallet away. Here are the best sites for free books, movies, coupons, tax filing services, furniture and other free things online.
Free Furniture, Moving Supplies, and Everything Else
Many people don’t realize that Craigslist, the popular resale website, has a free section for just about every city in America. Here, generous donors list the items they are willing to part with free of charge, provided you’re willing to pick it up. In a busy city like New York, it’s common to see hundreds of free listings on Craigslist every day.
Free Personal Finance Management
If your goal is saving money, you probably aren’t looking to spend money on a financial adviser. But Mint, a personal finance management website and app, is completely free. Security is important to this web-based software because it can be linked directly to your online bank accounts.
Started by Intuit, the makers of TurboTax, the Mint site allows you to personalize your account to make budgets that work for you, stay on top of bills and keep track of your credit score.
Free E-books and Audio Books
If you just bought a pricey tablet or an e-reader and don’t feel like spending a bunch more to buy things to read, visit Project Gutenberg, a massive repository of more than 50,000 free e-books.
Project Gutenberg’s library includes many classics such as Huckleberry Finn, Frankenstein and A Tale of Two Cities. Many titles can be read directly online or downloaded to an e-reader.
If you prefer to listen to your literature, visit LibriVox, where you can download thousands of free audiobooks read by well-spoken volunteers. (You can even learn how to volunteer yourself!) Finally, for even more free literary things online, visit openlibrary.org to join an online book-lending service carrying more than a million titles.
Millions of Free Coupons
Before you shop — online or in stores — look for the bounty of free coupons available free online. RetailMeNot allows you to search through more than 50,000 stores for free coupons. It highlights current deals for big-name retailers on the homepage. Meanwhile, GoodRx provides huge discounts for expensive pharmacy prescriptions.
Free College-Level Education
What do you feel like learning today? Class Central pairs your interests with free online college courses from institutions such as Harvard, Stanford and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Khan Academy provides thousands of free video lectures on all sorts of subjects. Learn any language under the sun with Duolingo, a free app that turns it into a fun game. You can boost your resume on EdX by taking courses from top universities, then buying cheap verified certificates to prove you’ve learned from the best.
Free Documentaries for Life
Uninspired by Netflix? Worry not. There are thousands of free documentary films just waiting to be streamed on websites like Documentary Heaven and Documentary Storm. They’re arranged by categories ranging from mystery to nature to even mockumentaries.
Free Tax Filing
Sites like TurboTax make filing your returns easy, but they come with significant costs. If you earn less than $66,000 a year, take advantage of the IRS’s Free File, a complimentary government service that guides you towards getting your tax return quickly and effortlessly.
Sites like TaxSlayer, meanwhile, allow you to deduct the cost of filing right on your return, making it close to free.
Free Logins to Thousands of Websites
Don’t feel like building an account for a new website? Try BugMeNot. This handy site shares thousands of pre-created login credentials when you just want to get content without the hassle of setting up an account. Alas, some sites (like Amazon and YouTube) are not available.
Just want someone to talk to? At 7 Cups, you can connect with a trained “active listener” for free, confidential therapy. You can pick a listener based on location and life experience, or let the site assign someone to you for an instant compassionate conversation.
Background Noise for Free Productivity
Studies show that a little background noise can boost creativity and focus, but going to a coffee shop just for the ambience is a pain.
Recreate the gentle buzz of humanity in your home or office with free sites like Noisli, a customizable list of natural and synthetic background noise loops including rolling thunder, a whirring fan and much more. Or try You Are Listening To, a shockingly zen service that pairs ambient music from SoundCloud with real-time police scanner transmissions from cities around the country.
Free Photo Editing Software
Want to give your family picture a quick touchup but can’t afford pricey editing software? Download the next best thing with free apps like Pixlr , GIMP, or Paint.NET. None cost a thing and are usually more than enough to do the job, even if they lack the vast image editing capabilities of a premium software like Photoshop.
Free Disposable Email Address
Need to sign up for an account to view a website, but don’t want to deal with their daily email badgering or unwanted junk mail? Grab a free, disposable email address from 10 Minute Mail.
Why the name? Ten minutes after you click onto the page, your one-time email address disappears forever. That gives you just enough time to receive an email and confirm a subscription, then never have to think about it again.
Free Editing for Emails, Facebook Posts, and More
The “free writing assistant” Grammarly can be downloaded as an attachment on your browser. It will help with any grammar and spelling mistakes in your essays and email while also reviewing anything you’re typing online.
If you’ve been slighted by autocorrect before, don’t worry — Grammarly simply offers you suggestions for changes instead of automatically correcting your work.
Free Music Streaming
If you’re sick of paying for music on iTunes or Apple Music, or you just want to broaden your musical horizons, there are quite a few free services online to choose from.
Spotify is a popular choice, and it’s free if you don’t have a premium account. While you can shuffle any album, artist or playlist on the free version, it does have downsides: It comes with frequent ads, and you can’t pick individual songs or stream offline on the mobile app.
With Pandora, you can create a radio station based on any song, artist or genre, balancing songs you already like with new finds. If you’re more of a radio lover, try iHeartRadio. You can stream your favorite stations or make new ones based on your favorite artists.