They say that the best things in life are FREE. I could not agree more.
I want to share with you the free stuff that I really REALLY love so you can have it too! It’s better if you share your blessings…especially when the price is right. RIGHT? I also want to make a disclaimer that I did not get paid for endorsing these products. Without any further adieu, here they are.
1.) Credit Score
Since this is a blog about finance, checking your credit score is a MUST and a PRIORITY. Credit score represents the creditworthiness of a person and it ranges from 300-850. The higher the better. A high score (700-850) means that you are a responsible individual and you can manage your finances well (especially debt). As a result, you get the best interest rates on loans, insurance, credit cards etc. On the other hand, a low credit score (699 and below) will often get you declined when applying for loans and credit cards. If you are approved, you may be faced with high interest rates. You can get your FREE credit score by going to http://www.creditkarma.com. Check it out!
2.) Credit Report
As an add-on to #1, checking your credit report is another absolute MUST. With all the identity thefts going around, you want to be really vigilant about your credit. A credit report summarizes all your open lines of credit, the history and inquiry with in regards to your credit. You can check it out for free at http://www.annualcreditreport.com. You can get one report every year from the three major credit bureaus; Transunion, Experian and Equifax. That’s three FREE credit report in a year! OMG. How many times did I mention credit?
3.) Online Savings and Checking Account
I only recommend one true FREE checking and savings account online and that’s from ALLY BANK. There are no minimums and monthly maintenance fee whatsoever on each account. If you just want to put $1.00 on your checking and $1.00 on your savings, then so be it. By the way, you also earn interest on your money!! Isn’t that cool?? Another great thing about ALLY BANK is that they give you FREE debit card and FREE checks for life! Sweet! And on top of all these goodness, you can use ANY ATM machine nationwide and ALLY will reimburse you for the ATM fees at the end of the month. If that’s not AWESOME, then I don’t know what is. Check this out! http://www.ally.com
4.) Office Documents
Did you know that Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc) costs around $100 nowadays?? Dang! Well, it’s your lucky day! Because there is a FREE version for it. It’s called the Apache OpenOffice. There might be some slight differences on the features between the two products but all in all, the Apache OpenOffice just works like the MS Office. Download it now! http://www.openoffice.org/download/
5.) Anti Virus for your PC
Norton. Mc Afee. AVG. These are the leading anti virus programs in the market. The problem is, they are costly, not to mention the yearly renewal. We want something FREE. The answer to our prayers is Microsoft Security Essentials from Microsoft. It’s just as good as the other anti virus programs and it costs NOTHING to download. As a matter of fact, I have been using this anti virus for 5 years now and I’m very happy with it. Here’s the link http://www.microsoft.com/security/pc-security/microsoft-security-essentials.aspx.
6.) Books and CDs
Okay. These are not actually totally free FREE but you can borrow any books and music CDs from your local library FOR FREE! You can borrow them for a maximum of 21 days! So, take out that library card of yours and take advantage of the benefits from the tax dollars that you pay! To me, there are the three major reasons why you should borrow from the library — it’s cost effective, a lot of selections and it won’t clutter your house because you’ll have to return them anyway. Winning!
7.) Free Trips (Domestic and…International…why not??!)
Who would have thought that signing up for a mileage account and using your credit cards can give you free trips?? Yes people. Thanks to mileage and credit card usage and sign ups, I have had some FREE trips. Where to start with these free trips?? Sign up for mileage accounts from the airlines that you fly with. They usually give you free miles for flying with them as incentives. Those miles that you accumulated can be used for free trips later on.
How about the credit cards? Well, I don’t recommend this second option especially if you are bad in handling your finances. It could be dangerous and nasty. BUT if you pay your bills in full every month, you have no debt and you have enough emergency fund saved, then, free trips are on your way. You use your credit cards on your purchases and in turn, you get points for every dollar you spend, which you can redeem for mileage later on. Sometimes, credit cards have huge sign up bonuses too on miles which you can use for flying. I’ll write a blog about my free trips and “almost” free trips and how I got them later on.
I am talking about warranties on electronics (kitchen and entertainment). Did you ever go to the store, bought an electronics and the cashier asked you if you want to purchase an additional warranty? You might have bought one? Well, next time, use a credit card (pay it off at the end of the month) to buy your electronics. The credit card companies actually EXTENDS the warranty of the product for up to one more year on top of the usual one year manufacturer’s warranty… for FREE!!! Sweet deal! Call your credit card company first before you make your purchase to confirm their extended warranty terms. After confirmation and after you buy the product, SAVE YOUR RECEIPT. It’s very important. You will need it later on if ever you file a claim.
There are lots of free stuffs out there. Tons. You just have to search for them.
So, what are the free stuffs that you got?