One of the best ways to save money on entertainment is to get a library card. There are many benefits of getting a library card. You can avoid building up clutter in your home, enjoy good books, music, and movies, and do it all for a very small amount of money or even free.

What Does a Library Offer?

A library is especially great if you like to read, but don’t often read the same book twice. I used to buy books but found I wasn't reading them more than once. I was also running out of room on my bookcase! I do still like to get nice reference books as I’ll go back to them occasionally, and it's nice to have them for the kids. (However, you can find almost anything you want online now. Even the Encyclopaedia Britannica no longer prints its volumes.)

LibraryLibraries also offer internet access, DVDs, CDs and magazines. Some even offer video game rentals. Many have web sites for searching their catalogue and placing holds on books, this may also include bringing books in from other libraries in their local network. This means that you can fulfill of your entertainment needs with one trip to the library. There's no need to buy movies when you can just get one from the library. And, if you have a Kindle or other e-reader, you are still covered. Many libraries offer digital rentals as well.

Your local library might also provide a number of free and low-cost community and educational activities. You can attend workshops and lectures, and many libraries offer story time for the kids. This is a great way to instill a love of learning in your children, while giving them a fun outing.

Cost of Joining a Library

In many municipalities, it isn't completely free to join a library. It costs $12 for one year here in Edmonton, while other places it can cost a bit more for yearly use. Other cities require a one-time fee to join. Many towns offer library use for free, even though technically it’s hard to say that the usage is truly free, since libraries are supported by your tax dollars.

Even at $12 a year, though, the library card fee pays for itself as soon as you read one or two books, or watch a movie. The library is one of those things that is well worth what is paid in taxes, and what you pay for your library membership.

Other Benefits of Getting a Library Card

There are non-financial benefits that come with going to the library. It serves as a public meeting place, and it can be a great place to socialize. Additionally, you have a great deal of knowledge around you. You can learn how to learn, without relying entirely on the computer. Another great benefit is that actually going to the library can encourage your to read more. I find I’m reading more than I would have when I was buying books. I get in a routine of returning a book and picking up another on the same trip so I always have something to read!

About Tom Drake

Tom Drake is the owner and head writer of the award-winning MapleMoney. With a career as a Financial Analyst and over eight years writing about personal finance, Tom has the knowledge to help you get control of your money and make it work for you.