14 Free Things on the Internet Everyone Should Take Advantage Of
Put your wallet away. The internet is full of free books, free movies, free coupons, and so much more.
Free e-books and audio books
Before you buy a pricey tablet e-book, visit Project Gutenberg, a massive repository of more than 50,000 free e-books, including many required reading 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—but if you prefer to listen to your literature, visit LibriVox, where you can download thousands of free audio books read by well-spoken volunteers. (You can even learn how to volunteer yourself .) Finally, visit openlibrary.org to join a free online book-lending service carrying more than a million titles. Check out these other great sites where you can read free books online.
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 and highlights current deals for big-name retailers on the homepage. Meanwhile, GoodRX provides huge discounts for expensive pharmacy prescriptions. Learn 50 more secrets to saving money at your favorite stores.
Free college 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 MIT. Khan Academy provides thousands of free video lectures on all subjects. Learn any language under the sun with Duolingo, a free app that turns language-learning into a fun game. Boost your resume on EdX by taking courses from top universities, then buying cheap verified certificates to prove you’ve learned from the best. And if your brain is still not satisfied, scroll through this list of other free learning sites out there.
Free documentaries for life
Uninspired by Netflix? Worry not: There are literally thousands of free documentary films just waiting to be streamed on websites like Documentary Heaven and Documentary Storm, arranged by categories ranging from mystery to nature, and even mockumentaries. If you don’t know where to start, browse the Top 100 for inspiration.
Free tax filing
Sites like TurboTax make filing your returns easy, but they come with significant costs. If you earn less than $62,000 a year, take advantage of the IRS’s Free File, a complimentary government service that guides you through your tax return quickly and effortlessly. Sites like TaxSlayer, meanwhile, allow you to deduct the cost of filing right on your return, making it next to free. If you’re a senior citizen, check out all the stuff you can get discounted or for 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 all you want to do is get to your 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, completely 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. Check out these 11 health perks you didn’t know you could get for free.
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 own 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 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 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? 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 will disappear forever, giving you just enough time to confirm a subscription, then never have to think about it again.
Free furniture, moving supplies, and everything else
Many people don’t realize that Craigslist, the popular resale website, has a free section for every city in America. Here, generous donors list the items they are willing to part with free of charge (provided you are willing to pick it up). In a busy city like New York, it’s not uncommon to see hundreds of free listings every day. Give it a try with your hometown. These are the secrets that deals sites won’t tell you.
Free personal finance management
If your goal is saving money, you probably aren’t looking to spend money on a financial adviser. Mint, a personal finance management website and app, is completely free, and 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. Try these other 56 easy ways to start saving money immediately.
Free editing for emails, Facebook posts, and more
The “free writing assistant” Grammarly can be downloaded as an attachment on your browser. It will not only help you out with any grammar and spelling mistakes in your essays and emails, but since it’s linked directly to your browser, it reviews anything you’re typing, including social media posts. If you’ve been slighted by autocorrect before, don’t worry—Grammarly works by offering you suggestions 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 sites to choose from. Spotify is a popular choice, and it’s totally 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 some downsides: You need to listen to ads, and you can’t pick individual songs or stream offline on the mobile app. With Pandora, you can create a radio station based off of 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. While you’re browsing these great free online resources, be aware of these online scams and learn how to avoid them.