- Leighan C.
- Tuesday, April 19, 2022
April is Financial Literacy Month, and as holidays go, it’s a tough one to “celebrate.” Instead, let’s view this month as a challenge to review and make improvements to your financial health.
Your library card (you can apply for a card here if you don’t already have one) provides so many ways to cut costs from your budget, and possibly even ways to supplement your income. All the resources below are FREE to you with your library card!
1. BOOKS and more
Are you buying your books and audiobooks? If they aren’t titles you’ll read again and again, is it cost-effective to purchase, rather than borrow them?
Consider either borrowing physical books and audiobooks from the library, or using Libby or hoopla through Richland Library to download ebooks and eaudiobooks to your mobile device or computer.
2. STREAMING SERVICES
If you’re like most of us, you’re subscribing to more than one streaming service to get your films, television or documentaries.
The library subscribes to two streaming services -Kanopy and hoopla - which both contain thousands of movies and television shows. Kanopy is known for its extensive collection of foreign films, including the Criterion Collection, and PBS titles, while hoopla is unique in offering Curiosity Stream and the Great Courses video library collection.
And, If you’re old school, we still have DVDs and blu-rays available for borrow!
3. NEWSPAPERS AND MAGAZINES
We certainly wouldn’t encourage you to drop your subscriptions to newspapers and magazines, but you can supplement your current subscriptions with newspapers through NewsBank (including daily copies of The State and The Post and Courier) and dozens of magazines (specialized and popular) through Flipster.
4. CAREER SUPPORT
If the “home” part of “work from home” isn’t quite “working”, we have a solution!
All Richland Library locations have a Copy/Print/Fax/Scan Center, and numerous public computers. If you’d prefer to use on your own device, we provide free wifi (even outdoors in most locations!) and you can reserve a meeting space to work, distraction free!
Looking to switch careers? Our Business, Careers and Research Center is where you can find our highly trained librarians and career coaches who can assist you with everything from résumé review and assistance to practicing your interviewing skills.
And don’t forget that LinkedIn Learning (free with your library card and even available as a mobile app) can help you hone your skills in management, tech, and dozens of other business fields.
5. SUPPORT YOUR HOBBIES OR YOUR SIDE HUSTLE
Exploring some new hobbies, or looking to expand a talent into a money-making side hustle without investing in all the equipment? We can help with that!
Borrow items from our Library of Things to support your artistic endeavors with items such as cricut makers and industrial sewing machines (and pair them with video tutorials from Creativebug), or your media arts ambitions with a live-streaming camera or vlogging kit.
Visit Richland Library Main and take advantage of our Makerspace or Production Stage and the expert staff who can instruct you on their use.
Once you’re ready to take it to the next level, explore how our Small Business Tools can support our Midlands-area dreamers, doers and makers by supporting emerging businesses.
6. GROW YOUR OWN FOOD (and learn to cook it)
So many of us began gardening during the pandemic shutdown as a way to ensure that we would always have fresh produce. With grocery store prices rising now, growing one’s own food makes more sense than ever.
Did you know that we have a Seed Library on the second floor of Richland Library Main, and that you’re able to request seeds and gardening tools from the Library of Things?
Once you’ve grown those veggies, we can help you find exciting ways to prepare them! Take a look at some of our free cooking programs!
7. LEARNING HELP
Most students need a little extra help now and then. Tutor.com provides real-time tutoring, 24/7, on a variety of subjects.
We all know that college entrance exam prep courses are expensive! SAT and ACT courses are available through Learning Express.
Our Education studio’s Reading Specialists, trained in multisensory instruction, offer a personalized consultation with parents, tutors or caregivers on reading strategies and interventions.
8. INFORMED BUYING AND INVESTING
A crucial element of financial health is keeping and growing the funds you already have.
Consumer Reports, a trusted resource for generations, is available to you as an online database which rates over 8,500 products and services to help you make the best purchasing decisions for appliances, cars, electronics and more.
Morningstar Investment Research Center can help you reach their financial goals, whether you’re a seasoned investors or just starting out. They offer stock and securities databases and up-to-date financial news and insights
9. ENTERTAINMENT AND ACTIVITY
We are all about helping you have fun while sticking to your budget. Check out our
ongoing programming for all ages. You can filter for type of event, date and location, and we’ll even recommend events for you in your account!
If you’re outdoorsy, we have Check Out SC backpack kits which contain SC State Park vehicle passes, along with other items to help you enjoy your park time.
And don’t forget the Library of Things games! We have both indoor activities, such as puzzles and board games, or active outdoor games like badminton or disc golf.