Home Education Not enough money? 15 great things you can get for free

Not enough money? 15 great things you can get for free

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When it comes to technology, there’s always something new to spend money on. Here’s a secret these companies don’t want you to know: There’s a lot you can get without spending a dime.

Take photo storage. Are you using the free space you can get from Apple, Google and Amazon? Click or click here for the best ways to store photos and videos on your phone.

Speaking of money, I keep hearing from people who want to cut Netflix, Hulu, and other expensive streaming services. Here is a list of 15 sites where you can find movies to watch for free. Some services include ads, but you won’t encounter illegal downloads or malware.

Storage and movies aren’t the only things you can get for free. Here are 15 freebies you can thank me for later.

1. Photo editing software

Photoshop is synonymous with photo editing, but the software subscription is expensive. Here are some free ways to crop, brighten, and otherwise tweak your photos:

  • Canva: This user-friendly browser-based and app-based editing software is perfect for creating presentations, social media graphics, marketing materials, posters, and anything else you can think of.
  • Pixlr X: This tool works in your browser; no download required. It has advanced features like photo filters and drawing options, but it really shines with its easy-to-use cropping and resizing tools.
  • GIMP (GNU Image Processing Program): This professional-grade photo editor works just like Photoshop. Unlike Photoshop, GIMP is free to download.

Click or click here for a detailed breakdown of the pros and cons of each option.

Photoshop is also testing a free browser version of the photo editing software. It now requires an Adobe account to access it. Click or click here for more details and direct link to try.

2. Video editing software

It’s one of those things you don’t need until you indeed need it. Maybe you’ve been commissioned to shoot a video for a wedding or class reunion, or you finally want to start a YouTube channel.

Most reliable video editing software costs an arm and a leg. Notice I said most. When it comes to free options, DaVinci Resolve takes the lead. Click or click here to see how it makes editing easier.

If you have a Mac or iPhone, you’ll be happy to know that Apple’s iMovie is a surprisingly good video editor. Tap or click to see how to turn your clips and photos into a masterpiece with iMovie.

3. Word processing software

When it comes to productivity software, Microsoft Office is the gold standard. Of course, it is expensive. I’ve been recommending LibreOffice for years. It is an open source software package that works just like the applications in Microsoft Office.

It also saves new files in Office formats, so you don’t have to worry about converting files. Click or click here for a step-by-step guide on how to download LibreOffice.

Already using Google Docs? Tap or click for a simple trick that makes it easy to start a new document.

The Google logo is located at Google's headquarters in Mountain View, California.

The Google logo is located at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California.
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

4. Freeze your credit

Freezing your credit is free. If you’re ever asked to pay, you’re either on the wrong site, clicked on a boring ad, or talked to a scammer.

The trick is knowing where to freeze your credit. It’s not just one place. Tap or click for the steps you need to follow. You should bookmark this page for the next time you are alerted that your personal information has been exposed as a result of a data breach.

5. Email addresses for vodka

Want a coupon code but not the spam that comes with it? Use an email address to sign up.

You can use a free disposable email service, for example 10-minute mail. It’s easy to create a temporary email address to keep you safe, so you don’t have to provide personal and work email addresses.

Use an iPhone? Hide My Email is powerful, easy to use, and requires no additional downloads. Tap or click for an easy way to protect the privacy of your inbox.

6. Improve your Spanish in college

Duolingo it’s a top-rated language learning app, and for good reason. It’s easy to use, fun and surprisingly lightweight.

Duolingo offers 37 languages, including Spanish, French, Japanese, German, Latin, Korean, Scottish Gaelic, Ukrainian, Italian, and Chinese. Having trouble staying committed? Duolingo offers daily reminders that hold you accountable every day.

Click or click here to download for iPhone. Click or click here to download for Android.

7. E-books for summer vacation

Digital books can add up, especially if you’re a voracious reader. OpenLibrary.org lets you browse thousands of books to find your next favorite. Sign up, verify your email, and you’re good to go. You can start browsing in just a few minutes.

Click or click here for even more ways to get free eBooks.

Reading a book on a tablet.  You can get free books to take on your next vacation.

Reading a book on a tablet. You can get free books to take on your next vacation.
(iStock)

Trying to start a side business or freelance career? I have a new e-book that you must read to maximize your profits: “A Guide to Successful Online Freelancing.”

8. Audiobooks for listening on walks

Prefer to listen to your reading list? Audiobooks can make chores like yard work and cooking much more fun and liven up long walks or road trips.

Click or click for eight ways to get free audiobooks.

9. Internet speed tests

Free internet speed tests can help determine if you’re really getting the advertised rates. One of the most reliable free speed tests Speedtest.net. This site will measure various statistics such as ping time, download speed and download speed of your internet connection.

If you’re a video streamer, try Netflix’s free internet speed test. Fast.com.

If your internet speed is lower than expected, there are ways to improve it. Tap or click for tips on how to increase your Wi-Fi speed.

10. Inexpensive or free internet

The Emergency Broadband Program provides up to $50 per month for broadband service. To qualify, you must meet one of five criteria, one of which is an income at or below 135% Federal Poverty Guidelines.

Click or click to learn about other ways to get free internet and how to sign up.

12. Delivery of materials

Here’s some good news for small business owners who work from home. In fact, this free tool is useful for those who want to stop spending so much money on their mail. Thanks to the USPS, you can get free envelopes and boxes.

It’s not just one or two either. You can get a package of 50 Priority Mail Express packages for free. You can get medium boxes, shoe boxes and more.

Click or click for direct link to get free shipping.

13. Update your passport photo

Don’t wait in a long line for someone to take your passport photo. Just head to ePassportPhoto.com and follow a few steps to get the perfect shot. It’s pretty simple and the site will tell you exactly what to do.

FILE - US Passport Cover.

FILE – US Passport Cover.
(AP Photo/Eileen Putman)

14. Magazines to read on the beach

Do you have an Amazon Prime account? You can get free access to a permanent library of popular magazines for 30 days. Check them out here. The Prime Reading Award is a great way to save money that you would spend on expensive monthly subscriptions.

Titles include Wired, Popular Science, Reader’s Digest, Taste of Home, and others.

15. Weekend project ideas for you and the kids

If you or someone you know likes to sew, take a look FreeNeedle. It includes step-by-step instructions, sewing and crochet patterns, and helpful articles.

Instructables.com has a stellar library of projects for all ages and skill levels for those more into crafts and woodworking. There is something for everyone. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Make a 3D printed lamp
  • Make a loft bed for college
  • Learn astrophotography
  • Build a chicken coop in the shape of a spaceship
  • Create a custom fighting game controller

16. Bonus freebie

For over twenty years, I’ve been helping countless millions use technology. I’ve collected hidden tricks and handy features you won’t find in the user manual as a free guide. Whether you’re a Windows or Mac user, you’re sure to learn some that you’ll use again and again.

Here’s a quick list of what you’ll learn in my free guides:

  • Search tricks to find files and programs in an instant
  • Shortcuts to boost your productivity — and show off a little
  • Fast photo editing without downloading additional software
  • Messaging Shortcuts to get text messages on your computer
  • Convenient free secure downloads for Windows and macOS

Click or click here for free guide for Windows and Mac.

PODCAST SELECTION: Rent out your kitchen, get $20 from Amazon, betray Google Meet

Bad news: Google Meet will now yell at you if you’re late for a meeting. On the other hand, Google Workspace allows you to work offline with Microsoft Office files. Also, an easy way to get $20 from Amazon. Time is running out so listen now to get free money in about 60 seconds.

What questions do you have about the digital lifestyle? Call Kim’s National Radio and click or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen or watch The Kim Command Show on your phone, tablet, TV or computer. Or click or tap here for Kim’s free podcasts.

Copyright 2019, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Learn about all the latest technology at The The Kim Command Show, the nation’s largest weekend talk show. Kim takes calls and offers advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data breaches. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.

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