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Hey guys it's Chelsea from the financial diet and this week's video is brought to you by RetailMeNot and this week we wanted to talk to you guys about the things that you are probably paying for that you could be getting for free.

So much about saving money and spending smarter is about being creative with how you get what you need and learning to rethink the way that you get things. Simple swap outs or being a little bit more patient or even consuming a little bit less than you think you need are extremely effective ways to save while still living the life that you want.

So let's get right into them with these free things that you are probably paying for. Number one is network TV. 66% of Americans are still paying for cable and of those who do have cable subscriptions more than half also subscribed to at least one streaming service. Now there are many reasons that people will still want to watch broadcast TV channels but there's no reason to pay for a cable package to get network TV.

If you're mainly watching things like NBC, CBS, PBS, etc you can get these channels through an antenna rather than having to pay for a whole cable subscription or a broadcast TV service. Now obviously there is the one-time startup cost of actually getting the antenna but you can get antennae that fit the job perfectly for under 30 dollars on Amazon and it's a one-time cost rather than a recurring one. Being able to tune into big television moments like award shows, sporting events, etc is a great reason to want Network TV but you don't need to be paying a monthly bill for it.

Number two is custom tailoring. Now something we've mentioned over and over on TFT is how important good tailoring can be to having a great long-lasting professional wardrobe and to get use out of items that you may have gotten secondhand or which maybe wouldn't otherwise fit you because of a change in your body type. It's also a good way to feel super confident in the clothes you're wearing because you know they fit you like a glove but it's also something that a lot of us can avoid because we think it's really expensive and/or a big hassle.

Now small tailoring jobs like say bringing up the hem on a skirt can be 10 to 15 bucks but when you talk about things like reshaping the shoulders or bust of an outfit, you could easily be charged seventy bucks or more for single tailoring jobs. But what many people don't realize is that there are tons of stores which offer tailoring services for free when you buy your clothes there. Stores like Nordstrom will offer free basic alterations on full price items just make sure to bring your receipt or proof of purchase.

Lululemon provides free hemming on tops and pants and you don't even need to bring your receipt and we provided a whole list in the description of different stores that offer these free alteration services along with their specific requirements. Just being slightly more strategic about how you shop for things especially stuff like high quality workout gear and office staples can mean getting that amazing tailored look without having to pay extra for it. Number three is cloud storage.

Now there are tons of cloud storage services out there that can run anywhere from a few dollars to over 20 dollars every single month but what these services are selling you is literally just a question of space and while many people think that they may need to upgrade to those paying subscriptions for things like family photos, videos, etc the average person would actually be perfectly suited to many of the free cloud storage options out there for personal use. And there are several awesome free and complimentary options for cloud storage. For example anyone can set up a Google Drive account for free and have automatic access to 15 gigs of free storage and if you have an Amazon Prime account you have automatic access to another five free gigs of storage which is actually something I have access to and had no idea about.

Now of course there are still plenty of reasons why you would need to upgrade to more cloud storage availability but make sure that you get to that point before you assume that you need it. Even things like storing a lot of family photos you may be very well able to do on places like Google Drive and Amazon. Number four is makeup samples.

So I'm a huge devotee of the makeup sample life. I travel quite a lot for work and personal reasons and I have on my little makeup shelf what I refer to as my goody bag which is essentially all of the samples I've accumulated that I kind of sift through every time I'm traveling to take items I need with me everything from sunscreen to face masks to lipsticks to highlighters. It's so convenient to have these sample size, travel size little things of dry shampoo or whatever it happens to be in addition to the fact that samples are a great way to test out products particularly if you have, like me, problem skin and need to be working through a product for at least a week before you know if it's right for you.

And you may think that you need to sign up for things like Birchbox or Ipsy in order to get these free makeup samples but that is far from the truth. You can get tons of products totally for free. So first you can get them simply by signing up for loyalty or tester programs through things like specific brands stores magazines or websites.

You can also become a beauty tester where whether at home or at a retail location you're provided with specific products to test and honestly review. Sometimes you can even be paid for being part of these programs. We'll link you guys in the description to a few great ways to sign up for programs like this.

Another really smart way to get a lot of awesome freebies tailored to your needs is to shop for your makeup at a department store. Not only do they often offer amazing freebies and giveaways with your purchases but the retailer's themselves are actually way more empowered to give away tons of product. I am a huge devotee of Estee Lauder products and I specifically get my Estee Lauder products from a specific Macy's on a specific floor of the store from the same specific woman.

Every time I go there I walk away, whether or not I have bought an item that day, with a treasure trove of samples in amazing sizes that literally can last me up to a month and almost literally every time I do buy a product I receive a gorgeous little makeup bag with tons of samples and full sized products to try. Several of my favorite lipsticks I literally got that way and a year later I'm still using them. Department store cosmetics are perhaps one of the most untapped resources by Millennials on getting awesome free shit.

Number 5 is college textbooks. So you may not know this but there are near endless resources online for free downloadable PDF versions of literally thousands of college textbooks currently in use. And while the PDF approach may not fulfill 100% of your textbook needs for a given semester, students who followed this PDF method reported up to 75% of their course needs met just through PDFs alone and you can even print these PDFs and bind them if you prefer the print experience.

We'll link you guys in the description to a ton of different places where you can find PDF versions of college textbooks online right now. There are also tons of great websites and online groups where students donate their old textbooks, partner up with buddies to share textbooks throughout the year, or organize class-wide swaps. A little bit of coordination can mean that you and a buddy have to buy only half the amount of books for a given semester.

And beyond that if you're looking to take university level courses for your own education that's also something you can largely do for free now. Websites like Coursera offer world-class university education for free and while you can't necessarily seek a degree through these methods, they are immensely valuable for learning a specific new skill or just sharpening your critical thinking and cultural awareness. In short approaching a college education with as much savvy, creativity, and frugality as possible ensures that you will get what you need without spending a penny more than you need to.

Number six is everyday money stuff. So there is no real wrong way to manage your money, but if the basic management of your money is costing you money every month you may want to rethink how you're doing it. According to a 2018 moneyrates.com survey the average maintenance fee for a checking account rose to $13.51 up from $12.83 the year before.

This means that on average just having a checking account would cost you over a hundred and sixty dollars every single year. And most of us have probably never considered switching bank accounts because it seems like such an inconvenience, but have you ever stopped to think what led you to your current bank in the first place? Was it where your parents banked or the one that happened to be located near your apartment or your workplace or just what you happen to stumble upon first when looking to put your money somewhere?

Chances are you probably came to this decision more through hazard than anything else and when it comes to how you manage your money on a daily basis, it is super worth rethinking every element of it and making sure that you're doing it for the right reasons. And when it comes to eliminating or seriously reducing these fees, you have things like fee free online banks as well as smaller bank chains and credit unions which often have much lower fees. And for what it's worth credit union members often incur way fewer fees in general.

In a comprehensive panel study of consumers detailed bank and credit union account statements researchers. Victor Sango and Jonathan Zinman found that credit union members incurred an average of 72 dollars in total checking fees whereas bank customers incurred an average of 183 dollars. Another thing that many people don't realize you can get for free is your credit report.

You're actually entitled to one free credit report each year from the major reporting bureaus, which means that unless you're like applying for something specifically, there's no need to pay for that extra check. So to avoid paying fees for your credit report, simply make sure to space it out strategically so that you're checking from each of the bureaus once every four months. Number seven is valuable household items or furniture.

So several of my most prized and versatile items in my home happen to be things that I literally got from the street. One is a really nice and originally super expensive leather couch that our rich neighbors were giving away because rich people are insane and another is a wooden kitchen cart that we found walking home from a bar one night took home on the subway and proceeded to sand clean and paint white. And those are just two of the big ones.

There are also several other super functional items that we've inherited secondhand or found for free on Craigslist. But aside from the basics of Craigslist and things that people leave on the corner when they're moving, there are tons of location specific websites and Facebook groups where people simply giveaway or swap household items. One great website is freecycle.org but there are also Facebook groups like broke list which I'm a part of for my local area.

And these free secondhand items are especially useful when setting up a first apartment or going through a big move but it does require on your end just a little bit of vision. Chances are you're not going to get the item exactly the way you would have wanted it if you had bought it at the store but things like changing out handles painting, whitewashing, sanding, etc can make a world of difference. You can also set up with a friend a buddy system for furniture.

Chances are over the years when you move to different apartments your furniture needs just change. One funny example of this is a side table that Loren myself and our managing editor Holly have all at various points owned. It's been passed from one of us to the other as we moved and had different furniture needs.

I personally used it as a vanity table, Holly uses it currently in her living room, Lauren had it as a nightstand table but basically we realized that the same piece of furniture could be totally functional for different people depending on the place that we happen to be living in. And each of us also, it should be noted, painted at a different color. Challenging yourself to find at least 40% of your household items through these methods will shock you in terms of how much money you can save and how much utility you can get out of it.

Lastly number eight is a virtual assistant slash personal helper. So while you may not be currently paying for a virtual assistant, chances are that in your mind this is something that you would have to pay for and in many ways you're right. But there are super helpful and unique apps which when used in combination can act as a sort of fail-safe for your own brain and reminds you to do the things or do the things for you that you're constantly forgetting about.

One particularly great program for this is called if this than that basically it allows you to link up all the different services and devices that you may be using at any given time and trigger things to happen when other things happen. So basically it could be things like "every time X amount of time passes set up a dental appointment" or "when my mom calls send me a reminder x time afterwards to call her back" or it could be "set up an alert for me when things go on sale so I know to buy them at that time" or it could be "set up a reminder to me when certain coupon codes go live so that I know to use them." Setting this up in tandem with other apps like a really robust Google Calendar and/or things like a great coupon app will allow you to get the most value and remember to do the things that you're constantly forgetting to do. It essentially provides you the virtual assistant experience without actually having to pay for one because ultimately the entire point of things like that is just to be an extra brain on top of our brain that can remind the first brain to do what the first brain is supposed to do.

Even swapping out one area of spending in your life for something more frugal or possibly even totally free can provide huge benefits over the course of your entire life. It's so important we rethink things and make sure that we're always getting the best deal possible and one way to make sure never to miss out on that deal is to use a great coupon app like RetailMeNot which I am a huge personal fan of. So as always guys thank you for watching and don't forget to hit the subscribe button and to come back every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday for new and awesome videos.

Bye!