I do find that one of the keys to maintaining a frugal lifestyle (versus falling off the wagon, which I’m known to do a couple times a year) is to fill my life with low-cost luxuries so that I don’t fall into the trap of thinking frugality=deprivation. One such luxury: free audio books from the public library. You probably already know that libraries have audio books on CDs, but did you know that many libraries now have iPod-compatible audio book files that you can download from home? Check your library’s website, or ask the librarian about whether they have a downloadable audio book collection. There are many different audio book collections that libraries subscribe to on behalf of their members, so I recommend becoming a member of more than one library system in order to maximize the chances that you’ll find the titles you’re looking for. Many library systems will issue you a free card even if you live outside of that county, and some states will allow non-residents to join for a small fee (for instance, Hawaii Public Library charges $5/year to non-residents).
Listening to audio books has transformed my commute from tedious to thoroughly enjoyable. Initially I was shelling out quite a bit of money to buy audio books, but now I can indulge my interests for free- and frankly, just being able to include the words “indulge” and “free” in the same sentence makes the frugal nerd in me very happy. If you’re curious, my current “listen” is Steve Martin’s The Pleasure of My Company. Here’s are some items on my audio book “to-do” list:
- Listen to the Twilight Seriesso that I know what all the fuss is about
- Catch the latest Stieg Larsson novel
- Read a book on how to reach our goals
- Read another book in the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency Series
It makes me smile just thinking about all the fun ahead of me.
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