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Who doesn’t love to watch the latest movies? I am a huge movie buff and like so many others, I grew up going to the movies almost every other week. It’s one of my most memorable childhood memories. But today, going to the movie theater will cost you close to $20 bucks a person, even more for the IMAX 3D experience. It feels like admission prices increase every year. Not to mention the cost of a large tub of popcorn (I take mine loaded with extra fake butter), soda, candies and nachos with extra cheese. The concession stand always charge a premium so you are paying about $5 bucks for a box of Goobers when you can get the same thing for .99 cents at the nearest convenient store. And I usually finish all these delicious fresh foods during the previews, before the movie even starts! Having said all that, it is safe to say that it costs a pretty penny to go to the movies these days. Especially if you are paying for a date or have a large family to take with you.
Being your Money Guru, I have found a way to watch movies for free and yes, it’s legal. It’s called the Public Library! Don’t laugh. And do not overlook all the resources you can get at the library. It really is a treasure trove of many sorts. Believe it or not, your public library carries the latest movies on DVD and Blu Ray. They even have some of the latest and most popular TV series on DVD. You can place the movies (including oldies but goodies, like the original Halloween) you want on hold online and get notified when they are available to be picked up. Easy breezy. Oh, and Libraries are great for borrowing books for free too (duh!) 😉 If you have a Kindle, you can easily borrow eBooks. When they are due back, they just automatically get pulled from your device.
When I was about 6 years old, my dad would take my sister and me to the library and we would borrow so many children books to read. This was about the same time cable TV was spreading across America for the first time. But my parents didn’t want to pay for cable, so the next best thing was to take us to the Library for free. So I guess I have my dad to thank for introducing me to the wonderful world of libraries. I have literally saved thousands of dollars by borrowing materials from libraries throughout the decades, versus purchasing books or going to the movie theater. And since I live in NYC, I don’t have the shelf space to keep every book or movie I’ve watched, so it really is a win win situation for me. There is a library across the street from my home and there is another library two blocks from my office, so I am always close to one. But if you have to drive many miles or commute out of your way to get to your nearest library, then this is probably not a good solution for you.
Caution: Do not return movies past their due date. Libraries charge a hefty late fee and if you have to pay it, well then it defeats the entire benefit of borrowing materials from there.
I still love going to the movie theater, but I save it for special occasions. When my partner or friends and I see a preview to a movie, 9 out of 10 times we say we’ll wait until it becomes available at the library. In fact, we keep a list of the new movies we want to watch so I can place holds for them at the library. I highly recommend doing this for yourself. And when we do go to the movie theater, we savor and enjoy the experience even more. I know you will too.
Tip: Atom app . For you movie theater lovers, this app is for you. When you download the Atom app to your phone and sign up, your first movie is free! And for every 3 of your friends that download the app and signs up, you get another movie to watch for free and they get $5 off.