When Free Is Better Than Cheap - A Mea Culpa
Welcome to Saving Money with Andrew!
Two readers rightly called me out on my Saving Money On Magazines piece last week, noting that I omitted the best way to save on magazines—using your public library:
Check out your library! I digitally checked out a book, and stumbled across (digital) magazines normally available in print and some that aren't. Very surprised at some of the selections at my library including The Economist! Of course the drawback is you may need to wait if it's a popular magazine. But for ease, convenience and a heavier pocket book, worth looking into!
You left out the cheapest of all..the library! Spent years frustrated by the New York Review of Books paywalling the most interesting articles. Found out this week that my library has it "permanently available" to download.
These readers are totally right. The local public library often has some amazing resources. Recently, I tried Overdrive, which boasts a “network of more than 65,000 libraries and schools in 84 countries”. I simply entered the name of my local library and library card number, and within a minute had access to free digital copies of my favorite magazines (including the New Yorker and The Economist), as well as free eBooks and audiobooks through Overdrive’s companion app Libby.
Researching more, I found local libraries around here lend out a wide variety of things one wouldn’t expect, from Nintendo Switches to digital cameras and mobile hotspots. I urge you to check out the offerings at your local library—both online and in-person.
These helpful reader tips also make a much broader point. Sometimes we focus so much on saving money that we miss opportunities to get things for free instead. I’m especially bad when it comes to that, probably because I enjoy getting a deal so much.
And now…Andrew’s pick of the week:
A fascinating NYT article on inequality in the tennis world, and how hard it is to make a living as a pro tennis player beyond the top 100 or so. The #139 player in the world barely breaks even after travel expenses, and has cleaned boats and worked at Lululemon to make ends meet. Another interesting factoid—the players receive about 17.5% of the revenue generated by the major tennis tournaments. Compare this to the NBA, where players receive 51% of revenue (albeit after subtracting some related expenses), or the NHL, where the minimum wage is now $700,000 per year. But the top tennis players are not struggling—Roger Federer is “apparently close to becoming a billionaire” and Naomi Osaka reportedly earned $60 million last year.
I hope this has been helpful. If you liked it, please share it on social media! Also, please send me your feedback, requests, and success stories.