Ireland’s Guide To Money And Living

Finding (online) freebies

Freebies

The internet is a wonderful resource, allowing you to video chat with someone on the other side of the world, view a live-stream of oceanographers at work in the Marina trench, or access an ocean of information through Wikipedia [citation needed].

The best part is that so much of what is available online is free, and we’re not talking about illegally downloaded episodes of Game of Thrones.

Project Gutenberg

Perfect for the voracious bookworm, Project Gutenberg is home to over 50,000 free e-books, featuring classics from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer to Dracula, The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

If you’ve got a Kindle, pay a visit to BookLending.com, a website that matches Kindle users via Amazon, allowing for borrowing and lending of books. You don’t actually need a Kindle – all you need to do is download a Kindle reading app.

There are plenty other options out there too – get reading!

Stick on some headphones

Last.fm is a vast online music catalogue that uses your listening history to build up your musical profile. Though there is an optional subscription service, you can easily browse the free version.

Spotify offers a similar service. The free version features ads and you can only listen to songs on shuffle, though you can also avail of a 30-day trial of the Premium version (normally €9.99 per month).

Open education

Ever dreamed about becoming an Ivy League scholar? Now you can fulfil that (sort of). edX was founded by Harvard and MIT in 2012 to offer courses from universities and educational institutions around the world, on topics ranging from information technology and biology to psychology and journalism – the majority are free.

You can also receive an official signed certificate to share on your resume or LinkedIn profile for around €43.

Learn a language

Whether you’re travelling abroad or studying for a geography test, Memrise is a fantastic way to boost your knowledge across a variety of platforms, using video, audio, mnemonics and etymologies to make it a much more enjoyable experience. And it’s free!

Instant knowledge

If you want answers, Wolfram Alpha is the place to go. Simply input your search terms or questions and it will quickly generate an answer, from the capital of Uzbekistan (Tashkent) to the meaning of life (42).

Image manipulation

If you don’t use it professionally, Photoshop can be quite expensive – €24.59 per month for a year for that one app alone. GIMP, however, is quite free. It’s not as comprehensive as its Adobe alternative, but there are plenty of features to work with.

Enhance!

If you’re an avid Redditor, life won’t be the same after you get Reddit Enhancement Suite. Basically it gives you an improved browsing experience, including an inline image viewer, the ability to save comments, and never-ending Reddit (this could be dangerous).

Join the academy

If learning to code has always been on your bucket list, Codeacademy is the place for you, with a list of languages including CSS, JavaScript Ruby and Python.

In your pocket

Perfect for when you come across a lengthy article online, and you just haven’t got the time to read it there and then, Pocket allows you to save articles, video and other content for later. Once an item has been saved to your Pocket, you can view it across a range of devices, both online and offline.

 

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When not writing about all things personal finance, You & Your Money's editor Conor Forrest enjoys reading, football and getting lost in an ocean of Wikipedia articles.
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