|A credit card you never have to pay off.|
My local library has an online catalog that allows me to log into my account and search for items at any library in the county. I can reserve items and when they're available I get an e-mail saying it is available for me to pick up at my local branch. Look into doing this for yourself. I have consumed thousands of dollars worth of books and movies over the last few years of rediscovering the library. Here are examples of what the library has to offer.
|Cascades of books!|
|It's like reading, but with more pictures.|
Comic Books: Back in the day, my library card was solely used to rent absence amounts of Garfield comic collections. I spent hours, reading funnies in the library, and when it was time to go checking them out by the dozens. That has remained largely the same, with the addition of graphic novels and larger more "serious" comic collections. Lately I've started the Sandman, Astonishing X-men, and Bone series. Anytime a new Marvel film approaches theaters, I tend to rent a few comics in the series, most of which are in the system.
|E-ink is your grandma's technology.|
E-books: I literally don't even have to leave my house to access the most convenient form of reading there is. I own a Kindle Fire HD and am capable of borrowing library books for free in the Kindle format. I download the book and it stays on all my devices for 2 weeks (after which I can renew or request to borrow it again at the soonest time possible). I then can access it on my kindle, phone and any web browser I have access to.
|Fine cinematic art is at your disposal.|
Movies: This method takes far more patience than is culturally customary. It's not Netflix, VOD or Hulu or any other service that equates to instant gratification. It's not even Redbox, but it's cheaper than all of those options. What I've found to be effective is to keep a running list of movies that I want to watch eventually on my library account. Right now I have Saving Mr. Banks, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure and Apocalypto sitting at home. I only watch about 3/4 of the movies I check out from the library, but my options are always there, and sometimes I can find DVD's that aren't available for streaming at all.
|It's like a physical iTunes.|
Music and Audio Books: Seemingly the biggest loophole in the RIAA's ongoing war against illegal music downloads seems to be sanctioned by the US government. Libraries offer a huge collection of music on CD, again you can request any album in the system across multiple libraries in the area. Even more attractive to me as a commuter is the vast array of audio books available over multiple formats. These things sell for large chunks of money and you're probably only going to listen to them once. Or you can just borrow one and call it good.
You can get even more from your local library, everything from community events, free usage of the latest consumer reports and a number of other programs. It's one big free bookstore, and there are tons of them all over the country. Utilize them, they are fantastic.