Americans today are working harder than ever before. The thriving economy and the strong dollar are evidence that productivity is up. Despite their hard work, however, Americans haven’t seen a pay raise in the last 40 years, according to a study conducted by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).
While the results of the EPI report can seem depressing to any hardworking individual, many people are coping with the pay gap by searching for better-paying jobs. Despite the lowest unemployment and inflation levels since 2007, not enough jobs are being created and job creation is expected to slow down in the near future.
All hope is not lost if you’re stuck in an underpaid position because there is a lot you can do to stretch your hard-earned dollars. Doing more with what you already have will mean that you don’t have to spend every day of your life working, simply to keep your head above water. While it seems like everything costs money, there are many ways to enhance your life without having to shell out piles of cash. There are a multitude of free services available, ranging from free investment advice to free medicine. Taking advantage of these services will help you make big savings in the long term.
Here are six types of free services you should be using.
Have you had your eyes checked lately? EyeCare America offers free eye exams for individuals without private insurance who are either over the age of 65 or living with glaucoma. The public service program also offers free treatment for any condition that is diagnosed during the free eye exam.
Do you have a health plan? You could be eligible for free preventive care. Many health plans will provide benefits for preventive care such as mammograms and screening for high blood pressure in women over 40 years of age as well as vaccination and tests for children and adults. Check with your health care insurance provider to see what free preventive services are available to you.
There are several prescription medications you can get for free from supermarket pharmacies or pharmaceutical manufacturers. These include certain antibiotics, generic drugs and medications for diabetes. Some pharmacies also offer medications at no cost to low-income patients who don’t have insurance coverage for prescription drugs.
If you’re looking for insurance, you might want to begin by comparing insurance policies. This process was once time consuming and expensive, but with the emergence of online insurance comparison sites like CoverHound, you can get free car insurance quotes from different insurance providers in a matter of minutes. This ensures that you make an informed choice and are able to identify the best deals in the market without using too much of your valuable time.
Many people can’t afford expensive gym memberships, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t work out at all. If you don’t like to walk or jog around the neighborhood, you can make use of free workouts that are available online. Many fitness websites and fitness instructors have uploaded videos and instructions on YouTube and other sites that you can access for free. You can work out in the comfort of your own home and on your own schedule, eliminating some of the most common exercise barriers.
Credit Score Monitoring and Reports
Your credit score affects your ability to access loans, land your dream job, or get that apartment you’ve fallen in love with. It makes sense to keep track of it. Various websites and apps, like CreditKarma, provide you with access to your credit reports. You can keep track of your credit scores for free.
These, and many other free services, make life a little easier. Between car insurance, personal wellness, and financial security, there are a plethora of cost-effective ways to keep your life, and your bank account, moving in the right direction.