Is the era of free stuff coming to an end? Many signs would point to yes.
Banks continue to slap on fees for what most considered entitled services, like making ATM withdrawals or using a debit card, and airlines are now notorious for charging fees on everything from carry-on luggage to snacks.
For now, a few services, like in-flight (non-alcoholic) beverages, won't cost you. Check out nine other free (or almost free) things that we hope you'll never have to pay for:
Hit your <a href="http://www.worldcat.org/" target="_hplink">public library</a> or browse online for some free reading material.
Basic Checking Accounts
While fee-less bank accounts are becoming harder to find, banks such as ING Direct and Ally still offer free, no-fee <a href="http://www.doughroller.net/banking/free-online-checking-accounts/" target="_hplink">basic checking accounts</a>.
You can still find free public Wi-Fi hotspots, from your local Starbucks or bookstore to the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/26/wi-fi-coming-to-new-york-_n_909520.html" target="_hplink">subway station</a>. Download helpful <a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/free-wi-fi/id302021371?mt=8" target="_hplink">apps</a> to help you locate hotspots on the go.
While <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/17/tithing-where-does-the-money-go_n_1797202.html?utm_hp_ref=money&ir=Money" target="_hplink">donations are often solicited</a>, most religious services are free to the public.
Many beaches across the country don't charge admission fees. Here's a local guide for the <a href="http://newyork.cbslocal.com/guide/a-guide-to-new-york-citys-free-beaches/" target="_hplink">New York</a> and <a href="http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/guide/a-guide-to-los-angeles-free-beaches/" target="_hplink">Los Angeles</a> areas.
While many <a href="http://money.msn.com/top-stocks/post.aspx?post=7f10602e-2288-4138-93a6-e79e582ed070" target="_hplink">rumors have circulated</a> that we may someday have to pay to use social media, sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are free to join and use.
411 Information Services
For those of you still dialing 411 and incurring ridiculous per-call charges, there's a better, free option: <a href="http://www.free411.com/" target="_hplink">1-800-FREE-411</a> offers the same information services in exchange for listening to a few short ads.
While many newspapers' websites have <a href="http://www.ajr.org/article.asp?id=4004" target="_hplink">adopted pricing plans</a> for their content, most news sites, including The Huffington Post, still offer up free digital content.
Standard In-Flight Beverages
While they'll charge you for that three-quarters of an inch more of legroom, airlines still offer free standard, <a href="http://www.independenttraveler.com/travel-tips/air-travel/a-guide-to-airline-meals-and-snacks" target="_hplink">non-alchoholic beverage service</a> for soda, juice and water.
Under federal law, <a href="https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp" target="_hplink">AnnualCreditReport.com</a> is the <a href="http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/freereports/index.shtml" target="_hplink">only authorized source</a> for a free, yearly credit report from the three major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.
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