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7 things you can get in America for free

Фото: Depositphotos

Фото: Depositphotos

During those 2 years that I lived in America, I had to wonder more than once - the way of life, the characteristics of communication and leisure, the thoughtfulness of everyday life and the comfort of life. I love America for its almost limitless possibilities and respect for human dignity. And also for some absolutely unexpected “buns”, which can be obtained here practically out of the blue. My list is not exhaustive, I think everyone will be able to add something from himself. Most social programs for low-income people, where you can get food, a roof over your head, and so on, I stand behind the brackets - this is a slightly different topic. So, what everyone can get in the States for free.

1. Money. Yes, it's money. I'm not wrong. The banking sector in the United States works in a rather unusual way for all immigrants from post-Soviet countries. A house or a car can be borrowed at 3-5% per annum. Interest on savings accounts is minimal, a few tenths of a percent. For example, for every thousand dollars that you keep in the bank, five cents will be added to you in the form of interest on your deposit in a month. But a credit card can bring good money in the form of a cashback. How it works? For example, let's say you spend a thousand dollars on a credit card. Let's say a credit card has a cashback of 1,5%. As soon as the monthly card usage cycle closes, you will be credited with $ 15. This is real money that you can transfer to a checking or savings account, pay at a store, or withdraw. Some cards offer 2% cashback, and for individual purchases they can even return 5% or 10%. My husband and I return $ 40-50 monthly on several cards. A trifle, but nice.

This is one side of the coin. And now I'll tell you about another - unpleasant. If you pay all the money spent from the credit card within 3-4 weeks (each bank has its own term), you do not pay interest for using the money. That is, your card is reset to zero, and you start spending money from your credit card again. But if you pay part of the money or just the required minimum payment, then the bank will win back on you for all cashbacks. Credit card rates can easily reach 20-25%. If you owe a decent amount and pay it back for several years, the amount can easily double. Therefore, I advise you to be very careful with credit cards: if you are not sure that you can return the money on time, it is better not to use a credit card.

2. Travel. The principle of operation is the same as in the previous paragraph. You open a special credit card for which you have miles or points for using money. When a decent amount of miles is collected, you pay for flights, hotels, car rentals during a trip, etc. For example, during the year you used one of these credit cards, I got enough points to pay for the 4 ticket from San Francisco to Las Vegas and back.

3. Classes in English. You need to learn English from day one, as you moved to the States. Opportunities for this - a dime a dozen. There are conversational classes at libraries, schools for adults and even private lessons - all for free. So, in the nearby town of Livermore, in California, in the library you can take classes where you will be one-on-one with an American reading and discussing what you read in English. And in San Francisco Community College there are free ESL classes (English as a Second Language), that is, English as a second language. However, from my own experience I can say that such training is more suitable for those who are just starting to learn a language or know it at an intermediate level. If you are interested in improving language skills, it is better to take paid courses in college.

4. Classes for children and assistance for adults. The library is generally a "hotbed" of knowledge. In American libraries, books are just one of the spheres of activity, and in my opinion - by no means the leading one. Libraries conduct developmental classes for the youngest children, do homework with schoolchildren here, offer adults access to the Internet and various kinds of assistance - for example, periodically arrange individual consultations with a specialist who helps to write a resume. In short, if you do not yet know where the library is located in your city, then you are missing out on many opportunities. Go - you won't regret it.

Public Library in Orlando, Florida. Photo: Depositphotos

Public Library in Orlando, Florida. Photo: Depositphotos

5. Legal assistance. I will open America, probably, if I say that lawyers in the States are very, very expensive. Minimal assistance is already several thousand dollars. And if the matter is serious - the bill can go to tens of thousands. When immigration often need the help of lawyers. Keep in mind that a number of non-profit organizations provide free legal assistance. For example, you can contact Independent Immigration Lawyers Network or to one of lawyers approved by the Department of Justice. I can’t say anything about the quality of such services - I have never come across them.

6. Visits to museums. Museums in and around San Francisco cost an average of $ 15 to $ 35. However, each of them makes free admission on certain days. Often these free days fall on the first Tuesday of the month. By the way, you can also get a free museum pass at the local libraries - which, as you can imagine, I never stop admiring - you can also get a free pass to the museum.

7. Appetiser. Appetite comes with eating. And in American restaurants, they often start eating even before ordering. As a rule, here, as soon as you sit down at the table, they bring you a simple snack - either fragrant freshly baked bread and butter, or chips with sauce.

Iced water, of course, is also free, and - as many times as you like. It is clear that the cost of such a starter is already included in the price of the main course, but after Ukrainian restaurants, where, most often, snow will not be provided for free in winter, such an attitude towards the client is pleasantly pleasing.

If you want to become the author of the column, send your materials to kolonka@forumdaily.com

See also:

Six things for which I adore America

Personal experience. How America changed me

Seven things that may surprise you in the US

Personal experience: how much does it cost to live in New York

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