Lifestyle The Frugal Handbook

TFH #22: Resourcefully Free

Nowadays, there’s an app or web service for everything.

Want to learn a language? Check.

Want to edit photos or create posters? Check.

Want to find out the top Google searches for specific keywords? Check.

The list goes on.

Chances are, too, that there are free versions of these apps and web services that you can use so you don’t have to fork out a single cent to utilise these resources.

This is great news for us because it means we get to save money.

Below, I’ll briefly go over some free apps that I personally find helpful and useful in my daily life.


Duolingo is a mobile app where you can learn a language.

There are many languages you can choose from and you can start at different proficiency levels depending on how familiar you are with the language.

It’s extremely simple and easy to use and the passive-aggressive mascot Duo will remind you to complete a lesson every day to help you stay committed to learning.

I decided to try learning Spanish on Duolingo 3 years ago just for fun because it was impossible to bid for L1 language electives in NUS back when I was a student.

Today, I’m still getting in at least 1 lesson per day, though my Spanish proficiency is still pretty basic.


Libby is an app where you can borrow e-books and audiobooks from your local library.

You just need to add your local library and you’re free to start browsing.

I’ve only used it to read 2-3 books because I’m not much of a reader.

But if you enjoy reading, this is a great way for you to access many ebooks for free.


Canva is an online graphic design app.

You can create digital visual content like social media posts, posters, infographics, presentations, etc.

I use Canva to create thumbnails for my posts, though I don’t do any of the fancy things that Canva allows you to do for free.

Apple Notes

This is Apple’s built-in notetaking app.

I find it handy because it synchronises across multiple devices, and not just on Apple devices.

It syncs across my Sticky Notes app on my Windows laptop too.

I also like that you can scan documents in the app itself, so you don’t need to have a separate app for that.

I’m sure there are other apps that can do the same thing, but Apple Notes is the one I’m familiar with.

AnswerThePublic is a search engine listening tool that pulls autocomplete data to provide insights into specific keywords you might be interested in.

For example, if you’re wondering what people are searching for related to ‘investing’, you can run a search on the website to find out.

You can then curate your content, products, or services accordingly in an attempt to boost your search results.

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