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First things first: In case you missed it yesterday (the post fell under the "how to" umbrella and therefore wasn't distributed as a Cheapskate newsletter), read about my experience with the latest offering from FreedomPop. It's GSM-based, functional in over 30 countries and completely free (after you pay $10 for a SIM card). The company's customer service still needs work, but, man, this is a pretty amazing deal.
Years ago, my wife and I started using Cozi, an app that provides a simple shared calendar -- and we've never looked back. Now my entire family uses it, and calling it invaluable would be grossly understating its value.
You should try it, too -- and I'll just say right up front that it's free. We've never bothered with the Gold version, simply because the $50 per year price tag seemed too high for what it offered. But now Cozi Gold is just $19.99 per year, and that's a deal worth considering.
Here's why: Cozi Gold does away with the banner and pop-up ads that support the free version. It lets you set multiple reminders for any given calendar entry, and it supplies a sorely needed month view on the mobile calendar. (View Cozi in your desktop browser and you can see a month view even in the free version.)
You also get extras like a contact manager, birthday tracker, choice of mobile themes and much-improved shopping list. Even the free shopping list is genius, though: Whenever somebody notices that something has run out, they just add it to the list -- which is then viewed by the next person who hits the grocery store.
Even without Gold, you get a really powerful, color-coded family calendar, one that can sync with internet calendars, including those provided by most K-12 schools. You can share scheduled activities with people outside your family and add separate schedules for things like childcare, sports and clubs.
Cozi also has a message board (not accessible in the mobile app, alas), meal planner, recipe box and family journal. Seriously, this thing is indispensable for busy families. We've used it for eight years (!) and couldn't function without it. The only real challenge is adopting it if you're already heavily reliant on Apple or Google calendars; there's no easy way to migrate everything.
As for Gold, I maintain that it's optional -- but now that it's down to $19.99 per year, I'd say it's definitely worth it.
Bonus deal: If you're not into the whole music-subscription thing, here's your chance to buy some fantastic tunes on the cheap. Google Play Music is offering a small but noteworthy selection of 99-cent albums, including "The Doors," "The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac" (normally $17!), The Eagles' "Their Greatest Hits," Madonna's "Immaculate Collection," Weezer's "White Album" and Lukas Graham's self-titled debut. Oh, and this little gem.
Bonus deal No. 2: Want to improve your PowerPoint skills? Of course you do, because they can help you improve your chances of landing a job or do better at your current one. For a limited time, Udemy is offering David Murray's PowerPoint 2016 Foundation Training Course for free when you apply coupon code PP2016Foundation. Already know the basics? Grab PowerPoint 2016 Advanced Training Course for free with code PP2016Advanced. Both would normally run you $50.