Saturday, March 3, 2018

Monthly Book Budget Update #2

{February has come and gone, so it's time for another budget update to help keep myself accountable. Update #1 is here.}

Well, in February, I blew through most of my budget on the first of the month. I had Amazon points and a Book Outlet reward, so I placed an order on each site and both exceeded my "freebie" amounts. This left me with just $2.72 to spend when later that day I went to cancel Audible and was offered $7.49/month for 3 months if I kept my account open -- and I wasn't passing that deal up! I toyed with the idea of not *counting* it, but decided I'm better off counting everything I said I would (gifts/donations being the only exceptions that cost me anything). That way, I'll know exactly how much I went over by when making any future budgeting plans. So I kept my Audible account open and my budget dipped into the red at -$4.77.

For a while after that, I was really enjoying the freedom of a spent budget. If that sounds a bit contradictory, hear me out for a second. Whitney over @theunreadshelf on Instagram talked in one of her stories last month about how putting a limit on when she allows herself to buy books (her birthday, library sale, etc.) for #theunreadshelfproject2018 she's hosting takes away the stress of decision-making. She's not spending time and energy debating the should I, shouldn't I? of book browsing, shopping, etc. because she already knows the answer: I'm just not buying books!

So I was sitting happily in that negative budget, just not buying books, when the Newbery and all the other ALA Youth Media Awards were announced. And I still get email offers. Annnnnnd they were running a 3/$30 teen book sale. So I looked. And 4 winner/honor books I was eyeing were on sale. And I splurged. Award month is not a good month for me to be on a budget!

I was feeling OK with this decision and I didn't waste a lot of time agonizing over it. These awards only happen once a year and I wouldn't be likely to find these hardcovers for $10 each again. (Excuses, excuses I know!) So I placed the order and went back to "just not buying" books -- sort of. I bought two books for a Valentine's Day gift and was charged for a book I ordered at a huge price drop in December that finally was back in stock. I'm pretty sure that one will be an Easter gift though, so it also falls in the "gifts don't count" category.

I should have been more than done for the month, but with two days left in February I ventured to our local used bookstore with a stack of trade-ins and who was I kidding to think I wouldn't leave with books for my son and I? I got to go on this trip solo too, so I had plenty of time to browse and the combination of used books and supporting a local business gets me every time. Let's just say I'm glad I get to start over for March!

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How are your 2018 goals going so far?


  1. Every book is a good investment! (Especially those award winners.) I hope March will be better for you, but I hope you don't guilt yourself too much about your purchases. I know you are a very careful book buyer, and everything will be read and enjoyed (eventually)! :)

    1. That's a really good way of thinking about it -- I'll have to remember that! I like to think I'm careful...but sometimes I'm not so sure! Recently logging my unread books has really been making me wonder!

  2. March is a brand new month! :D


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