Blogger Confessions: Balancing the Book Budget

Posted January 16, 2013 by Felicia S in Blogger Confession / 44 Comments


Blogger Confessions: Balancing the Book Budget

Blogger Confession: This will be my first real attempt at balancing the book budget against my “want the book” budget!  It is going to be hard!

Reason this needs to be done: Go check out my Goodreads shelves!  They are accurate and not at all exaggerated.  It really is pretty out of control!

My Plan: I am going to lay out my plan so that I can be held accountable.  I will be tracking all my purchases on Goodreads and plan on having a monthly post on how I did! This is very self-indulgent so please feel free to skip over these posts.  I just need to visually call myself out sometimes to really make changes!

  • I can purchase 2 books a month (Either Kindle or Paperback form)
  • I can use my audible credits (2 a month).  So if I hit a 3 for 2 sale score for me but I will not be purchasing additional credits in a month.
  • I can use my Discover a New Love credit every month. (I actually have 2 saved up that will be used at some time too)
  • I can make 1 book club purchase a month.  I had to add this in because I don’t always read the same books my book clubs do.  I have 2 book clubs so this does pose a bit of a problem as they don’t often pick the same book and one of the 2 I run.  However, I did not want to add 2 books to my purchase total.  Sometimes I will have to go strictly for the social aspect or get the book from the library.
  • I can download free books but must track them.
  • I can receive books as gifts or win them but must track them. (This is includes giveaway books from blogs, contests, Library Thing, and Goodreads)
  • I can request/receive no more than 2 (paper or kindle) books per month for review.  Once I am caught up from last years requests I might up that to 3 but right now I need to catch up.
  • I can continue to request Brilliance Audiobooks for review but no more than 5 of those.  I knock these out pretty quickly and audiobooks are something that I adore.
  • I will keep track of total dollars spent on all book related activities: dinners for book clubs, conventions, book related expenses, ect.

Potentially that means a total of 13 books a month that I can add to my shelves.  I tend to read about 15 to 20 books a month.  It means I am not chipping away at my TBR as much as I would like BUT it does mean that I can reevaluate down the line to see if I could cut more.  It may also spur me to read more during a month which isn’t a bad thing.

Have you ever had to do the balancing the book budget dance?  If so, how did you pull it off?

Felicia S
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44 responses to “Blogger Confessions: Balancing the Book Budget

  1. I don’t have a problem buying books as much as I have a problem with accepting too many review requests. There were a couple things that you mentioned that caught my attention. First… you request audiobooks for review? I didn’t know you could do that. I guess it makes sense. How does that work? Second… I can’t get the audible thing figured out. Don’t you have a limited number of credits each month? There’s an option to purchase more? Gah! The things I don’t know…

    • You can! I am on Brilliance Audio and Simon/Schuster audiobook list. I emailed them asking if they had an audio list and if I could be put on it. I thought what the heck give a try and it worked. I don’t think there are a lot of audio reviewers out there so I think if you ask, they will put you on it. Audible does an extra credit sale about every other month. I was usually purchasing extra credits every time that sale popped up. I think last year I ended up purchasing 24 extra credits or something like that. 🙂 Half Price books also has amazing sales on their audiobooks occasionally, it is something to keep an eye out for 🙂

  2. aurian

    I will be cheering you on Felicia! I thought I could handle a book budget my self, as I so need to tackle that TBR! But well, there were so many secondhand paranormal series right after the new year, and those were on my wishlist for so long, and I just had to buy them. So my resolution did not last a week. Of course, I should just stay away from those secondhand book sites, but when I feel bad, I need book retail therapy.
    Looking forward to your progress reports.

  3. Yikes! You weren’t kidding about that TBR list. Mine looks about the same without the review books book blog obligations that you have. I enjoy just being a reader and that’s been more than enough pressure in itself. lol I don’t know how ya’ll do it. I use goodreads too to track my purchases (whether purchased or the freebies) of all the ebooks, audiobooks, paperbacks/hardbacks and giveaway wins. I had done this late last year for it was driving me NUTS! It was SO disorganized! It took quite a while to do but it’s so much more organized now. I’ve promised myself to have to keep on top of it (at least once a month) and not let it get out or control again. Though Amazon freebies really do add up! It’s a rarity for me to purchase a book that isn’t on sale with the exception of my membership 2 credits books. I’m almost always waiting on most new releases that will not be audiobooks purchases. They will always go on sale eventually whether (ebook, audiobook or MMP) so I’ll save that full price money on all of them. Good luck Felicia! You can do it!

    • I know, right? That whole getting it into goodreads was a freaking whip. It took me weeks but you are also right that I feel much more organized after doing it 🙂

      I am actually scaling back on review books. I don’t think I enjoy the book as much if there is pressure to read it. That isn’t fair to the author or the book. Plus, there have been times where the pressure has been a little too much and I have had to send a note to the publisher saying I just can’t get to it right now. I don’t really like doing it but I will to keep blogging fun 🙂

  4. I’m already shot my book buying goal for 2013. LOL
    I told myself I can only buy 1 new book for every 10 I read off my TBR pile (books I already own). But I found some cheap deals on ebooks and bought some…..I’ll do better in the future.

    I have 9 credits leftover from renewing my membership at the end of 2012 so that should fix my new release buying for my audio series I’ve already started.

    I plan to save $ in 2013 by using my library more for ebooks and audios as well.

    We’ll see how that goes.

    Maybe I should start a book buying spreadsheet to see how much $ I spend this year.

    • I think it will be interesting to see how much I spend this year compared to years past. I have always known the dollar amounts I have spent but I didn’t quite keep up with the books. Now that I have got it all together it should be easier (I will stay on top of it, I will stay on top of it)

      It is hard to pass up sales. I am waiting for that test! I am hoping I can refrain but we will see LOL

  5. Jennifer

    I laugh in the face of book budgets!

    I totally see the need for them. Taking the survey from Wendy Darling’s site really opened my eyes to ow much I spent last year. Considering we are given books for free…well, I believe in supporting authors and the reading community, but holy crap. I spent too much. I look forward to these posts. 🙂

    • LOL 🙂

      I laughed at the face of them too!

      I don’t think yours was to far out of control but it is hard to see that dollar amount. I think I was feeling obligated to make purchases to support authors but really I need to support my bottom line first LOL

  6. Oh dear… I’m afraid “budgeting” isn’t my strong suit in ANY aspect of my life. Hubs does all the bill paying and saving and whatnot. I spend. Lol

    Fabulous plan dollface!!! Good luck!!!!

    • I need a hubby so that they can deal with the budgeting. I would totally hand that part over in a heartbeat 🙂 I am dead serious–it is probably my least favorite thing to do! It is how I got to the place where I need a budget.

  7. A few years ago I gave myself a $100 a month book budget. That was before I started getting review books, and before I found used book store. It was tough to stay in those parameters. Now with the blog & review books I find $ wise it is easier now, but working in those pleasure reads is impossible for me.

    Good luck with your book budget.

    We are about to start construction on the spare bedroom/office/library. At that point I’m gonna tackle the what books I own and just how out of control the TBR truly is.

    • It sounds like you are having time budget issues. I have those too 🙂 The call of the siren for the new shiny review books is often hard to resist. Hopefully with the help you are getting on your blog you will be able to sneak more of the pleasure reads in! I know you must have a stack a mile-high to get too!

      I can’t wait to hear about your physical TBR! Also I want to hear how the room turns out 🙂

  8. I thought I was doing gone when it came to buying books because I stopped going to the bookstore so much but then my Amazon bill came in. Yikes! I forget sometimes how easy it is to buy things from there, especially ebooks. It’s one of those store credit cards so I can’t detach it from my account. It has taken a lot of will power but I haven’t purchased anything for the past month from the site, except for when I got GCs for Christmas 😀

    • Amazon books are so sneaky plus I honestly forget I have some then buy the paper copy (from freaking amazon). I think now that they are all in goodreads I will check before buying anything. That will also make me stop and think—which is something I am trying to implement in other areas of my life.

      GC purchases don’t count 🙂 GCs are for those purchases that we held off making with our own money so right now you are my ROCK STAR!

  9. Look at you go! 2013 is going to be your year! I don’t think I have the restraint to put myself on a book buying budget. I’ll be rooting for you!

    • Thanks! Don’t be surprised if I come to book club having not read the book though LOL! I will only get to pick one out of all the choices unless I use my buying power from another spot for them. That is where I think I will be failing at (book club not purchasing).

  10. You…you’re so much better than me. I’m of the greedy-I-want-it-so-I-shall-have-it mindset, though that really needs to change, considering I’m wanting to stick a lot more money in my savings account so I can travel to far away places and not have to stay in crappy hotels or hostels. Perhaps I should reconsider my book buying strategy, especially considering I’ve got a TBR pile that’s threatening to overwhelm me (figuratively right now, since I’m up to like six pages of books listed on my little Kindle…).

    Good luck! *hugs to you, Budgeteer!*

    • I want to travel too! Also I would like (since I am single) to have a “in case I lose my job” nest egg. It is not something I have actively planned for in the past and would like it in place. I am not losing my job anytime that I am aware of (knock on wood) but I would like to just not have “panic attack” if it happens!


  11. I’d say include your book club purchase with the 2 books a month you are allowing yourself. You have over 1500 books in your To Read pile, and I am willing to bet at least half of them are darn good books. Instead of continuing to add to the pile, read what you’ve got. 😉

    Of course, I’m talking through my a$$ right now because I’m addicted to buying books too! LOL

    Good luck, Flea!

    • I thought about doing that but then I would NEVER buy the book club book 🙂 I am using the 2 purchases a month to fill in series that I have started reading again. So I know I would skip book club purchases all together. Between the two bookclubs they pick 6 books so I limited it to 1 book choice. I figure one will speak to me more than others 🙂

      I imagine that most of my purchases will be series related and probably even older books. The good news is my mom is in book club too so she can read them also. I am still torn though. It will take a book really reaching out and say try me to get me to buy it for book club. Otherwise, I am just going to be social 🙂

      I figure if I can cut my book budget by 3/4 then I am way ahead 🙂 The dollars count too. This month one of my 2 purchases was only a 1.99. We will see, we will see. I think I can do it and even trim further in the year. I wanted to give myself a little room in the beginning because I didn’t want to feel suffocated 🙂 I think that is why I have failed in the past (to much pressure to soon). It helps that I started Dave Ramsey up too. I am back to living on a budget PERIOD!

      Sorry that was a long response LOL

  12. Such a great plan. I do need to keep track of my winnings and freebies much better. I’ve been good the biggest purchase lately has been $2.99 so I won’t buy anything that isn’t on sale. Even if I really want a book and have saved for it, my deal with myself is that I have to find it somewhere on discout (shipping included if online).

  13. Holy shizz, woman. You have some serious book reading in front of you! Good luck with the book budget! GOOD LUCK!

    (PS: I tried to add you as a friend on GR, but it’s kinda being an ass right now, so I either tried to add you three times or I didn’t add you at all. I DON’T KNOW!)

  14. WOW your TBR on Goodreads is….well, just WOW. LOL I love your goals though and some of those I need to try myself!

    Good luck girl! And here’s to all of us GEEKs *NOT* going over budget this year!

  15. Amy

    The total bans never work. Last year I tried to stay around $30 a month. I worked after school & was paid $30 an hour & figured I owed myself at least 1 hours joy for that work.

    This year I’m trying to be a little tighter, especially when I take HPB field trips. I really should update my wardrobe a bit. It would not be pretty if I showed up to work wearing books. So I need to trade on expense for the other. Me & Ross are getting really acquainted.

    • TOTALLY AGREE! I think that is where I failed in the pass. I didn’t give myself any freedom to just say yes. This gives me limits but still allows me to look forward to a book and buy it! 🙂

      Oh I am so not a fashionita LOL I buy a pair of dress pants I like and then go buy every single color they have in it. I am such a sweater, dress pants, dress boots girl during the winter 🙂 I look the same most of the time LOL

      • Amy

        Fashionista & ME mentioned in the same breath makes me laugh. I did the same thing with my corderoy pants last year. This year I’ve been wearing the same pants every other day with my converse. My administrators cringe when they walk in my room. So I figure I should get a little something everyone in a while to build me a fake professional wardrobe. I HATE the clothes shop for so many reasons. I LOVE to book shop.

  16. I am glad to see you doing these posts again. I went through the other day and penciled in all the books I have for review and it booked up my blog completely through May and then one day a week through September. It is a lot I have to get through but it will be freeing to get rid of the commitments. I am not having a problem buying books these days because I know I won’t get to read them with all the stuff I promised to read so at least that is a plus. I know we can do this and by the end of the year we will have taken charge!

    • It will work and it gives me permission to add to my bookshelves if I am just dying to get a book. I am totally only using my purchase spots for things I REALLY want 🙂