How I Plan to Save Money on Books/Bookish Goodies: Quarterly Report #1

It’s the end of March, I’m finally done with my finances for 2017 and to say I was a little angry with myself for the amount I spent (in total) on books and book boxes is an understatement.

Here’s my 2017 Totals:

  • $226 on books which averages to about $18 a month
  • $637 on book boxes which averages about $53 a month

Total Spent: $863

This got me thinking, how can I save money when it comes to this stuff? My book spending wasn’t really that bad but to be honest it’s only because I received so many gift cards or books last year, otherwise that $226 would have been a lot higher.

Anyway, I decided that quarterly, I’d write up a post on how I’m doing with my buying of books and book boxes, and explain how I’m keeping to my budget.


Why I’m doing this budget:

Well to start, I’ve noticed that my book boxes aren’t really as great anymore as initially. On top of that, I don’t have space for some of the things that I’ve received so that adds another element. I also want to make sure I have money to do other things like travel. I’m not too concerned about buying books it’s more the book boxes, but I’m going to set a goal for myself on both.

So What’s The Goal:

The goal is pretty simple, I want to decrease my spending in both areas by 10% over the year. That means $204 in books and $573 in book boxes, which would be an overall of $777 rather than $863. I mean let’s be honest, I have to start small. If I go over that then I’ll have to reconsider what I’m trying to do. I’ve also decided that it’s okay if I spend more than $204 in books but less than $573 in book boxes, as long as I’m close to the $777.

Quarterly Goal: $194

How I Plan To Accomplish This:

I’m no longer doing 3-month subscriptions to book boxes. While this could in fact cost me more in the long run, I’m hoping that by being able to skip months it won’t. I will only be getting book boxes that sound really interesting to me. So far, it’s working — I don’t have any book boxes coming in April.

On the book side of things, I plan to pre-order books when I see them at their lowest price on Amazon. I’m doing this because Amazon has a Price Guarantee — so say I pre-order a book for $13 and it goes up $15, I’m locked in on the $13. Also, through Amazon, I’m hoping to use 5% cash back so that I can apply it to future books that I want.

Another way to save some money is through paperbackswap. Basically, I trade books I don’t want, pay to ship them (roughly $3) and then I receive a credit to choose another book (roughly $0.50). This isn’t always the greatest but some days I’m really happy I did this.

On a silly note, sometimes I sell clothes I no longer wear. When I do this, I tend to use that money toward books. I’ve also sold some bookish items in the past — I’m going to try and keep track of that as well, it might negate my overall spending 🙂 When I do this, it will be deducted from my spending, so say I spent $20 on books but sold clothes for $10, I only spent $10 on books. I’m doing this because it’s money I basically swapped rather than using from my actual budget.

My 2018 Quarter 1 Haul

Books Bought Included:

  • Daughter of a Siren Queen
  • Those Who Save Us
  • Sarah’s Key
  • Orphan Train
  • Still Me
  • The Great Alone
  • Rainbirds

Quarterly Expenses:

  • Book Box Spending: $142.65 on average $47.55 a month
  • Book Spending: $29.64 average of $9.88 a month.

Total Spent: $172.29, which is approximately $21.96 under quarterly budget.

I’m pretty happy with my first quarter of 2018. I know I have a lot of books coming in the second quarter, but at the same time, I should be under on the book boxes.

Do any of you track what you’re spending on books and book boxes? If so, how do you make the necessary changes so your wallet doesn’t hate you? Do you get a lot of books from the library? Garage sales? Comment below!

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