Saturday, February 14, 2009

Budget Cuts :(

All right, this is going to be a bit of a rant, so bear with me...

As many of you know, I buy a lot of books. A lot. Part of it is because I don't have much of a choice if I want to read romance novels in English. Another reason is that's just part of my personality. I like to own things that I like, collect them.

Quite frankly, yes, the amount of money I spend on books is quite considerable, but it's my choice. Books are pretty much my only expense. Beside books, the only thing I can think of is food - I eat out a lot and have difficulty resisting buying snacks to complement my lunch. I go out with my friends perhaps once every two weeks... but it's not like we're doing anything special... Again, just more eating and hanging out... So yeah, besides books, my life is pretty boring.

Thing is, yes books are my only expense, but my initial salary is not very high either. Oh I can manage just fine and it helps that I don't have much bills to pay or a family to support. However, with the economy being what it is... Well, let just say I got a complaint from my mom yesterday when she found two packages from Indigo in the mailbox ^_^;

My parents would like for me to buy less books and save a bit more money... and I totally understand what they're saying... I have to admit I'm not saving much money from each paycheck (I give my parents half my salary for living expenses)... but buying less books? I've tried to limit myself in the past, either with a budget or a list, and it just doesn't work. I have no will power... Add to that I'm an impulsive buyer, especially when I need cheering up ^_^; If it's not new books, then there's always UBS ^_^; Then, there's manga also - although, that's going well because I have completed many series...

So what to do? LOL - eat less comes to mind! That might help me lose some weight :P

Probably doesn't help that I have a few trips to the bookstore planned for the afternoon right? I have to go to the UBS to pick up a book that they put aside for me. Plus, I have a few 25%-off coupons on ONE item only valid today. I guess if I'm still going to buy books, it's good that I'm able to save more than usual on them, right? Right?

Also, I was trying to gauge what were the new releases in the upcoming years and how many were going on my TBB list. Of course, the list is probably incomplete, because you're never sure of what is coming out till it comes out... anyway, while making that list, I realized that the CDN prices for books had increased :( Booooo. Seems like publishing houses have re-adjust the CDN prices of books based on the de-valuation of the $CDN and let me say, it sucks! Seems like the changes of prices are going to start in April. Sigh, I understand why they're doing it... but still T_T Guess I can only hope that the $CDN will go up again in the next few months and that the prices will drop down again.

Oh! By the way, Happy Valentine's Day!
Sorry to troubling you my troubles...


  1. I get negative comments from my mother too. But I am like you - books are my only passion - well that and cross stitch - but I alternate between the two - if I am buying cross stitch stuff - then I limit my book buying and the other way around.

    So, go ahead and rant - I am right there with ya!!!

  2. Budgeting & books somehow never seem to mesh well, do they? They seem like oil & water. I too struggle with book budgeting, so you're not alone!

  3. I used to spend a lot more on books than I do now. It was really hard for me to budget myself, but when I lost my job I didn't have much choice. Same for eating out. I only eat out once or twice a month now. But then I had a huge book budget before, so even with the cutbacks I still have quite a bit to spend. That helps.

    If it comes down to it, though, I'll go without food before I'll go without books. LOL

  4. Happy Valentines Day to you Nath!

    I've been thinking for a while now that I need to cut back on my book buying. I have a huge TBR pile so I'm not w/o something to read. I just can't seem to help myself when it comes to buying books. I am running out of spaces to hide them so that might be a deciding factor. :)

  5. I feel your pain, Nath!

    When my work hours were cut last year, one way I economized on my book buying was to sell my "non-keeper" books on My husband now has me doing that with his CDs that he no longer wants. lol

    Also, if I can, I get books from my local libraries, before buying.

    Hang in there! :-)

  6. Awwww. I'm sorry. It totally sucks to have to economize. I'm kind of in that boat right now, too. But I also have no willpower, just like you. I joined Paperback Swap, which has really helped both clear out space on the shelves and get books for free. When a new book is coming out, I just put it on my wishlist, and as soon as somebody lists it, it automatically pulls up my name.

  7. How about a compromise? Try saving 10-15% of your salary each pay period, and then the rest you use for fun. That way you are able to spend money on the things you love while also setting aside money for the future. Sign up for an online savings account like an Orange Savings account at ING direct, and have the money automatically deducted from your pay. That way the money is gone before you can spend it, and eventually you get use to not having that money.

    Also, have you tried using book swapping sites? I use PaperBackSwap all the time and it has helped me save a lot of money. Book Mooch is another book swapping site. I haven’t used it but I believe it is international (unlike PBS).

  8. Kara - Parents, they just don't understand ^_^; ... LOL :)

    Bookwormom - No, they don't. I guess budget and hobbies just don't go together :) I'm glad not to be alone :)

    Holly - Awww, Holly :( I'm so sorry you still didn't find a job :( Yeah, I think in a situation where I wouldn't have any income, I would have to really cut back as well. Probably not even buy books ^_^; Have to say, I'm glad I'm not at that stage... and yeah, definitively would go without food before books LOL :P

    Leslie - Happy Valentine's Day :)

    Yeah, I have a good-sized TBR pile... but I don't know... just can't help getting the newer, shinier books LOL :) What are you going to do about the lack of space?

    Renee - LOL, you're new to my blog, so you've never read my rants about my local libraries... let just say that they're not the best options :(

    Selling the non-keepers would definitively be a good thing... I just don't know how to go around it.

    Lori - Ugh, sucks to be weak, right, Lori? LOL :) I thiink it would help if I even had a friend that read romance, so I could swap with that person... sigh.

    Paperback Swap is not an option for me, as it doesn't include Canada. What's great in the US about shipping is that the price is fixed for anywhere in the States for a particular size up to a specific weight... that helps tremendously. If it was the same in canada, I could start my own paperswap... problem is that it isn't :(

    DC - Hey girl!! Nice to hear from you :)

    I do think that I save at least 10 to 15% of my salary... thing is, I need to save more. I guess I should look into opening a new saving account... I'm just lazy and wary about fees and so on.

    See, shipping internationally, want it or not, it's expensive ^_^;

  9. Yep, feel ya big time.

    1. Open a PC (do you have that where you are?) account - no fees and you can slide money into it no problem. I have one that I put Bob's spare change into. After a year a thousand bucks can be saved up and no fees works. Just don't look for interest ;)

    2. When I am pulling in a salary I am crazy with books. Couple hundred bucks a month easy. When I'm not working (which is most of the time) I buy almost nothing except my auto buy authors (literally a few books over months). I'm to the point where I'm too cheap to buy HC anymore (but only when I'm not working and that's the case now)

    3. I'm a book snob. I don't know why I became this way because I used to borrow from the library all the time but now I can't read a book that has been read by someone else. I will lend out books to my friends but then I'll buy another copy to read. Crazy! I'm trying to stop that because it is a waste of money and not all books are keepers. I just lent two books to my BF who is a smoker (!!!!!) and bloody hell if she didn't lend them out to someone else! Last time she borrows books from me - I'll just buy her copies ;)

    4. Having someone looking over your shoulder is hard. I know parents are always trying to look out for us but sometimes you just want to say 'enough'. It's not like you are out clubbing or drinking all hours of the night. And when you can be thrifty you are.

    5. Pricing on books in Canadian dollars makes me want to clobber somebody!

    Happy Belated V-day

  10. I have a book budget. It might not always look like it but it's there somewhere. Like you, if I want to read books in English, I need to buy them. Also, I want to own them.

    I can get English books from the library but except a few Nora Roberts and a few chick lit novels - nothing in my preferred reading genre. :(

    And those coupons, like the two Valentine's Day coupons I had, always get to me no matter what my budget says. :)

    Long story short: I understand your "rant." :)

  11. So it took the booksellers in Canada FOREVER to bring down the price of books based on the argument that these were purchased before the dollar went up, but they will be quicker to increase the price. Surprise! Surprise!

    I, like you, have trouble resisting books. My problem is that my local library doesn't get many of the books I want to read, either in romance or mystery, so if I want them, I have to buy them. The books are so strong and I am so weak.

  12. Cindy - :D

    1. I'm so clueless about banking stuff, it's not funny. I guess I should look into it. LOL, I doubt that I'll get a 1000$ with my spare change though :P

    2. Yeah, I have to say, I've been buying a lot more of books since I started working... but then again, I've been reading more as well. I buy HC only from specific authors... but I get what you're saying. Luckily, I still have a job :)

    3. LOL, that is expensive!! I'm lucky, not many of my friends read, so I don't have to lend out books very often. The books I lend out anyway, I usually have two copies... because they're all my favorite ^_^; Although yeah, buying second copies, I have to stop doing that ^_^;

    4. I know they have my best interest in mind... I get that and I know I should save more... but it's hard ^_^; Ah well...

    5. Yeah, I agree. Well, all you can wish is for the canadian dollar value to increase as fast as possible ;)

    How did you spend Valentine's Day?

    Taja - I'm really bad with budget and I don't know which amount would be a good one. I think the trick is to limit my shopping spree. Have some rules.

    Hey, if you can save money when buying books, then I say, go for it :D

    Caro - Well we have to make a difference. Bookstores are not the one to set the prices... that's the publishing houses' job. Bookstores simply follow the prices that the publishing houses imposed. Hard to blame them.

    same story for me about the libraries. If they get a book I want, then it takes them an eternity to process it. Much faster for me to go out and buy it instead.

  13. Hey Nath,

    Thanks for sharing your rant. ;) I understand. And if you think CDN book prices are insane, wait till you see what the Malaysian prices are. Anyway, if you're going to set a budget for your book-buying, I wish you every success and ultra-strong willpower. :) You shall conquer!

  14. I think everyone is paring back it's just a sign of the times. Also, I'm trying to be very selective about what I buy and not go over my budget either. Just can't.

    One thing about saving I would suggest, treat your savings like it's a bill you have to pay. Do you have plan at work where they will take the money directly out of your paycheck before you get it? We have plans like that in the States. That way you never see the money and just learn to live without it. But in the meantime you have a nest egg growing somewhere. Just a thought.

    From your comments it looks like a lot of readers are having to rethink their spending habits these days. No wonder the pub world is having problems.

  15. Jace - Yeah, I can imagine how the prices must be in Malaysia! Thanks for your wishes :P I shall conquer!!

    Rosie - Actually, the economy in Canada is not doing so bad... especially in Quebec province. It's actually still going very strong.

    I think I just have to pay more attention at how much I spend. Sets limits... :P