Living a good life with less money: Books

I love reading. When I was young, my parents heavily subsidized my book purchases. So, I formed a habit of buying a ton of books.

When I became a programmer, this started to become more and more costly. Every few days, the postman delivered my books.

When I started to budget and tried to invest money, I noticed that I spent between 100-200 Euros on books every month.

This means 18,000 Euros over ten years. Quite a big sum.

I managed to get my book related expenses down to 20 Euros per month with these tricks. Spoiler: They are obvious — but only in hindsight.

The library

Most of my non-technical books I get from our local library now. It has quite a wonderful assortment of great books. And: Every time I ask for them to buy a new one, they buy it for me.

I enjoy being there. It gives me a sense of community to share all these books with many people.

Used books and selling books

For books that the library doesn’t have, I buy used book over Amazon Marketplace. And after I read them, I sell them.

This makes even expensive books very affordable.

My employer

For work related books, my employer is happy to order them for me. And I can give these books to my colleagues and have them at hand in our company’s library.

Saving is not about sacrifice

So, you see: I still love books. I read as many as before. I enjoy walks to the library — and all the book-loving people there.

I do not have shelf after shelf full of books at home — but that’s fine with me.

I save a ton of money — and still enjoy reading.

These are the kinds of things, you have to watch out for — where you waste money, without improving your life.