Monthly Archives: November 2009

Measuring Time

For about a year, I worked in a cinema and my pay was exactly £5 per hour. Soon, over a couple of weeks, I started to develop the habit of measuring time in hours – and then translating that into money.

If I ever received money, I would rejoice at how many hours I would have had to work for it.

If I ever bought anything, I would lament at how many hours I had spent working for it.

Now, I don’t have a job any more, and I’ve recently realised that I’m counting much less. Or rather, I’m measuring time differently.

Instead of spending time, I’ve started to think of it as investing time. I’ve started to think about wasted  time as how much time I could have invested in something. The list never ends. I could invest time in:

– getting fitter

– learning something new

– writing

– developing a skill

– doing something for a good cause

– reading a biography

– meditating

It makes me want to invest all of my time doing something that would benefit me in the long run, instead of spending it on things that I would forget about in a week’s time (like watching TV).

So whenever I am doing something, I should always ask myself am I spending, or investing?

5 Ways To Save Money Buying Books

Reading is one of the best things you can do for your mind. It expands your horizons and takes you to places you can never go. Unfortunately, books can cost a lot of money, especially university textbooks, but here are some ways you can save money.

1. Check the library. If you are only going to read it once, or use it for referencing, then the best thing to do would be to borrow it. Universities usually have an extensive collection of textbooks, especially expensive or rare ones.  If you want to buy to make notes, ask yourself “Will I ever look through these notes again? Are they going to help me improve in anyway?“. If not, then it might just be worth borrowing and then taking a few notes in a separate ‘reading notebook’ instead of the actual book.

2. Check the reviews. If you decide that you need your own copy to keep or make notes in etc. check out the reviews on Amazon, other book review sites first or maybe even ask your lecturer. It might not turn out to be what you want and could end up being a waste of money. You might even find you can eliminate some books on your reading list this way.

3. Shop around. There are so many places that you can buy books there is bound to be a difference in pricing. In general, buying online is cheaper because websites don’t have to pay as much overhead costs, however, you may be able to find things even cheaper in charity shops. Also, some universities do a trade-in scheme for higher years to sell books to lower years at a reduced price. It might be worth it to save a few bucks here and there.

4. Consider re-selling. After you’ve made use of the book, you should consider reselling it if you don’t plan to use it again. This way, you can make some of the money back that you paid for it and somebody else can obtain the book for a fairly low price. This is good for the environment and is good for decluttering your room.

5. Share. Lending books to friends and sharing books around can save all of you a ton of money. Remember to take care of borrowed books. The mutual benefits can be amazing, I can’t tell you how many books I’ve discovered because a course mate, friend or family member recommended it, and because of their kindness, I never had to spend a penny.

What are your tips for saving money on books?