Library Savings and the Millionaire Calculator

The Fiction Addiction

How do you save money?

I started reading Abby’s blog, IPickUpPennies, for personal finance advice back in 2008, during my first once-in-a-lifetime recession. She writes about regularly recording her daily spending, in order to see what can be cut and what's really essential. Carefully tracking spending, especially with a finance calculator to help, can be good for all of our finances.

Personally, I save some money by not buying all the books I read. You probably already know I love our local library, and I try to get most of my books and ebooks from the library. Some libraries print how much patrons have saved by borrowing books. I think this is such a cool idea, I wish my local library did that. The Wichita Public Library says:

So far this year, the highest dollar amount saved by a customer's account is $64,734.12. And the highest dollar amount saved by a customer's account since this feature was implemented is $196,076.21.

“One customer was impressed that she had saved $2,500,” said Kristi Dowell, library manager, Wichita Public Library. “Another customer commented that she already knew what a good deal the Library was.”

I don't think I've read an impressive $64K of books in a year, but I wouldn't be surprised if mine was $1K+. Using the library does mean waiting for new releases and really popular books, though. But with ebooks, I get emails saying my hold is ready and I can download it right away, so there's finally some good email. This is an easy and accessible way to save a little money.

Have you guys seen the Millionaire Calculator? This is tell you how long and how much you'll have to save to be a millionaire. Even if you're not close at all, it shows your savings and savings rate in a fun way.I’ve blogged before about how the usual boomer financial advice about skipping lattes or whatever, in order to buy a house just doesn’t work. This Marketplace article breaks down how many decades of skipped lattes and avocado toasts you'd need to make a down payment.

Elizabeth Renter, a data analyst for NerdWallet, crunched the numbers on exactly how many slices of avocado toast and lattes it would take to afford a downpayment on a home.

Let’s say a slice of avocado toast cost $12 and a latte cost $4. If you had to put a 20% down payment on a median-priced home of $313,200, you would need to forgo 5,220 avocado toasts or 15,660 lattes.

If you eat avocado toast three times a week, it would take you over 33 years to save up for your downpayment. If you drink five lattes per week, it would take you over 60 years.

The memoirs Maid (now a Netflix show, too) and Hand To Mouth discuss the incredible difficulties of surviving on minimum wage, and the massive gap between the occasional, small enjoyments for their families and the amount of savings and assets needed to escape long-term poverty.That doesn't mean going crazy on small luxuries or Amazon shopping, but looking at overall expenses can be better than making small economies. Skipping a treat doesn't save as much as switching to a cheaper phone plan or refinancing to reduce a car payment, and paying out less every single month. Riskology describes a strategy to save 25% on monthly bills, which adds up to a lot of avocado toast or books or long-term term savings.

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Always reading, usually book blogging.

Boston, MA

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