Have I Learnt Self Restraint?

April 5, 2015 Challenge, Discussion 37

The topic of this month’s Buying Ban Challenge discussion post is all about how we’re going with our bans and how we’re managing to stick to them. I’ve shared tips on surviving a book buying ban before (two years ago!) but there’s one specific thing that’s helping me resist all the pretties this time round.

It’s been just over three months since I started my book buying ban and aside from that splurge we do not mention at Bookfest I haven’t broken it once. This is a record for me I swear! I’ve never had a run this good. Normally I’d still buy a book once every couple of weeks but nope not this time. And it all boils down to one specific thing.


I’m broke.

Really, really broke. And it’s all because of rent and my lack of a job. Uni takes up so much time, I can only really work one day a week during semester. There’s not many places that will hire someone with such limited availability (unless you know them well or something). All money I get from the government is going into paying my rent so I have somewhere close to campus to live. My bank account has dwindled to very concerning levels. Every cent must be saved.

The start of uni also meant I have been way too busy to even think about buying books. That’s a lie, I’m spend a lot of time dreaming about adding books to my shelves when I’m not studying. But I don’t have time to go to bookstores or spend time on Goodreads or online stores and add endless piles of books to my basket. And you can’t really miss what you don’t know about, right?

The other technique I’m using is my money earning scheme. Though to be honest, with the state of my bank account it’s not doing all that much to motivate me right now. Even though I’m slowly earning more money, part of my brain goes “you need to use that for important things and not just books.” I’m guilt tripping myself about my rewards for putting in hard work. Plus I’m being a lot stricter on myself about how much each task is worth so the value is building really slowly. It hasn’t even passed $1 yet.

As the year goes on, I’m fairly certain it’s going to get harder and harder to stick to my ban. While I have no money to spend, there are so many new releases I’m desperate for. I don’t know if I can wait until the end of the year… But I WILL because I have an iron will. I refuse to give in to temptation! 


Are you on a buying ban? How’s it going?
How do you stick to buying bans?


37 Responses to “Have I Learnt Self Restraint?”

  1. Amanda @ Beautiful Bookish Butterflies

    I’ve never gone on a ban for books, more budgets, but I can see the appeal. I think I’d just want all the books while on the ban and it’d defeat the object you know? Currently I have something to save for, but I do save a few £££’s here and there and get digital ones sometimes, but I’m currently in a spot where I have LOADS of books that I own, and I get review copies, and I get and have digital books, and the library which I love, so what’s the point? I’m learning, quickly! Good luck with your ban though Bec!<3
    Amanda @ Beautiful Bookish Butterflies recently posted…Weekly Recap | 30-4 Apr. 2015

    • Bec

      Oh I want all the books, and it’s really hard not to start buying one at a time. But I think if I started that one book would quickly turn into five O_O


  2. Eugenia @ Genie In A Book

    Well done for sticking to your plan Bec! It can be hard to have so much restraint when there are so many books out there which are extremely tempting. Perseverance is the key, and having a good library close by. Good luck with the rest of it :)
    Eugenia @ Genie In A Book recently posted…Genie’s Weekly News (27)

    • Bec

      Thanks! The longer I am on this ban the harder it gets because THERE’S SO MANY GOOD BOOKS COMING OUT

  3. Kendra @ Apocalypse Booked

    Being broke definitely helps me stop buying books. When I was more financially secure I had absolutely no control over how many books I would buy. Now I probably only buy a couple of books a year for myself.
    Congrats on your self restraint! I hope your iron will continues!
    Kendra @ Apocalypse Booked recently posted…Be a Better Blogger: Tags

    • Bec

      Yep! I used to get money and had no responsibilities to pay for so I used to splurge on books all the time. That’s not really an option anymore.

  4. Joy // Joyousreads

    Last night, I spent the better part of it tossing and turning just thinking about how I can sell my books. I have a basement full of them, but I have no idea how to go about it. This was brought on by a sudden urge to simplify and declutter my life; and the fact that I need to start thinking about the future. My job has become the source of stress for me for the last couple of years, and have really been considering quitting.

    I find it interesting that we are at two ends of the spectrum, but the end result is the same: the urgent to curb spending. I’ve never been successful at book bans, but would really like to try it out and see if I can at least save a few dollars every month.
    Joy // Joyousreads recently posted…Hoarders, Books Edition: Episode 143

    • Bec

      You could always advertise on ebay! That’s the only thing I could think of. And where I need to start going to sell some of the books I don’t like/don’t want anymore. But parting with books is almost as hard as not buying them!

      I had to set up a reward/earning system to stop myself buying so many books. And make myself really busy. Nothing else really worked.

  5. Lola

    I am not on an offical buying ban, but just like you I am basically broke and there are more important things I need my money for than books. The only time I bought books was early this year with a gift card I got from my sister, so i am not sure if that counts. Before that it was with money I got from my grandma with which I pre-ordered some books. Luckily I still get enough review copies so I am still getting new books to read. I think having not much money lying around makes it easier to stick to a book buying ban.
    Lola recently posted…Sunday Post #120

    • Bec

      As much as we love and cherish books, other things are way more important. Gift cards are the best! And definitely don’t count because they’re gifts.

      Not having money in your wallet is a big deterrent when you enter a book store.

    • Bec

      It is the biggest struggle! I know some people have a read 2-3 books buy 1 system going which could work for you? I also have a “for every book I read I earn x amount of money towards more books” to budget for books I’ll buy at the end of the year when my ban ends.

  6. Cait @ Paper Fury

    OH THE PAIN IS REAL. I have gone to buy books like, a million times, and have decided not to because…saving money. *glowers at world* I’ve never ever been in a really big book buying habit, but I kind of wish I could. Books make me ridiculously happy. xD And right now my send-back-to-the-library pile is BIGGER than my TBR! *flails* I only have 6 books left. 0_0 (I’m really considering rewarding myself with at least, maybe, possibly….1 book?!)
    Cait @ Paper Fury recently posted…In Which I Proclaim Half Wild (by Sally Green) Is Half Devastating and Half Glorious

    • Bec

      I wish I could have such determination! I suck at saving. My brain doesn’t know how to say no to the precious books.

      You don’t realise how much I admire your small, maintainable TBR pile! Mine wants to kill me. You definitely deserve a reward book (or 10)

  7. Lara

    I’m not on a book buying ban, but in general I just don’t buy many books because I don’t have enough money :/ It sucks, but it means that I get the majority of my books from the library which is alright, but at the same time I’d love to have a house full of books!
    Lara recently posted…I’m Going “Camping” || Camp NaNoWriMo 2015

    • Bec

      Having a house full of books, or at least a house with a big, dedicated library room, is my dream. One day we will be able to afford them all!

  8. ShootingStarsMag

    I do fairly well when it comes to not buying books. I’m not on a ban, but I DO need to be careful when it comes to Kindle books. It’s just so easy to buy with one click. When it comes to physical books, I don’t get to the bookstore a lot and I’d rather buy there than online so that’s helpful. Also, I work in a public library a couple days a week so I try and get books from there when I can.

    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…A Look Back at Blog World (8)

    • Bec

      On the one click buy thing is so dangerous. I never set it up with my amazon account because I tend to have no self control.

      Most books I buy are from the bookdepository because 9 times out of 10 it’s cheaper than Australian stores. I really need to start utilising my library more!

    • Bec

      You always say you’re going on a ban :P I can usually stay of NG and EW but I may or may not have gone on and requested a book or two last week…

      This restraint only exist because I don’t have time or money

  9. Nova @ Out of Time

    I’ve been on a ban since September, I think? I broke it for Hollow City last week but that’s the only book I’ve bought this year… It’s actually a little insane to think that, but it’s true. Since I get books from pubs sometimes, I don’t really think about buying HAHA
    Nova @ Out of Time recently posted…Book Review: The Duff – Kody Keplinger

    • Bec

      Breaking it for one book every now and then is inevitable because there are some books we just have to buy immediately (mine will be The Raven King and Queen of Shadows). But since September?! You’re going SO WELL!

  10. Kirsty-Marie

    On one hand, being broke is really good for your book buying ban, on all the other hands, being broke really sucks. :( So yay for sticking with the ban (Bookfest, library sales, used books, totally don’t count, nope) but nay for not really having a choice. I’m not officially on a ban, but I’m not really buying any books either, I’ve only bought 3 since December because my TBR is out of control.
    Kirsty-Marie recently posted…Review: Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda (THISBOOKTHISBOOKTHISBOOK)

    • Bec

      It is a bit of a double edged sword haha.

      Good luck cutting down that TBR! Mine keeps growing despite my best efforts of not buying any books.

  11. Lucia @Reading Is My Breathing

    You are doing good! As a student it is sooo hard to find extra money for books. I went through it as well couple of years ago. But there is the light at the end of the tunnel, it is not a permanent situation so stay positive.
    And I am not on any strict buying ban at the moment. I just wowed to myself to purchase books I am about to read, no advance buying or book hoarding for me this year!
    Lucia @Reading Is My Breathing recently posted…BLURB LOVE #2

    • Bec

      Haha I’m stuck in this situation for at least another 2.5 years so it’s a long road ahead. But I can’t wait to be earning money and be able to budget my buying habits.

  12. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    YUP^^ being broke as hell certainly does help one stick to a book buying ban. The last two years have taught me that much haha! It helps to look at the bright side of being broke so if it helps to stick to a ban, so be it. But then, the second I have a bit of spare cash, I end up blowing it all on books >.< KEEP IT UP BEC!! */*
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Review: Dealing with Dragons

    • Bec

      I think it’s the only thing that’s eve made me properly stay on track XD

      All my spare cash is going into a savings account for a Macbook! Though sometimes I do spend it on things that aren’t books which isn’t really much better…

  13. Julie

    Yep, being broke is a great way to avoid relapse. With the new baby there are so many new expenses, so buying books is hard to justify. So that’s helped me keep my ban going heh.
    Julie recently posted…Skinwalker Review

    • Bec

      Yeah responsibilities like that make it really hard to justify spending money on something like a book, as amazing as they are. And I imagine babies are a lot more expensive to keep than books!

    • Bec

      Wow that’s a great track record you’ve got going! Review copies are literally the only new books I’ve gotten these past few months.

  14. Terri M., the Director

    It’s amazing what need money for food, rent and bills will do for you in terms of buying/not buying things you want.

    I’ve been doing pretty well. One book purchased with a gift card, but I listened to it immediately. I’ve attended one convention and did not buy a book for myself. I did buy one as a gift for my husband. :)

    Terri M., the Director
    Second Run Reviews
    Terri M., the Director recently posted…In the Spotlight: Kathryn Sullivan, author of The Crystal Throne

    • Bec

      It sort of sucks. I cry a little every time I transfer my rent money and dream of all the books it could buy XD

      Gift cards are acceptable reasons to buy books. They’re only valid for a certain amount of time and are technically gifts. Yeah the only books I’ve bought recently were a massive textbook for uni and then one gift for a friends birthday.

  15. Francine Soleil

    Oh, I totally understand this feeling! Though it seems a lot more difficult for you. If I had the money, I would buy books for you and anyone who wants them, but sadly I’m poor too. Hopefully, things get better once you graduate though. You’ll have more time to earn money. I also haven’t been buying books much because I’ve realized how much I spent on them, and how much I don’t have any savings at all because of them. So I guess that makes it easier to restrain myself. Although I do allow myself to buy some ebooks that go on sale, but I limit it mostly to $3 or less. :P
    Francine Soleil recently posted…Series Review: Mistborn 1-3 by Brandon Sanderson

    • Bec

      Aw thank you! I’d do the same for you :) I can’t wait to get a job just so I can buy books XD Cheap ebooks are great for book buying adults like us!

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