My Guilty Pleasure (Plus How Much I Spend on It Every Month)


Every girl has her “thing.” Some ladies like to get their nails down every week or every other week. Others like to have their hair professional cut and dyed. Me? I really just like books. Like every “guilty pleasure” though, it costs us money. So, I decided to sit down and see exactly how much I spend on books every month.

My ‘Clever’ Husband Noted My Books in a Recent Post

If you didn’t know, my husband is the Clever Dude. Recently, he posted a blog about how much hobbies cost and mentioned my “book habit.” Here’s what he had to say…

She’d happily run away with the beast from Beauty and the Beast just for a chance to get a minute in that library.

Folks, he’s not wrong. I really do love books. There is a line in my budget for Audible/Amazon/books. However, as with anyone trying to improve their finances, I read my husband’s post and decided to take a look at how much my book addiction costs me annually. Drew estimated the cost to be about $100 total, which would mean I’m spending $1,200 per year on books.

As great as that sounds, I don’t have a book collection surrounding me in my office right now. So, how much am I really spending on books?

So, How Much Does My Book Habit Really Cost?

Honestly, it varies from month to month so much. Sure, there have been months where I spent more than others. I’ll come home with a stack of books from the store one month and only use my Audible credit the next. When it comes to solid monthly costs I spend $25 monthly on Amazon book services (Audible and Kindle Unlimited). That equates to about $300 per year on digital books alone.

When it comes to physical books on my shelf, I have plenty. But, as Ariel from The Little Mermaid sang at the top of her lungs, I WANT MORE! Most of my collection is paperback, so they don’t cost as much as their hardcover counterparts. I also buy all of my books secondhand using ThriftBooks or the fantastic used bookstores around me. There are people that will buy a book new, read it once, and sell it back to the store. Most of the reads on my shelf cost between $3 and $25.

At the end of the day, my annual spending on books probably lands closer to $1,000 in total. Of course, I have others hobbies, but most of them are relatively frugal. I have a lot of plants in my home, but most were gifts and caring for them isn’t too expensive. Yoga, hiking, and kayaking are all things I’m passionate about too. Each of these things doesn’t cost a ton of money though.

When you combine all of those activities, I probably am spending about $900 annually. There are some folks in the debt-free community that wouldn’t spend a penny on new books until their debt is paid off. I think life is worth living, experiencing, and enjoying though. So, there will always be a line in my budget for my hobbies.

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