The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Local Library Edition

People often ask me how I can afford all of the printed material that I discuss on this site. The secret is my local library – I visit it three or four times a week and usually have several books checked out at once. Without that resource, I wouldn’t have been able to educate myself on personal finance or be able to do the research that this site requires. The internet can help with some aspects, but it’s hard to beat the resources at your local library.

Frugal, Or Just Plain Wrong? I think there’s a mix in there, actually; most of the things are wrong, but some of them are just fine. Like, if I go into a bookstore, buy a coffee, and spend a half an hour flipping through some magazines while drinking the latte, I don’t see any problem with it at all and neither do most bookstores – my local Borders basically encourages it. On the other hand, buying one movie ticket, going through the gate, and watching three movies is wrong because you’re consuming something you didn’t pay for. (@ wise bread)

Eco-Friendly Energy Savings This is a great compilation of green tips that save money, too. I’ve talked about several of these in the past, but it’s great to see a good collection of them all in one place. (@ five cent nickel)

Automate Your Income To Simplify Your Life Want to read most of the content of David Bach’s The Automatic Millionaire in one place (with a few more good tips to boot)? This is the place. (@ zen habits)

The Simple Dollar Retro: Personal Finance For College Students: Ten Tips For Realistic Money Management In College – Without The Nonsense This is among my favorite posts; I wish I had this sense when I was in college, but I’m not far enough away to forget what it was like.

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  1. Eric says:

    I’ve actually argued with people that think pirating all their media is “frugal”. I try and point out the errors in logic, but most of the time it’s useless.

    Lying, cheating, and stealing are only cheap if you don’t count the external costs of those actions that can include loosing your job, getting arrested, and the general suffering that you inflict from your actions.

  2. hibryd says:

    Having worked at a Borders, I take issues with the flipping through a magazine while enjoying coffee. Corporate encourages it (probably because they figure a browse-friendly atmosphere is the only weapon they have against, but it enrages the staff because 1) it damages the books and magazines, meaning we have to go though all the work of taking them out of inventory, and 2) we have to clean up after customers who are too lazy to put their own items back. After a store closes all the loose stuff from around the store is centralized and then re-shelved; it took a staff of a dozen a full hour to do this every single night. When did people start confusing book stores with libraries?

  3. Alex says:

    The advice to college students not to get a credit card is bad advice. This will only leave them without a credit history when they graduate and are trying to begin their adult lives.

    The better advice would be to get a credit card with a low limit and use it responsibly.

  4. Monica says:

    Yay for libraries! Just a few reminders to anyone who isn’t a regular library user:

    1) Most libraries will welcome book suggestions (often there is a form on their website for this). Mine has never turned down a single suggestion (and I make about 2 per month).

    2) If your library doesn’t have it, they can probably get it for you through a magical process called Interlibrary Loan.

    3) Many public libraries have DVD and music collections! Sometimes they only get documentary films, but mine buys a ton of feature films too. (Unfortunately they don’t buy TV series.) The CD collection is also great (my old library would only buy classical and jazz though).

    4) If the book (or DVD) is out, you can reserve it and you will be notified when it’s your turn.

    5) Some libraries lend non-current issues of magazines. Definitely you can go there to read magazines.

  5. Shhted says:

    Another favorite is half dot com. If you’re looking for media but don’t want to pay full cover price, buy it used on half dot com. I do this for textbooks and all sorts of items.

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