• Like a bad penny, debt always turns up…

    unless we change how we interact with money, of course!

    The Bad Penny is dedicated to two pursuits: getting out of debt and staying out of debt! It recognizes that frugality and caring for our planet go hand in hand, and that our unsatiated need for stuff is hurting us in so many ways.

    Easier said than done!


    I am not a finance professional. I write about the world as I know it, and my advice may not be the best course of action for you! Please seek qualified advice for your particular situation.

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New Books!

I excited today – I received two new books in the mail!

One is Living More With Less by Doris Janzen Longacre.  One of my desires is to figure out how to live simply.  I’m simply amazed at how much stuff we amass in our house, even when we are trying not to bring new things in the house.  Hopefully this book will contain some good, practical information that will help me streamline our possessions and let someone else have the things we won’t use or don’t like.

The other one is called The Prosperous Peasant by Tim Clark and Mark Cunningham.  I actually won this one over at the Get Rich Slowly blog.  If you haven’t read what J.D. has to say, you ought to take a look.  He gets into many more technical financial issues than I tend to – things like investing and retirement.  Almost always a very interesting read!

I did want to mention that if you like to read, PaperbackSwap is an excellent resource. That is where I got the first book I mentioned today.  It’s really simple, and it’s basically free!

The basics:

1. You register on the site with a valid mailing address and valid email address.

2. When you post 10 books you would be willing to give to someone else, you will get two free credits.  The books must meet certain requirements – they can’t be written in or missing a front cover, they can’t be in poor condition, but “well-read” is okay.  Individual members may require more – for instance, I have a requirement that there not be an obvious cigarette smell on the book since I have asthma and the smell may exacerbate it.

3. When someone else requests one of the books you’ve listed, you package it and ship it to them.  When you ship it, it takes one of the recipient’s credits away and holds it in “stasis” until the recipient gets the book.  When the book arrives, the recipient marks it as received and you get their credit.

4.  If you find a book you want (and it’s pretty easy to find one!) you request it.  One of your credits is taken and held until you get the book, and you then mark it “received” and the sender gets the credit.

5.  Books are always worth one credit.  Audiobooks are worth 2 credits.

6. The book you want isn’t available?  You can “wish list” it.  The site works on a “first-in, first-out” basis – if you are the 27th person in line, then you will wait until the 27th copy is posted to get the book.  It’s really not too long before you get the book, since there are usually multiple copies floating around!

There are a lot of other features on PaperbackSwap, but I don’t want to mention everything here.  I’ve been on PaperbackSwap for 2 years now, and I’ve saved so much money on books I wanted to buy – and because it’s so cheap (the cost of shipping a book out is usually $2.13) I’ve been able to read books I wouldn’t have bought, but may have gotten from the library.

Speaking of the library, it’s also a great resource, obviously!  My previous library was very small, and the other branches were also small.  They didn’t carry many books in the genres I was interested in.  My local library here in Ohio is actually connected to the Cleveland branches.  Not only do they carry many books that pique my interest, but they can order pretty much any books since they are part of a large city system!

Of course, used books and library books save money, but they also save our houses!  Fewer books reside on my shelves now, and more valuable credits exist in my PaperbackSwap account.  Less clutter, more organization!  And though I’m the type that gasps at the thought of throwing away a book, I know there are people that do it.  Perhaps reusing will keep some books from ending up in the landfills!

It’s going to be -2 degrees tomorrow, and I know our temperatures aren’t unique.  This week will be a great week to snuggle up under a blanket and dive into a great book!


5 Responses

  1. I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    Allen Taylor

  2. Most libraries can do interlibrary loans for books that aren’t in their “local” system. It’s usually pretty inexpensive, a dollar or so. Still trying to get used to the Dutch library system where you have to pay a huge annual fee for library books and then still have to pay to check out certain things… it does still end up being cheaper than buying everything though!

    Paperbackswap is US only, but I do know that BookMooch is worldwide!

  3. “Living More With Less” sound like a book that is just right for the times. There is a magazine where I live that purports to educate one about being “green”, but it is all adds that really just get you to buy more stuff. I hope this book has some real tips and solutions.

  4. I like the premise of Living More With Less as a “Frugal Dad.” I am trying to instill these values in my kids, something made more difficult by the never-ending stream of advertisements they receive.

  5. @Allen – thank you! My posting may be erratic, but I’m enjoying it! It’s really kept me in line! LOL

    @mub – I didn’t know that! Of course, I don’t know if that would have been possible where I lived last – we were living in a small city and the next biggest town was an hour and a half away. It probably was – I shouldn’t have assumed!

    @Avid Book Reader – Skimming through it, I’ve already seen some good stuff. The person who wrote it was Mennonite, so simplicity was a way of life, but she seems to understand the “Yankee” way of collecting stuff, too. I quickly looked through a selection on clothing where she covered not only how to streamline your closet but conquered the attitudes that may surface when one doesn’t have enough clothes, or has too many, including pride and shame of not having new clothes and feeling like you need them. It will be an interesting read!

    @Frugal Dad – The advertisements are the worst! My original career field was to be advertising research – figuring out what persuades people to buy. Thankfully, I never found a job in it, since it’s rather unethical on many levels, but the fascination still continues. If you get a chance, read “Why we Buy: The Science of Shopping” by Paco Underhill. He owns a company that does research in that field and it’s fascinating to realize exactly how planned out every bit of the store is – just in an effort to get you to buy!

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