One Reason eReaders Could Bust Your Budget
I’ve talked about eBooks and paper books a lot on here. Many of you might know that I’m a traditional book guy—and I won’t badger you for liking eBooks, but they simply aren’t for me at this point in my life.
With that, I thought this article from Mint does a great job of diving into the economics of e-readers versus paper books.
We all know about cost. E-readers these days can be pretty cheap, as low as $50, but you’ll pay more for e-reading on the front end. However, you’ll save money with each book purchase—typically $8 or so for an eBook versus $15-20 for a paperback or hardback.
Eventually, you might have to replace that e-reader and you’ll take a larger ding, but you’ll more than make up for it if you read a lot of books because of all the savings from each book purchase.
But here’s a stat from the Mint article that I find interesting:
If you own an e-reader, you may be spending more money overall than you think.
A recent study showed that, on average, e-reader users spent $433 more per year on online shopping than people who did not own an e-reader.
This is because accessing books online entices you into spending money on other products you probably never needed.
If you’re away from the computer, flipping through a paper book, chances are good that online shopping is the furthest thing from your mind.
That makes total sense.
When you’re reading a book that’s “connected,” you’ll no doubt have an onslaught of options to “click here” or “go there,” all of which lead to more opportunities to spend more money.
Part of what I do at my full-time job is write content for people who are trying to regain control of their personal finances. We know that the easier companies make it for us to spend, the more money we’ll spend. Also, the less time we have to think about our spending decision, the more we’ll spend.
For example, it’s much easier to simply swipe a card than it is to write a check or run to the ATM and withdraw money. That’s why people spend less when they use cash—they “feel” it more.
So it only makes sense that if you can click a couple of buttons and buy $50 worth of books in 5 minutes, you’ll spend much more than you would if you drove to your bookstore and browsed the aisles.
Amazon and these companies aren’t stupid. They know that.
So the moral of the story here is this:
Most of us have a book addiction and we should accept that, but we should still do our best to keep the beast on a balanced diet and not feed him at will.
So if you read eBooks, and I’m guessing most of you do, be leery of the marketing and don’t let the ease of purchasing books wreck your budget.
(Image: Wikimedia Commons)