Showing posts with label budget. Show all posts
Showing posts with label budget. Show all posts

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Nerd Church - It's All About The Money

Let's talk money, shall we?

With prices climbing, and incomes not doing the same, (plus an unstable global political climate, which often has a knock-on economic effect,) we need to be able to talk openly about all that awkward financial stuff.





pound coins image



Regular readers of DORA might be aware that I am regularly broke.

Don't get me wrong - thanks to the kindness and support of my parents,  and the country and time period I live in, I have a comfortable life that has plenty of privileges.






But I'm very much dependant on my parents. And in my 20s, with retired parents, that's not a position I thought I'd be in.

I work for myself, and if I ever get an additional part-time or temporary job, I'd need it to be the right fit for me because of my mental health problems. Money's nice, but being alive is a priority.






So when it comes to supporting all of the amazing and wonderful causes and creative people out there, I have to say 'no' time and time again.

And that feels bad. Because I would love to be able to give £5 to Cause A and £5 to Person B, but I know that I can't afford to. I donate and/or support when and where I can, and no more.

And I have to somehow convince myself that I have no need to feel guilty - that I have to come first, because otherwise I can't help anyone else.














So why, if my parents are supporting me, don't I have more spare cash?

Well, I'm saving - or trying to, it's not easy with business expenses, family/friends' birthdays, and low interest rates.

I'd like a house at some point in the future. And enough income to pay the bills for it. I'd also like to do a degree (probably with something like the Open University.)

I'd like to not feel like a burden on my parents, who've already had to help my brother get on his feet.

Basically - I'd like something that's mine. I'd like a future. 

And I know I'm not alone in that - it's a problem that we millennials are looked down on for, and it's a problem that's NOT of our own making.







And I know how tough it is to make money in today's world...

(...particularly when affiliate agreements may or may not have a clause that prevents you from coming straight out and saying 'please use my links to buy things.')

And even monetising your blog is difficult enough - especially if you're not so good with maths.

I'm currently looking into adding ads to DORA, but business things like that leave me totally baffled (thank you suspected dyscalculia,) which means I have to spend more time going through things and trying to understand them than other people do.







Some people think that any monetising of blogs is somehow dishonest. I sure as hell don't.

If you're a blogger, monetise as much as you want to. Because you deserve it.

If you find you've got enough cash to go around? Go ahead and support other creative people and/or causes with it. Because they need it too.













What am I trying to say in this post, exactly? I'm trying to say that it's ok.

It's ok to have to lean on others - no matter how uncomfortable it may feel; if you need it, then you need it.

It's ok to not be able to help and support other people when you want to - just do what you can, when you can.


  • Drop some change in the charity box by the supermarket till.

  • Buy the Big Issue (or whatever your local street newspaper is) instead of a gossip magazine

  • Do the free stuff - bring traffic to the websites of deserving people and/or causes, promote them online, etc.





And most of all, never feel guilty for having to put your health - mental or physical - first. You've got to have something left to give.





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Tuesday, 23 August 2016

A Rough Guide To Supporting Authors When You're Broke

There's a lot of great books out there. So many, in fact, that you could easily splash the cash on numerous volumes of lovely paperbacks, hardcovers, and e-books... if you actually had the cash.

If, like me, you don't have that much money and have already sold your soul several times over (whoever collects first gets the prize! My bet is on Goodreads - I think I owe them about 3 souls,) then you can still support authors and the wider publishing/bookish industry my nerdlets!

...You just have to be a bit more inventive about it.












Firstly, there is nothing better for books than a good ol' fashioned library.



Sit down and let me explain how libraries help not hurt the publishing industry:










  • Libraries actually have to buy the books they lend out (true story,) which means if an author proves popular (i.e. is borrowed a lot,) then the library is more likely to buy copies of that author's books in the future.

  • You can 'try before you buy' - some books I just wouldn't've bought if I didn't already know that I like the book/author because I've borrowed their work from the library.

  • Libraries are free marketing! - nothing works better than word of mouth, and covers on display. Never underestimate the power of copies on shelves - books can reach a wider and wider audience if there are people actually reading them.

  • Libraries make readers happen - get that child in there asap!






That's all well and good, but how else can we support authors when we're broke?




Let me tell you some things that can help, my nerdlets, listen...









  • You can yell at your friends and family to READ THE BOOK.

  • You can ask friends and family for the book for birthdays, Christmases, or as ransom payment other occasions.

  • You can follow your favouritest authors on social media/RT, like, re-blog, share, and generally spread the word about the author and their work.

  • You can write reviews on your own blog, Amazon, Goodreads, or wherever, and promote your review on social media. Talking about books is awesome, and does half the work. The more people are interested, the more people will buy books.

  • You can add the book to your TBR, or your 'read' list, on Goodreads - this means your friends on there will see that you've added it, and might check it out themselves.





When you do have money (*laughs hysterically at the thought of having spare cash*) think about what book you're actually going to buy.

Will that £5.00 for a back-list title mean more, to a smaller publisher, than the £15.00 price tag of the new bestseller does, to a bigger one? (Obviously, substitute your own currency where necessary.)










That doesn't mean you can't buy your favourites, it just means that it's good to think every now and then about where your money is going.

If you can borrow the bestseller from the library, but can only find the smaller title in an online store, then you have the chance to do the option that supports more books and saves you money on top.






This is especially important when supporting diverse books and authors, and supporting independent authors and publishers.

Money talks in this world my friends (sigh) so use your purchasing power wisely.

J. K. Rowling's new book is always going to sell millions of copies - if you want her new book (man, I want Harry Potter and the Cursed Child!) then ask for it for your birthday.

A debut novelist at a small or niche publisher? Far less likely to sell. So every copy counts. Buy that copy while you have the cash in hand.










But don't let people make you feel bad for not supporting the industry enough. You know how much you can afford - they don't.

If it wasn't for review copies, library books, and second-hand stores, I honestly don't think I'd be able to draw attention to so many books, and help other readers find the books they'll enjoy.

I don't blog for the books (I didn't even know there were review copies when I started - little na├»ve creature that I was,) but I'm firmly of the opinion that if publishers want the publicity that bloggers can bring, then they need to understand that we can't afford to buy every book vying for our attention.







But even if you're not a blogger, you can do your part.

I'm not asking for much - in fact, if you want to get your paws on all those books, I've probably just saved you some cash.

Just think about how you spend your money, and if you find a good book, don't be afraid to talk about it! (But if you don't want to, then meh - do your own thing!)









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Sunday, 4 October 2015

Nerd Church! - A Little Retail Therapy

Sometimes, you need window shopping - or, in this post-digital age, windows shopping. I'm a nerd. We have established this. We shall move on.

church image courtesy of debspoons at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I found The Literary Gift Company when faffing through the intricacies of the interwebs - and I like their style. I particularly like the Banned Books Bracelet. I am sooo tempted!!! If only I had more moneys (drat!)

But Cee! You're all thinking. This is Nerd Church! It's supposed to be stuffed full of moral sh** that you've dug from the pages and slapped into a blog post. Ah yes, erstwhile blog-hopper, but every religion and marketing company in the world will tell you that symbols are powerful things - and so jewellery and gifts with a literary theme are a fantastic way to spread the bookish message(s.) And maybe start to think about Xmas shopping for your fellow book nerds... or just windows shop, because sometimes you need it. Retail therapy is a powerful thing, even if you don't have the money to treat yourself.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Do you read an audiobook?

I'm wondering how you describe audiobooks - do you read an audiobook? Or just listen to it? But then, I like to count audiobooks towards my Goodreads total - so isn't that reading? But somehow my brain won't accept "Oh, I read that audiobook before and..." as valid. Is it just me?

I know a lot of people can be a little sniffy about audiobooks in general - and certainly, I (read? - you see my problem!) audiobooks less than I read printed books with all their word-y-ful wonderment which allows me to actually touch the print (I know, but don't judge me!) But I still kind of like the odd audiobook (by which I mean occasionally listening to an audiobook rather than the audiobooks I listen to are slightly odd - which may also be true, but wasn't what I was getting at.) I think that, maybe weirdly, maybe not, listening to classics in particular in an audiobook format works really well.

Hear me out here! - a lot of classics were published in instalments in magazines and newspapers etc., still more were designed to be read out by one member of the family to the others, or to be read at a formal reading by the others. As such, they were practically made to be listened to and/or read out loud. There was no TV in the 19th Century, so lord knows you had to follow the dramas somehow. Someone in the family would read a chapter or two out loud in the evening as pretty much the only form of at-home entertainment, save playing music or games of cards - so trust me, classics in audiobook format work. (And, if you're skint, try LibriVox - all classics, all free.) And, as ever, if it gets people interested in reading and books, then why ever the hell not? #ShameTheShamers

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

A Comic Discovery

Hi! One of my companions in nerd-girl-ity recently introduced me to ComiXology (www.comixology.co.uk) - this is a place where you can get digital comics. Now, you know I'm not normally one for the digital stuffs - I like a good bit of print and paper for my reading fix. But, though you can buy reasonably cheap comics here, it's the free section I signed up for.

This is full of the weird and wonderful - from indie titles to Marvel and DC, the array on offer is well worth the discomfort of the digital format. The reading can either be an awkward zoom-in/zoom-out kind of deal-y, or in sequential format (so, one pane transitions to the next on command.) Again, not a big fan of the sequential-ness but once I figured out that I could use the arrow buttons on my keyboard instead of the on-screen buttons which kept bringing up the blasted tool-bar and covering the words. Strange that. Arrows do arrow things. Who knew? ;)

By the way, should you want to do your own foraying into the world of ComiXology and digital comics, I highly recommend the 'Detective Honeybear' free issue. It's a teddy bear detective - he says vewwy instead of very. Your argument is officially invalid. It's frickin' adorable - so much so that I may have to flap my arms, bounce up and down, and make the 'squeeeee!' noise.

It's pretty addictive. Don't say I didn't warn you, and, as always, happy reading!

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Magazines, magazines, magazines!!!

You may not have guessed, but this post is about magazines :P . Yep, magazines - I'm a big fan and my current magazine tbr pile is pretty impressive. This is on account of the fact that a) I'm a reading addict, I have a tendency to buy reading materials; and b) I do magazine swaps.

Magazine swaps, in case you weren't aware, is where you swap your old magazines with someone else's old magazines - it pretty much does what it says on the tin. It's also an eco-friendly way to re-use old magazines before they go to that great big printing house in the sky. You end up with a pretty eclectic mix - I have New Scientist magazine alongside Marie Claire, for example, but that's half the fun! The only problem is, as I tend to buy more magazines than anyone else, I don't tend to get so much in return; still, what I do get I'm thankful for as it spreads my money out a bit more.

My magazines tbr list currently consists of:

  • 10-15 issues of New Scientist
  • 3 issues of Marie Claire (UK)
  • 3-5 issues of BBC Wildlife
  • 1 issue of Glamour (UK)
  • 1 issue of the Big Issue (well worth buying!)
  • 4-5 issues of Vogue (UK)
  • 1 issue of Look
  • 4-5 issues of Papercraft Essentials
  • 3 issues of Empire
Quite enough for me to be getting along with! Be thankful I don't have the time or patience to type out my main tbr list!

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Access to free e-reading

If you've read this blog before, you're probably surprised at the title of this post. E-reading? I thought out friendly neighbourhood Book Lover hated that stuff? It's true that I'm not a fan, but I know that a lot of people are, so I thought I'd clue them in on a couple of my recent discoveries.

If you live in Wales in the UK, then you can have access to free library e-books via the welsh libraries e-books website - if your local library is participating (so that's Bridgend, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Swansea, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Conwy, Gwynedd, Ynys Mon, Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouthshire, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire, Powys, RCT, Torfaen, Vale of Glamorgan and Wrexham libraries) and you have your library card and pin number, you can login. The e-books aren't compatible with K-devices which are sold by Amazon (cannot bring myself to even type that word *shudder*) and they will be automatically returned at the end of your loan period; you can't return them early.

Most libraries in the UK have a similar scheme, so I suggest checking your local library website for availability in your area. Many libraries worldwide, particularly in the USA, also use the OverDrive website, from which you can borrow e-books.

Back to Wales, digital additions of magazines are available via the Welsh libraries' Zinio collection .

I do ask that you try to keep print copies of both books and magazines in mind, there's nothing quite like the magic of the printed word. But I understand the use of digital media to access materials you maybe wouldn't be able to view otherwise - this includes international publications, Welsh language material (which can be more difficult to track down) and textbooks which may be needed for education, college, university, whatever. This way you can borrow it, read the part that is useful to you, and return it automatically, without having to pay out huge sums on a book you may only need once. If you're going to be using the book often, you still may want to invest in a physical copy.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Books on a budget

Ok, so, if you're skint (like me) and a complete and utter reading addict (like me,) your gonna need a way to get your hands on a load of reading material without running out of money for things like food and rent (you know, the stuff that comes after books in the list of priorities.)

So here's a little list of 5 ways to grab reading stuffs without breaking the bank:
  1. Second-hand books; usually cheaper than their new counterparts, these can be found in such interesting places as car boot sales, online stores (e.g. Amazon, eBay, Oxfam,) charity shops, and second hand book shops.
  2. Swapping; find a family member or friend willing to give you their old books and magazines (though you may have to give them yours in return.)
  3. Bargain hunting; sometimes books can be found cheaper in supermarkets, or on sale, or shops such as The Works - so be prepared to hunt out a good deal.
  4. Play the waiting game: That must-have new book? If you can bare to wait a few weeks it'll be significantly down in price. Avoid going on pre-order lists (usually) - it's actually usually cheaper to pick up a copy of the book on the day of release.
  5. Take advantage of special offers: A 2 for 1 deal where you can get the book you want and also buy your friend that book she's been harking on about all ready for Christmas/her birthday? Sold!