The Math

On this page, we’ll tally up the money saved with each life hack. At the end of this year-long experiment, we’ll add up the numbers and see what the dollars-and-cents value of my library card is.

In 2013, I also borrowed extensively for entertainment, and to save myself money on textbooks and books for academic projects. These added up to a savings of $424.26 and $124.32 respectively

Post Date Library Resource Money Saved
Jan 1 The Neatest Little Guide to Stock Market Investing 12.60
Value Line Investment Survey
(1-year subscription is $598 US)
Standard & Poor’s Outlook
(1-year subscription is $200 US)
Investor’s Business Daily
(1-year subscription is $269 US)
Jan 8 I Love Coffee 12.60
Savings generated by home-roasting coffee for one year 252.75
Jan 15 Running Until You’re 100 14.78
Running: A Year Round Plan 15.82
Savings generated by marathon training on your own 73.49
Jan 22 My Japanese Table 20.27
Savings generated by making your own gyoza instead of buying them at a grocery store 6.64
Jan 29 Yoga Journal: Complete Beginner’s Guide 22.49
Yoga Journal: Complete Home Practice 22.49
Savings generated by training twice a week at home instead of going to a yoga studio for 30 classes 345.00
Feb 5 Making Great Cheese at Home 22.95
Savings generated by making 800 grams of your own goat cheese 15.76
Feb 12 Taste of Home Baking Book 14.29
No Need to Knead 36.95
Feb 19 The Yarn Girls Guide to Simple Knits 26.67
Mar 2 Charcuterie 23.81
Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It 19.30
Mary Bell’s Complete Dehydrator Cookbook 17.42
The 4-Hour Chef 25.70
Savings generated by making 690 grams of your own beef jerky 17.61
Mar 19 The 4-Hour Workweek 17.34
Mar 26 The New Best Recipe 25.09
Savings generated by making a dozen of your own pickled eggs 4.56
Apr 2 Pizza, Pigs and Poetry 17.10
Savings generated by learning to write poetry on your own instead of taking a class 139.00
Apr 9 Baking with Julia 28.32
Pastries 37.00
Apr 17 Wine for the Confused 15.68
The Everyday Guide to Wine 292.56
Apr 29 Simple Screenprinting 13.30
My Art Book 13.33
May 27 Savings generated by baking your own eccles cakes instead of buying the lardy ones at Safeway 1.98
Jul 3 The $100 Startup 17.34
Jul 23 Organic Body Care Recipes 17.00
Savings generated by making your own lip balm instead of buying Blistex 25.14
Aug 14 Savings generated by making your own face cream for a year 18.76
Aug 26 Savings generated by making your own batch of limoncello 9.17
Sept 2 True Brews 17.34
Savings generated by making a dozen bottles of home-brewed ginger beer instead of buying Fentiman’s 25.51
Sept 3 Savings generated by taking resources out of the library (instead of buying them) during a year-long program of self-directed study 1161.69
Total so far $3971.86

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