Paid Subscription Services Spring Cleaning!
“Get rid of those unnecessary paid subscriptions while you are doing your spring cleaning and increase your cash flow!”
-Peerless Money Mentor
In the past two weeks, I have been looking for ways to save more money. One area I chose to focus on was my paid subscription services. While most of these services are relatively cheap, having a bunch can be costly. Take a look at my list below prior to getting rid of a few.
List of Paid Subscriptions
- Amazon Prime Student Membership $3.75 a month
- Netflix $9.99 a month
- Showtime $9.99 a month
- YouTube Red $9.99 a month
- Spotify $5 a month (Capital One Quick Silver Six Month Promotion) increases back to $10 a month in May
- GameFly $15 a month
- PlayStation Vue $45 a month
As you can see from the list above, I have way too many subscriptions. Given the fact that I work full-time and Uber and blog on the side, I have very little time to use these subscriptions. I have been throwing away money.
The total annual cost I pay for being subscribed to the services above is a whopping $1184.64.
Enough coulda, woulda, shoulda. What matters most is taking action to bounce back from my mistake! Let’s look at the changes I decided to make!
“If you don’t like how things are, change it! You’re not a tree.”
Spring Cleaning Time!
After going through my list of subscriptions, I decided to eliminate 4 out of 7 subscriptions. While this is embarrassing to admit, I was even unaware of one subscription until I got a mobile alert saying $9.99 had been taking out of my account.
I decided to evaluate whether I should keep each paid subscription service based on their utility. According to Investopedia, Utility is an economic term introduced by Daniel Bernoulli referring to the total satisfaction received from consuming a good or service.
As you are about to find out, some of my subscription services had zero utility. Let’s dive in!
Amazon Prime Student Membership
As an member of Amazon Prime, I get free two day shipping on prime eligible items. This meant I got free shipping on my Phillips Hue light bulb splurge! I buy enough items from Amazon to justify the super low cost of Prime at $3.75 a month.
In addition to free shipping, I enjoy watching some shows on prime video. The benefits of prime greatly outweigh the cost!
Amazon Prime is a keeper!
Whenever I have some downtime, one of my favorite things to do is watch documentaries on Netflix. Since I am a personal finance addict, I get really excited when I see there is a new money documentary available. The most recent money documentary I watched was Dirty Money.
I highly recommend this documentary to all personal finance bloggers. While watching the Payday loan episode, I got really upset at Scott Tucker. In my opinion, his company used deceptive business practices to exploit poor people.
Netflix is a keeper!
I ordered Showtime through Amazon Prime just to watch a television show called The Chi. When the first season ended a couple weeks ago, I cancelled my subscription. This decision was a no-brainer.
My freeloading friends now have until April 7th to binge watch shows on Showtime :-). If you want the password, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Showtime was eliminated.
When I discovered a 4 month trial was available for YouTube Red, I quickly signed up. If you are subscribed to YouTube Red, you have access to YouTube original television shows. In addition to that, you get the ability to listen to YouTube audio in the background while using another app on your phone.
While I love that feature, I do not think it is worth $10 a month.
YouTube Red was eliminated.
When reviewing my subscriptions, I discovered Spotify was one of my most used subscriptions; I got a lot of utility out of it. It also helps that I have gotten it for $5 a month via a Capital One Quicksilver promotion. Whenever I pick up my Uber pax, I have the Uber playlist I downloaded ready to go!
See Related Post: Financial Independence Live Hip Hop Playlist
In addition to using Spotify Premium while driving, I also use it at home to play my music via google home. In my opinion, that is well worth the
$5 $10 a month price.
Spotify is a keeper!
Since most of my time is spent blogging, Ubering, or working, I do not have time to play games. Games are for kids. Just joking but eliminating GameFly was the easiest decision.
A decision I should have made four months ago. When I signed up for GameFly, I did so via Swagbucks so I could get $25 back. I’ve wasted $60 on GameFly. Well over that $25 amount. Learn from my mistake and cancel free trials immediately!
GameFly was eliminated.
When deciding whether to cancel PlayStation Vue, I struggled mightily. There was a time in my life where I watched a lot of basketball games. Where I binged watched Mr. Robot. Most recently, I started watching the latest Tupac and Biggie show Unsolved on FX.
So long cloud based DVR. Hasta la vista NBA TV and ESPN. Hope to see you again one day :-(.
PlayStation Vue was eliminated.
After cancelling 4 out of 7 subscriptions, I will be saving $79.98 per month. An annual savings of $959.76. In the future, I may consider resubscribing to PlayStation Vue. If you read my post No Vacations? No Thanks, Dave Ramsey then you know how much I love basketball. One of the main reasons I got PS Vue was for ESPN and NBA TV.
Special Shout Out
Special shout out to Cal @FI Me Outta Here. His post Truly Cut the Cord! Wave Goodbye to Netflix and Hulu challenged me to review my subscriptions. While I did not take his advice and cancel my Netflix account, I did take Bigfoot steps towards saving more money! That’s what it is all about, right!?
Have you cancelled any paid subscription services lately?
If so, what or who inspired you to make a change?
Jerry is a Business Insider Contributing Writer who is obsessed with personal finance. He believes you can improve your financial situation by applying principles taught by the financial independence community to your financial life.
If you are having trouble saving, he recommends that you join the SaverLife Savings program where you can get a $60 reward after six months (no income requirement). All you have to do is put a minimum of $20 a month into a savings account. Easy, right?
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