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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Frugal Friday--Use Your Subscriptions

Maybe not everyone is like me, ok yes, I can hear you laughing from here.  

Ok, so thankfully not everyone is like me.  

The idea of this post though is to be sure you are getting the most from your subscription dollars.    Whether it is netflix, magazines, newspaper, gaming site, cell phone package (I'll be cautious here, to keep my day job :)).  

You want to be sure that if you are using something regularly then it must be valuable and important to you.  If there are items that you aren't using regularly then you might THINK they are important to you, but you are not making the time commitment to use them to their full potential.  

We have a Netflix subscription.  We do subscribe to two movies at a time, we tried the one at a time and it didn't work for us.  In the past we had three at a time, but that was a bit excessive, but there was a time that we could and did indeed watch three movies over the course of a weekend.  

Since we live out in the boonies, we don't pay for fast enough internet to do the streaming, so when Netflix split their subscription options we went with the discs at home option.  

What we have also noticed is that during the summer months we watch a lot less/fewer (how does that grammar rule work???) movies than we do when it is cold and dark outside.  We've had the above two movies for almost a month!  

Maybe for you it is magazines or newspapers that pile up for months or days on end.  Please note that these are all current months and our local newspaper comes out only once a week:

You can stop receiving them, maybe you'd even get a refund if you end your subscription mid-year.  

Then there is the gym membership.  Ouch.  L and I both had a gym membership at a downtown gym back in the day when we worked downtown.  It was great, I could go outside and run on the trail, but my office moved North five years ago and I knew it would never work out with our new location.  The benefit was it's walking distance location, so I canceled.  The new building had a smaller gym and a flat one time fee of $15 so that's been great.  

L maintained his membership downtown until his job changed and it was clear it would no longer work for him either.  

If you are on a long term commitment with your gym, see if you can get out of it and get some money back.  If you signed up so long ago that they just keep charging you this might be a good time to either fit it back into your schedule or end the relationship.  

If you aren't sure, give yourself one week to get get back on track.  If you find that you still aren't getting there, then it is time to cancel and save yourself the money.  Ending your gym membership does not mean you are a bad person, don't care about your health, it just means that where you are in life right now doesn't work with the facility that you previously selected.  

I can't really relate to a gaming subscription, but I know they are out there.  Again, just make sure you are getting the right amount of value from it.  

The cell phone plan.  This could probably be it's own post, but be sure that if you have an unlimited data or minute plan, that is the right thing for you.  For those of you on my family plan, data is already included so keep right on downloading, playing games and texting to your hearts delight.  

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