r/Frugal Sep 24 '22 Helpful 1

Noticed this about my life before I committed to a tighter budget. Discussion 💬

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22.8k Upvotes

u/RelayFX Sep 24 '22 edited Sep 24 '22

Courtesy reminder everybody: Discussion involving illegal activities such as fraud, theft, or piracy are not allowed here. This is your warning.

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u/que_am_i Sep 24 '22 Silver Helpful Wholesome

My dad used to say that you don’t sell your soul to the devil in one lump sum, but rather in monthly payments.

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u/ImpossibleParsnip947 Sep 24 '22

That's a really great analogy

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u/Sunburnt_Taint69 Sep 25 '22

It is. Mostly because it’s almost not an analogy at all and is literally what’s happening.

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u/dcute69 Sep 25 '22

It's not an analogy

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u/superfunatparties Sep 24 '22

but... if I'm selling my soul to the devil for monthly payments, doesn't that mean I'm the one receiving the payments? So it's more like the devil has a subscription to my soul? Or just like I have a regular job where I receive payment regularly in exchange for part of myself?

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u/WellEndowedDragon Sep 25 '22

My interpretation of this is that the “soul” we’re selling is our time, energy, and mental health, which is used to keep the ruthless machine of capitalism (the “devil”) running. What we sell it for is the creature comforts and placating entertainment of modern life.

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u/[deleted] Sep 24 '22 Helpful

I rotate subscriptions. i.e. One month Netflix, next month Hulu, next month Xbox Gamepass. This way I'm only paying for what I use.

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u/ignorediacritics Sep 24 '22

That's actually great because in time you get to watch all the shows you are interested in from anywhere.

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u/sillypoolfacemonster Sep 24 '22

Yes! Exactly! I don’t understand why this seems to be so uncommon. How much TV do you really need access to each month?

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u/Mjamesdc Sep 25 '22

I also try sign up via the App Store so it super easy to cancel a subscription.

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u/William_Pierce Sep 25 '22

Depending on the app, you may be paying significantly more to sub through the App Store. YouTube premium is $11.99/month but $15.99 through the App Store, since Apple takes a 30% cut of sales (including subs) and companies raise their in-app price to compensate

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u/LtButtermilch Sep 25 '22

Never buy anything though the app store. U pay 30% extra so it is generally a bad idea.

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u/dmnhntr86 Sep 25 '22

"because I don't know which thing I'll want to watch right now, so I like to have the options." Dude, it takes you an hour to decide what to watch because you have too many options.

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u/tmac3207 Sep 25 '22

Wow. That is so simple and it's never even crossed my mind.

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u/Thisiscliff Sep 25 '22 edited Sep 25 '22

Until Netflix starts putting out seasons on a weekly basis, trying to get subscription services locked in. Keeps people wanting to log in every Monday for their TV show.

Hmm sounds like cable

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u/Shot-Werewolf-5886 Sep 25 '22

Then you just wait a few months until the full season has been released and then binge it all in a month when you sign back up. Most services don't remove the older episodes.

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u/Frogmouth_Fresh Sep 25 '22

Yeah exactly. Sign up for two months every 12 or something, watch everything on the platform you want then move to the next platform. Even be a bit flexible about it. Still got a couple shows to watch? Keep it another month. That show on the other platform will likely still be there in a month or two.

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u/DeedaInSeattle Sep 24 '22

We are trying to do this. Currently watching every popular thing on Hulu right now! Taking a break from Netflix for awhile.

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u/morbidsadbird Sep 24 '22

A lot of cell phone companies give free subscriptions for Apple TV, Hulu, paramount plus ect. Some are for a year & some are as long as you have the provider. If you subscribe to a lot it can end up being more expensive than cable. I was happily paying $5.99 a month for Hulu & now get it free. I'm frugal that way too. I pay $5 for one podcast subscription. $60 a year isn't bad for the entertainment & enjoyment the podcast brings.

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u/[deleted] Sep 24 '22 edited Oct 13 '22

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u/Fellzer Sep 24 '22

ATT is like $85 a month on promo in my area. It damn well better come with a "free" subscription.

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u/MisterPyramid Sep 25 '22

Huge word of advice, especially with AT&T, double check the rates every year or so. I was in one of the first waves of fiber access in my area. First year promo was $90 a month, second year on jumped to $100. Came with HBO Max, wife & I both work from home, kid does online classes, home phone is a MagicJack, switched from cable to streaming giving us a net savings of about $50 per month. Speed and bandwidth is solid, everyone was happy, so I didn't think much about it.

Until one day last Spring. I switched to browsing Incognito to test some updates. Then I saw it - a banner ad for AT&T fiber advertising that the rate is $85 and, if opting for automatic payments, it goes down to $80. The ad stressed that it wasn't a promotional rate, that this was the rate going forward for the exact same service I was paying $100 per month for. I had to push my way through customer service dealing with agents trying to convince me that the ad campaign and AT&T's site was wrong in order to reach the correct department. And I noted to them that the price difference only showed up when Incognito/Private browsing. When looking at the same page during normal mode from any browser & device I've previously accessed my account from, the higher rate displayed. After the two hour ordeal, the final agent admitted I was right and the rate should have been updated previously. They wouldn't credit me for all past months but gave me a credit for the month I just paid.

And, thank you for prompting me to respond to this. Wanting to verify the rates for you, I just logged in and found that AT&T is now charging me sales tax solely for internet service. I'm going to have to call them again next week to get that off since Internet service is one of the few things not really taxable on the state or Federal level, atleast in my area.

TLDR: it's challenging to be your own advocate, especially when you don't know what you don't know, but it is worth the effort.

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u/lucyindisguise512 Sep 25 '22

Pro Tip: To cut down on the time it takes to get to that last person that can do something, just mention that you want to cancel into the conversation. Outside of regular customer service reps is a Retention department. You only get to them if you say those magic words. They usually have better offers/bill credit authority than regular CSRs and are happy to give them because they get paid to save existing customers. If you really want to see what all they can do for you, do some minimal research into other providers in your area so you seem legit.

Also mark your calendar when you call and be prepared to do it all again next year. Promos expire at this point if not sooner and that price creep needs to be addressed again. It sucks but everything costs either time or money.

Source: Worked this dept for a different cable provider.

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u/notajith Sep 25 '22

Just started ATT Fiber (300Mb), was pleased that my bill was actually $55, no taxes or fees. Seems amazing to have symmetric 300Mb for less than I was paying for comcast to have 10Mb uploads!

Fingers crossed that they don't play the same games comcast does in a year.

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u/dmnhntr86 Sep 25 '22

I can't believe so many people think this stuff is actually free. You're paying for it whether you use it or not.

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u/MashimaroG4 Sep 24 '22

This isn’t free, it’s included. Look at a MVNO that uses at&t, it will be like $20-$30 a month for 10G of data, and they are still making a profit, every penny above that is just filling AT&Ts coffers

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u/[deleted] Sep 24 '22

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u/PrionBacon Sep 24 '22

Counter-counter point: it's not Comcast

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u/MulticoloredCatMug Sep 24 '22

The cell phone companies that include subscriptions cost more. I had Verizon for years, I think they had different packages that included Disney+, Apple Music and some others.

I just switched to Visible by Verizon and save like $70 on phone service now.

For me it works out that even if I had phone service and those subscriptions I would still be paying less.

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u/AppropriateCinnamon Sep 24 '22

Visible is the answer! I have never seen any other company come close to $25 unlimited everything, especially without having to sign up with 3 friends to get some "family discount"

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u/MulticoloredCatMug Sep 24 '22

They just changed their plan options (for anyone reading this who isn’t already familiar).

It used to be $25/mo

Service now is either $30 or $45 per month depending on what you want. I have the $30/mo service and it is basically the same as the Verizon service I was paying $100/mo for.

My phone is paid off and so those numbers are just the service charges without a financed phone.

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u/rumpleteaser91 Sep 24 '22

What!? I get 30gb data, unlimited calls and texts for £14 a month, sim only in the UK, why the hell does it cost so much over there!?

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u/AppropriateCinnamon Sep 24 '22

capitalism monopoly baby $$$$

But for real, there is only one company that will cover you well outside of major metro areas (i.e. Verizon), so anyone who lives in a rural area or regularly ventures away from the mall only has one real choice :(

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u/jamie2345891 Sep 25 '22

American service seems to be the most expensive. Any county I’ve ever been to (several continents), cell phone service costs basically nothing. In the USA, it’s more than $100 a month for a fair majority of the population

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u/eyetracker Sep 25 '22

Canada is like 3x the US. But really if you're paying $100 you're not shopping around .

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u/MoreRopePlease Sep 24 '22 edited Sep 24 '22

I use Ting for cell service. Canceled my Netflix. Still have Spotify (it gives me a lot of value so it's worth it to me). Got free Hulu and Peacock through Chromecast and Spotify, but I rarely use them. I use ad blockers on YouTube, I don't see a need for a subscription.

I donate regularly to ACLU and my local public radio, and some local arts groups. This is a better use of my money than those subscriptions, imo.

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u/purple_hamster66 Sep 24 '22

T-mobile has Apple included in their $35/line plan, which has not changed price in years.

I suspect that they are using this to prop up their 5G traffic stats, since no one really needs network speed that’s faster than the websites you’re visiting. I’ve noticed that it takes up to 10 seconds to connect to a site for the first time on my phone, which may mean that the traffic to the DNS servers (usually router-to-router speeds since it’s cached) has some significant latency. They need people to see a use case for 5G, or else folks won’t pay for it.

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u/DDisired Sep 24 '22

On the other hand, my cell phone bill is only around $30 a month under ATT prepaid. If the rest was using a single streaming service, that still seems more worthwhile compared to the $60 a month plan. Unless you plan on watching all the shows, that’s when a normal phone plan becomes worth it.

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u/[deleted] Sep 24 '22

As long as you're using the service, they're fine, but often people stop using and forget to cancel!

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u/oh-no-he-comments Sep 24 '22 edited Sep 24 '22

One of the best things that happened to me was losing my credit card so I had to get a new one

Soooo many services that got cancelled automatically that I still haven’t renewed and probably never will

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u/kingofcould Sep 24 '22

For me it was realizing that PayPal has a section where businesses essentially get a green light to bill you without question once you’ve okayed the first ones.

Not only did I have subscriptions I had forgotten and ones that I thought had ended, but I also would get yearly bills sometimes from things that I had canceled, and with proof.

So go in and delete the verified list off of PayPal if you use it to pay subscriptions. Really if you use it at all go look at it anyways and delete who you want to or don’t recognize.

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u/DonkeyTron42 Sep 24 '22

Actually PayPal is kind of nice now and itemizes reoccurring charges. It's easy to cancel them from PayPal unlike with a normal credit card where you have to cancel them through the service provider.

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u/kingofcould Sep 24 '22

I agree, it’s not hard at all — but it is a simple 10 minute fix for many recurring and false charges that I didn’t know about before

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u/DonkeyTron42 Sep 24 '22

Some of them you can't cancel online and they make you call and wait on hold for long periods of time (cough, cough, Tivo).

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u/DonkeyTron42 Sep 24 '22

That is until you realize they continue billing you and you get a letter from collections.

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u/Surrybee Sep 24 '22

I like to put new subscriptions on whichever card is expiring soonest for this very reason.

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u/DrMantisToboggan45 Sep 24 '22

That one actually surprises me. You ever see those adds for a service that will tell you all your monthly services? I have no idea how people don't know what they're paying out for subscriptions and just forget about it. Guess that's why I'm on this sub tho haha

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u/cravf Sep 24 '22

I used TrueBill and literally cackled out loud when I got a notification that my subscription to TrueBill was declined. I signed up with a card from privacy and set the max per month to a dollar or something.

Something something star wars meme.

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u/Klau5_Dieter Sep 24 '22

What about those subscriptions you have to pay to use the things you already own? Example: subscription for heated seats in your car, which are already installed anyways, you are just not allowed to use them unless you pay a monthly fee.

I can also agree with OP though, that subscriptions are kind of evil because they're small fees that add up, EVEN if you use the service. I mean, I use my Netflix because I have it, but I don't think I'd be any less happy in life without it. I would just find a different activity that doesn't cost money.

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u/sb1862 Sep 24 '22

Subscription for Microsoft word is some ducking bullshit

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u/Klau5_Dieter Sep 24 '22

Or adobe! Just give me a version I can purchase to own, and then I'll purchase your new product if I need to. But most likely, Photoshop from 10 years ago will still Photoshop

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u/[deleted] Sep 24 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/ScreamRifle Sep 24 '22

An Adobe ad popped up on this thread and I lol’ed.

Affinity Design and Photo are decent alternatives- like $50 once. Honestly if there was a good Lightroom replacement I’d never touch Adobe again.

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u/dblstforeo Sep 24 '22 edited Sep 25 '22

I have a very old computer. I refuse to replace it untill it is dead dead. It has the last version of Microsoft you could own outright. I will wait 20 minutes for that beast too boot up before I pay another subscription fee.

Edit: evidently I have been living under a rock. I thought Microsoft no longer offered Office in a software package and had switched completely to subscription. Thank you for all of the suggestions. My life will be much less complicated.

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u/patgeo Sep 24 '22

You can still buy Office as a one off payment.

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u/MoreRopePlease Sep 24 '22

Or (depending on your needs) use Libre Office.

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u/dblstforeo Sep 24 '22

Really? I tried and I couldn't find it. Time to go search the interwebs again.

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u/TheSheetSlinger Sep 24 '22

Look into LibreOffice as well. Free and plenty compatible with office document types. I'm sure there's a couple features missing or something but is more than enough for most users.

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u/FrankFlyWillCutYou Sep 24 '22

Office 2021 lifetime license can be had for around $60. Link

It will stop getting security patches 5 years after its initial release date (October 2026), but will still function just fine.

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u/ebow77 Sep 24 '22

You can still buy a standalone lifetime license for MS Office.

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u/DeadForTaxPurposes Sep 24 '22

What is your time worth to you?

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u/Charles__Bartowski Sep 24 '22

You don't have to subscribe though, you can buy it in a single payment. You still get updates until they hit their next "milestone build" and then you'd have to buy the newest version (if that's what you wanted to do) similar to going from office 97 to office 2000.

Subscription comes with all of office, continuous updates, 1 TB of storage, live customer service, additional features and ad removal for Outlook, and additional features with Microsoft Teams and Skype.

Also if you don't want to pay at all, Microsoft has web based applications that are free for Word, PowerPoint, and Excel (and a few other apps like Forms). They don't have all the features of the desktop versions but would meet the needs of most casual use.

And I realize after typing this all out, I sound like a commercial lol. Part of my job, at the school I teach at, is to help my coworkers utilize office 365 features and I've become quite enthusiastic about the software over time.

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u/Marthaplimpton867 Sep 24 '22

This should be a main post in this subreddit! I was jsut talking about the other day how it’s like, paying a subscription for what is just a product. Subscription for the outlook, cloud, etc., sure, but not everyone needs all of that or can afford it. You should share this as a post! I think people would find it helpful. Libre is also a nice alternative.

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u/Novexiys Sep 25 '22

No you're absolutely correct, the subscription is actually far better value for money

I pay for Microsoft Office 365 Family @ $130 a year. That's 2 dollars a month, per user. Very reasonable.

My family shares all of our subscriptions, so one person pays for netflix, another pays spotify .etc

Saves us a shitload of money in the long-term.

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u/illuminati229 Sep 24 '22

It's not so bad when you also get 1TB of cloud storage. If you can get on a family plan, it's really quite cheap.

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u/ImpossibleParsnip947 Sep 24 '22

I hadn't heard of the heated seat subscription. Seems completely insane.

https://www.cnn.com/2022/07/14/business/bmw-subscription/index.html

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u/Sea_Green3766 Sep 24 '22

There is also one for auto start I believe coming to Lexus in the future. How nutty! Pay a premium for a car only to have to pay another premium to use the features you paid for 🥲

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u/amberraysofdawn Sep 24 '22

I’m already paying for this on my Subaru. If I didn’t have small children and live in a place with 100°+ weather even during the autumn months, I wouldn’t be paying for it.

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u/Warpedme Sep 24 '22

FYI you can simply stop paying and then go to a mechanic and have an aftermarket starter installed. It's not even expensive, my wife's cost under $300 including install.

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u/whiffling_waterfowl Sep 24 '22

When we bought our Subaru, they told us if we got it installed at the dealership we'd need a subscription, but you can get an aftermarket one installed that's just a button on a keychain. They even told us where to go. It was under $300!

I'm a parent living in a place that gets above 100° and below -20°, and we don't have a garage. I feel you!

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u/GrandOpener Sep 24 '22

Presumably, if we’re mad about subscriptions and not mad about TV in general, the implied alternative to a Netflix subscription is just individually purchasing every movie and series you want to watch.

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u/kgjulie Sep 24 '22

This is the frugal sub, borrow the DVDs from your library or watch what's on hoopla!

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u/callmeanubermensch Sep 24 '22

Who would ever pay to watch Stranger Things when you can binge watch dry British period dramas and season 2 of the Loud House on Hoopla?

(I kid, I kid)

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u/mercurly Sep 24 '22 edited Sep 24 '22

I tried this.

Half of the DVDs I borrowed were too scratched to rip-I mean watch

Another sucky thing is that one of my favorite shows that I stream annually never got released after season 1

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u/NotaVogon Sep 24 '22

I don't mind paying for subscriptions for entertainment but now you have to pay AND still have commercials. That is completely annoying.

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u/doyouwantamint Sep 24 '22

Wow. That's right up there with paying for samples.

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u/rs_alli Sep 24 '22

This pisses me off. I am totally fine paying subscription fees but commercials drive me to pure insanity. I don’t want to be advertised to while I enjoy a show I’ve been looking forward to. It’s also pissing me off how some of my shows have taken on sponsors and now include like a freakin sponsorship ad inside the show.

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u/Klau5_Dieter Sep 24 '22

Which could still be cheaper than purchasing the 5 different TV subscriptions you need to get all the movies and series you want.

But if a TV show box set is $60, I'll think twice about whether I really wanna watch it. But a $10 subscription every month, no big deal. But that's a problem. It doesn't hurt as much, even though it adds up really quickly

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u/shan6 Sep 24 '22

No, it’s rentals.

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u/[deleted] Sep 24 '22

Right - I don't use Onstar in my car, though if I'm ever really stuck, I'll sign up on the spot!

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u/[deleted] Sep 24 '22

I wouldn’t use Onstar even if it was free. It’s an obsolete service and their customer service is horrendous, not to mention the invasive data collection they do on vehicles, which you have no choice over regardless of if you have an active subscription or not.

Their emergency services feature is also kind of fucked. Like, you get in an accident and they go “Sucks to suck dude, but you didn’t pay us our $20 this month. Best of luck”.

It’s just an absolute shit service all the way around and I wish GM would’ve left it in the 2000’s where it belonged.

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u/UnlikelyHero--247 Sep 24 '22

just don't buy a BMW lol, they're trash anyways

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u/Only-Inspector-3782 Sep 24 '22

Expensive cars in general. You get stuck in the same traffic.

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u/DomiNatron2212 Sep 24 '22

Don't buy products that have subscriptions required. It's not as if there is a monopoly on cars or heated seats.

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u/Cadet_Stimpy Sep 24 '22

IMO these are all signs of late stage capitalism on the verge of collapse. You can only milk the consumer on both ends for so long.

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u/Klau5_Dieter Sep 24 '22

Yeah, but how long is so long? So far, it's been pretty long and it's getting kind of uncomfortable as a consumer

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u/Cadet_Stimpy Sep 24 '22

I agree. The problem is people continue to pay these subscription fees, so corporations continue to charge them. I think the only breaking point is going to be when people can’t pay anymore. Everything is going to be “as a service” like the tech industry is going and it should be sounding alarms, but in the end people prefer convenience and I don’t think people realize what a slippery slope we’re heading down.

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u/StateOfContusion Sep 24 '22

The revolution is on hold as long as the workers’ bellies are full.

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u/After_Preference_885 Sep 24 '22

You're right. Corporate board meetings have been recorded where they aren't talking about how much they need to operate with a modest profit but how much they can charge to maximize profit before consumers start to leave en masse. Even losing a few doesn't matter if they can keep bleeding the ones they have.

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u/Thatnotoriousdude Sep 24 '22

Disagree. People love to scream the “end of capitalism” is near but that isnt true in the slightest. This is extra convenience. People want subscriptions, when they dont anymore we will switch back. Thousands of movies/songs for 10$ a month is worth it everyday for me, if I had to pay individually for the songs I listen I would have to pay 5000$ at minimum

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u/DoctorWaluigiTime Sep 24 '22

Yeah what is this thread. If you want it and you have the means to afford it, subscribing to something isn't inherently evil. (Another comment compares a subscription service to a deal with the devil. Like, calm down lol.)

If subscriptions are evil then I guess enjoy not having literally any utilities. I get the whole "it's nice to own not to rent" (and I agree) entertainment content. But like... the options existing doesn't mean you have to get all of them.

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u/electricgotswitched Sep 24 '22

This is a symptom of just being lazy with finances. It takes me about 20 minutes a month to download all my transactions and put them in a spreadsheet. Then I know where 100% of my money is going. At worst a subscription might catch me forgetting to cancel for one month.

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u/[deleted] Sep 24 '22

Then that’s their own fault for not being attentive to their own finances. How is it Netflix’s fault that you’re too stupid to check your bank account every once in a while. The only thing that’s eating people alive is their own neglect.

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u/Mister-Butterswurth Sep 24 '22

Better to go without any of them and then slowly reintroduce the 1-3 you can’t live without

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u/CjoewD Sep 24 '22

I think I have 4 subs I'll never cancel.

1) Google Domains/Cloud Console 2) OneDrive 3) YouTube Premium/Music 4) Pokemon Home

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u/[deleted] Sep 24 '22

Wow, the one redditor with YouTube premium.

It’s like finding waldo

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u/IIPeachTreeII Sep 24 '22

I have had YouTube premium for 4+ years. That's the platform I find and listen to music with. And since I use YouTube (music) almost every minute I'm awake, it's worth it for me.

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u/min_mus Sep 24 '22

We also have YouTube Premium. I actually feel it's worth the expense.

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u/falliblehumanity Sep 24 '22

I also have YouTube premium, but it's for YouTube Music

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u/[deleted] Sep 24 '22

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u/hipster3000 Sep 24 '22

If you use an ad blocker than why do you need to pay for it?

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u/[deleted] Sep 24 '22

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u/Mahrinn Sep 25 '22

No ads on mobile/any other device I can’t install Adblock on, can play videos while locked, watch videos in PiP, gives better payout to the creators I watch vs what they’d earn with ads. Using a VPN I pay ~$1.50/month, since I subbed 4 months ago I’ve watched/listened to over 1200 hours of content, mostly on my phone. For me, it’s 100% worth paying for.
I know I sound like a shill for ytp, but I honestly couldn’t go back to standard YouTube. Premium is invaluable to me for how I use YouTube.

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u/CjoewD Sep 24 '22

I don't like Spotify. So I went the YouTube route.

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u/appleparkfive Sep 24 '22

I have YouTube Premium as well. Pays artists 2-3x as much. Better algorithm for finding music too. It's just plain better.

With that and not having YouTube ads on TV or phone plus downloading any video with the push of a button, it's worth it.

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u/Archer1407 Sep 24 '22

I couldn't agree more. And they honor grandfathered pricing. I'm still paying $7.99/month.

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u/CyHawkNerd Sep 25 '22

I ruined my grandfathered price by using a student discount.

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u/CalebMendez12303 Sep 24 '22

Believe it or not we do exist, just a rare breed. Souce: Premium user

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u/joec0ld Sep 24 '22

People shit on YT premium a lot, but not having to watch several minutes of ads, is great, and the music service has come a long way in the last couple of years

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u/ShatteredXeNova Sep 24 '22

People shit on YT premium because there are free alternatives if you're tech savvy enough.

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u/appleparkfive Sep 24 '22

YouTube Premium is amazing. I think people believe it's just "no ads". And they think "Well I have uBlock so why would I need that?"

There's no ads on TV or mobile, or anywhere at all. You can turn off your phone screen. Download and video you want with the press of a button for traveling and offline use.

But also it comes with YouTube Music. The Spotify equivalent. Which is way better than Spotify. Pays artists 2-3x more. Better algorithm for finding new music.

YouTube Premium is by far worth it if you watch a good bit of YouTube. I think a lot of people don't really grasp just how much great content is on there. Especially great long for content. You just have to find what you want to watch.

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u/Zindinok Sep 25 '22

Turning off your phone screen and having videos keep playing just used to be a feature of YouTube on mobile, but they took it away so people would have to pay for it.

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u/Milyaism Sep 25 '22

I don't like when they do stuff like that. I'm petty enough to not pay for a subscription to something if I know the thing I'd have to pay for used to be free. I'll just ignore the adds or find something else to use.

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u/gofunkyourself69 Sep 25 '22

Another reason I refuse to pay for any Youtube service. Shady practices on their end.

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u/ThickyMiniJiggy Sep 24 '22

That’s why for events, birthday and etc, I always ask people to buy my subscription gift cards. Haven’t paid for spotify, netflix, hulu, and etc in a bit because I still have birthday cards I haven’t used. It makes it easy for people to get me gifts, and I get to enjoy those gifts year long.

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u/gunnerdrog Sep 24 '22

I mean, anyone who is any way frugal will only be subscribed to what they actually need and use. Heck I'm bad with money and I only have one of those.

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u/lucybluth Sep 24 '22

Exactly, I’m not understanding the outrage here. “No one is pissed off enough”? What’s there to be pissed about? Just… don’t subscribe to these things.

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u/fighterpilotace1 Sep 24 '22

It's not that OP has all of them and is wasting money, it's the subscription platform itself being applied to EVERYTHING

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u/gh0stsafari Sep 24 '22

I once bought a cool little plug-in to use with Photoshop. Years later, I went back to the website as I couldn't remember where I'd put the plug-in after switching PCs. Now the developer wants $5 a month for a Photoshop plug-in that had no updates since 2019.

All his recent tweets are about fixing issues related to the licenses infrastructure and trials being broken.

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u/ellequoi Sep 25 '22

Software as a Service is big these days. I ended up buying a year’s subscription in a few kids apps once they were sufficiently on sale because of how much my kid liked them, but I hate that business model.

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u/Spacebrother Sep 24 '22

Not only this, but things which you can once buy outright and own are now moving to subscription. Under subscription terms, you no longer own the thing anymore, but it's on loan to you from the company, who can take it back when they feel like it.

An extreme example is what John Deere is doing with their tractors.

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u/Kowzorz Sep 24 '22

The classic joke nowadays is a subscription to the heated seats feature in your car.

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u/Iggyhopper Sep 24 '22

Yeah, the anger is obviously placed on the subscribers, but we're talking about the bigger picture. Companies see the money that Netflix is raking and they alter their designs and policies, and products, to support their new subscription ecosystem.

This now includes Buy Now Pay Later programs like Klarna. It's near the same fucking psyche bullshit designs that makes gambling and loot boxes addictive. And obviously, the prices go up.

It needs to stop.

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u/Exanime4ever Sep 24 '22 edited Sep 24 '22

I'm 10000% opposed to the bs subscription like paying so your car heated seats work, or HP printer cartridges or that bike airbag jacket....

Subscription make sense for continuous services, like Netflix or Spotify (the value of these is debatable and at least partially subjective though)

The problem is that many products and services, that make zero sense as a subscription, are moving to this model just to grab more cash

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u/[deleted] Sep 24 '22

For now, until everything you buy has a subscription tied to it.

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u/goats4all777 Sep 24 '22

Probably subscriptions being applied where they don’t belong.

I don’t want a monthly subscription for printer ink. I want to buy printer ink when I need it.

I don’t want to pay yearly for Microsoft office. I want to buy a CD, install it, and use it as long as I’d like. I don’t care about the updates Microsoft pushes. When the updates are good enough for me to buy the next version, I’ll do it.

I own The Office on DVD so I can watch it whenever I want without paying however much per month to Peacock. Can you even buy newer shows on DVD anymore?

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u/GaijinFoot Sep 24 '22

This is classic r/unpopularopinion where you say something that is a rather popular opinion and pretend no one is outraged 'unpopular opinion but I think driving to work 2 hours each way is terrible and we shouldn't do it'

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u/doghairglitter Sep 24 '22

My frugal decision was to buy seasons of my favorite shows I watch over and over again. I was tired of them changing subscription bases every few years and landing on platforms with other shows I just don’t really care about. Might have been a little more upfront than a monthly subscription but after a year, they will have paid for themselves and now I own them indefinitely.

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u/mason_sol Sep 24 '22

I think the bigger point is the rate at which everything is becoming a subscription. When everything is an update fee or subscription, you “own” nothing outright, all technology is updated into obsolescence unless you pay for updates on perfectly functioning hardware etc.

This is the future if these things aren’t blocked by consumer friendly laws. You won’t even be able to buy a car and own it outright without “features” being held hostage by the manufacturers on a monthly subscription.

It won’t matter how “frugal” you are if everything in your life is offered on tiered subscription services and your choices are to participate or live without basic modern comforts or even basic level of care and function.

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u/Silverjackel Sep 24 '22

I added my subscriptions all up and they’re about $90 a month, My cable bill used to be easily $150 a month. Still coming out ahead. Don’t you dare try to bundle my channels again.

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u/PatentGeek Sep 25 '22 edited Sep 25 '22

Did that cable bill also include Internet though? With streaming, you have to add Internet to the total cost

ETA: some people are missing the point here. Obviously you need Internet either way. But that $150 cable bill might have Internet bundled into it. With streaming, it’s a separate expense. You have to compare apples to apples.

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u/olivegardengambler Sep 24 '22

Tbh I would still argue that streaming is still a better value than cable.

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u/mystery_biscotti Sep 24 '22

My friends are the "but it's only $8/month!" types, some of them. I ask them how many $8 subscriptions they have, and if they use them all monthly. It's interesting to watch them math it out and go, "oh, I guess I don't watch (channel) as much as I thought, maybe I can cancel."

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u/Meatface_Malone Sep 24 '22

The frugal thing is to rotate them out. I do it every 3 months or so. None of them generate enough new content to be perpetually subscribed.

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u/SunshineSB Sep 24 '22

That subscription lifestyle creep is real. Thankfully, I have YNAB and never miss a thing.

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u/[deleted] Sep 24 '22 edited Oct 13 '22

[deleted]

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u/subignition Sep 24 '22

It is now, but I got a copy of YNAB 4 in a Humble Bundle a long time ago and it does perfectly fine

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u/MrMagius Sep 24 '22

Samesies. Good program. Shit, I just remembered I bought the Ukraine bundle and probably lost all the time sensitive keys.

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u/medicaustik Sep 24 '22

Best money I ever spend. Been using YNAB for a decade and it's probably been the smartest investment I've ever made.

Man when I think what my finances looked like before YNAB...

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u/Nonthares Sep 24 '22

I've used YNAB for a long time and recently dropped them because they increased the price to $100/year. Luckily my old copy of YNAB4 still works, though getting the android app to work felt a bit sketchy.

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u/[deleted] Sep 24 '22 edited Sep 24 '22

People don’t want to hear it though. I was crucified on another car sub for saying Sirius XM is obsolete and a waste of money when there are free options like AM/FM, Spotify, Pandora etc available. It’s not a matter of affording it, it’s about the value I’m getting for my money.

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u/pm_me_ur_fit Sep 24 '22

Just gonna throw out there that spotify is the only subscription service i use and it's very worth it to me

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u/Cat_Panda_Canda Sep 24 '22

Same. I have hulu and spotify. Spotify gets used every single day. Hulu is just there because student bundle

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u/yungxehanort Sep 24 '22

Shame that you gotta deal with ads though. I’m considering dropping spotify altogether and getting Hulu premium

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u/[deleted] Sep 24 '22

I can deal with most ads, but Hulu’s have gotten ridiculous.

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u/Cat_Panda_Canda Sep 24 '22

On hulu or spotify? I don't get them on spotify and I don't mind them on Hulu. Being a 90s baby, I grew up on TV with commercial breaks. RIP Billy Mays

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u/yungxehanort Sep 24 '22

The Hulu ads (I also have Spotify student)

And I say NOOO! The entire reason why I use streaming services is to not have my buzz killed by commercials 🤣

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u/Mylifereboot Sep 24 '22

Siriusxm is obsolete. It had a time and place but that has since passed.

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u/latecraigy Sep 24 '22

Sirius is like $40 a month (at least according to someone I know who had it). $40 a month for radio????? There are so many free options for radio. I could only see that justified if you listen to radio all day everyday while at work and even then I still say it’s a waste of money.

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u/GraniteTaco Sep 24 '22

Sirius charges $40 so they can get bundled in to new/used car sales for "5 years of free sat radio!"

They aren't relying on people picking that sub back up, they are relying on dealerships paying for 100's to 1000's of cut rate subscriptions to help move cars and inflate the sale price.

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u/mistermick Sep 24 '22

I'm not sure about today but I bought a new Toyota last August and they only gave me 6 months free.

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u/cherryblossomzz Sep 24 '22

That person is a fool. I've just called to cancel and negotiated the price down to ~$7. And I'm a bad negotiator who folds too soon.

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u/cherryblossomzz Sep 24 '22

I love Sirius Radio - it's basically a necessity at this point for me. But I've never paid more than $7/month for it.

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u/herir Sep 24 '22

What about rent ? Or mortgage payments. The OG subscription

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u/grumpyrumpywalrus Sep 24 '22

With a mortgage… you get to keep it after

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u/wizzdingo Sep 24 '22

Soon you'll have to read the fine print to make sure you're not just buying a one time non transferable license to your house when you sign a mortgage.

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u/PopeBasilisk Sep 24 '22

Rent yes mortgage no

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u/DunebillyDave Sep 24 '22

That's just the tip of the iceberg. Car manufacturers are charging monthly "subscriptions" for seat heaters, remote alarm and remote start key fobs, and other ancillary features that are built into the car that they can control by Bluetooth or other remote methods.

Boycott these car manufacturers. This is a heinous act. They aren't delivering anything for the subscription price. You have bought or leased the car. You've already paid for the feature. Boycott these car manufacturers.

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u/[deleted] Sep 24 '22 All-Seeing Upvote

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/greenfern51 Sep 24 '22

My two cents on this topic:

  1. Most frugal “company” in which to access digital movies and tv shows is Kanopy, a free service that most libraries offer access too if you have a card. Using it already and want a way to be able to watch more? Most libraries are members of a reciprocal library program that offers free cards to other libraries in your area. Go wild!

  2. I know that at least for Spotify, it is possible to buy the entire year’s subscription by giftcard, and that doing this is cheaper than paying month-to-month (2 free months!). Rather than having monthly withdrawals look for one time purchases.

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u/Unprofession Sep 24 '22

Step 1 Piggyback on family and friends

Step 2 Cancel all your subs and only renew them when you are actually going to use the service, and then cancel auto renewal immediately.

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u/_Dresser-Drawer Sep 24 '22

I’ve been doing that a lot lately. When the new season of what we do in the shadows came out i paid for hulu that month but cancelled immediately after.

But i think people seriously underestimate the power of the internet and a decent VPN (some are free, too). You can pretty much stream anything you can think of online, it’s just a matter of protecting yourself from viruses and ads and stuff

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u/Amaina Sep 24 '22

I hope you mean work with your friends and share your subscriptions and not just freeload.

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u/Swampfoxxxxx Sep 24 '22

This is the way. Share your AppleTV with a coworker, get their HBOmax sub, stay on your parent's Netflix account, trade for Hulu with a friend, steal your aunt's Disney+ password, sell your ParamountPlus for drugs. A mutually efficient ecosystem

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u/Hellcrafted Sep 24 '22

I share my paramount and disney and get hulu, amazon, netflix, and hbo in return. It's a pretty solid deal, sharing is caring

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u/reddituser77373 Sep 24 '22

Step 3 learn to live without

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u/MayoMark Sep 24 '22

Yea, there's not enough consideration here about whether these mass produced forms of corporate entertainment are actually enriching. It's the same kind of junk that everyone pumps into their brains after work each day so that you can ignore how much working all the time is robbing you of the finite time you have on this earth.

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u/determinedforce Sep 24 '22

I put all my cancel deadlines in my calendar. 3 day reminder. This is a no-brainer if you ask me.

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u/pacman147 Sep 24 '22 Take My Energy

Subscription based model is the new paradigm for continued hegemony of global corporations. Not saying corporations are the bogeyman, but that's the way it's going and also what analysts look for because it's very much tied to future share prices and future earnings.

That Black Mirror episode on microtransaction is already becoming a reality, and it will start with monthly subscriptions that ease their way into biweekly to weekly.

Here's a psychological skill you can apply to help save money but also not pinch pennies for something worthwhile:

  1. Calculate any subscription-based services by yearly basis. And ask yourself if you'd spend that money right now. If you're not sure, better not be impulsive.
  2. Have a planned reverse budget. Like a set amount of money you will require yourself to spend. For fun or for self-improvement. That way, you won't deprive yourself.

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u/GallopingFinger Sep 24 '22

Lol, corporations ARE the bogeyman. In literally every single way.

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u/yasuewho Sep 24 '22 edited Sep 24 '22

I don't understand why anyone would have all of these at once. We typically keep Netflix and rotate through the others occasionally after something finishes a season. My bill for entertainment rarely break $20, which beats the hell out of cable.

Also free entertainment abounds on the Roku, so it's a better choice for a streaming device. They provide a catalog of free-with-ads, top tier content too.

A great free service that's similar to live cable for all devices is Pluto TV.

Peacock has a free tier with cable-like streams and some on-demand content.

Haystack is good for local stations in many US locations if you can't get anything on an antenna.

Amazon added FreeVee with ad supported shows too.

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u/ShopLifeHurts2599 Sep 24 '22

Used to pay for cable and internet in a bundle, as well as amazon prime and netflix.

Cancelled the cable, got a fire stick, subscribed to crave, stack, and CBC gem. Still have prime and Netflix.

Now I use netflix and prime way way more often, definitely worth the price especially when considering how expensive it is to go the theaters to watch movies and I get them included with the subscriptions instead.

The TV I like to watch now has 0 commercials.

Shows don't take up an hour time slot and are filled with 25 minutes of commercials.

So what this really comes down to? Do your own damn research. You may pay much less for a subscription service compared to the standard service that is available. Thus saving money.

You should also only be frugal when it doesn't cause you more stress.

If you're losing your mind over trying to pinch pennies then you need to give up.

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u/Orn100 Sep 24 '22

The problem with pillorying netflix as a frivolous subscription service is that the product it replaces is cable; which of course is also a subscription service.

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u/dpforest Sep 24 '22

Just named a whole lot of things that are in no way necessary for someone to live.

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u/BackAgain12345678 Sep 24 '22

Dont be dumb enough to pay for this crap when it can be found for free.

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u/Gloomy_Tennis_5768 Sep 24 '22

You don't need them all.. Relax.

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u/RailRoadAndy Sep 24 '22

“I subscribe to more content than I can consume and it’s everybody else’s fault but mine” man stfu 99% of individual subs are a BANG for your buck. But having 20 tv services is clearly stupid.

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u/[deleted] Sep 24 '22 edited Oct 09 '22

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u/StriderSkywalker Sep 24 '22

Not an unpopular opinion, I’d think. Subscription costs have been a landmine for years, if not decades.

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u/buttahsmooth Sep 24 '22

Good way to minize the payments is too split it between family ( most services allow 5 different profiles) I have 5 family members and each one takes care of a different service. So I end up getting spotify, Netflix, prime, disney+ and crave while only paying for one

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u/hidelyhokie Sep 25 '22

I literally only pay for one of these things. If I wasn’t sharing accounts, I’d probably just rotate through a single streaming service at a time. Just don’t pay it…

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u/DrinkinDoughnuts Sep 24 '22

I've always been interested in saving money and investing for a very young age. So I quickly realised it was basically a reverse investment, that eats up your money slowly. And I decided I don't want any of it.

To be fair subscription makes sense when you know you're not going to use the certain thing for a long time and "renting" the service is cheaper than buying it, for example library (most ppl only read one book once), public transportation (cars are expensive to maintain and stationary 90% of time), renting (if you don't plan to stay for long)

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u/Flemmye Sep 24 '22

Subscription also provides stability and predictability of expenses, which allows for better budgeting. It also allows to simply have enough to access to some things even if it means paying more at the end of the day.

It's like saying it's better to buy a house than renting it. Well yeah but you need enough money to buy the house.

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u/[deleted] Sep 24 '22

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u/BIGREDDMACH1NE Sep 24 '22 edited Sep 24 '22

No one is forcing you to buy these.

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u/Cebo494 Sep 24 '22

If it's a service, including apps which you expect continuous support and regular updates, a subscription is the most sensical way to not go bankrupt and continue to be able to support the product long term.

The problem is the many subscriptions that don't belong in that category, most of the car subscriptions are a clear example: the heating coils are already in the seat and don't (or shouldn't) require any of their own software to operate, beyond maybe a button on the touch screen (and i hate touch screen controls for important stuff like that). It shouldn't cost anything more than the original cost of the car to operate.

Things like driving assist, or other software intense services in the car do sometimes make sense to be a subscription though; if it's just a lane assist and cruise control, maybe not since that's relatively straight forward, but "self driving" absolutely needs updates over time, since its nowhere near good enough yet (and calling it that at the present is blatantly false advertising).

But for the most part, the beauty of a subscription model is that you only pay for it when you use it, regardless of how much you use it, so you can save money as a result. A month of Netflix is orders of magnitudes cheaper than buying physical copies of all the shows and movies you might watch in that same month. If you sign up for one media subscription at a time, and just commit to that one service's catalog for that month, and are okay waiting for shows to be available in full instead of waiting week to week for episodes, you will absolutely save money over cable or physical media. If you unsubscribe from the subscriptions you don't actually use much or at all, you will save money. If you are genuinely using hundreds of dollars worth of subscriptions that you can't give up then yeah, you should be paying for it. Maybe the prices are too high sometimes, but that's a separate issue from "too many subscriptions".

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u/VisualShock1991 Sep 24 '22

I spend far less on streaming services that the average Sky customer does on their package. It's certainly one to keep an eye on though, because most of them are priced in the "Sure, it's only x-per-month" and you end up with the death by a thousand cuts kind of broke.

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u/not_overly_confident Sep 24 '22

Death by a thousand cuts