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Subject: What subscriptions or recurring payments do you have that are "optional"? rss

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The following 2 are OUT OF SCOPE for this thread:

1) utilities
For example, internet, cell phone, heat, electricity, water, trash pickup

2) essentials
For example, mortgage, rent, condo fees, insurance, other bills, software license if you need it for your livelihood



There's generally a disdain for recurring fees and memberships dues, and subscriptions. I'm curious to hear if folks have any "non-essential/utility" stuff they're trying out, which ones they deem worthy to continue paying money to, etc.

For me:
1) Amazon Prime
I don't buy as much stuff as I used to, but still enough to meet my own "minimal threshold". I do have plans to resume watching a few more movies and TV shows on their streaming service (although time will tell if actually get back to this)

2) Sirius XM
I've been on travel more, so this was nice, even though I was on my Ipod Classic prior to having this. A big factor was I negotiated a large discount when I was up for renewal. Otherwise, I wouldn't have bothered

3) Costco
I resisted for well over a decade, but finally decided to get a membership for myself. They do have some nice things, and/or at nice prices. It's "take it or leave it" since it's not close by. I'll have to reevaluate when the year is up to renew or not.

4) Curiosity Stream
I really miss History Channel. The old one where they had much more history, and less aliens, Pawn Stars, American Pickers, and Truckers. I was especially fond of series like Modern Marvels, Ancient Marvels, and The Universe. This is sort of a "spiritual revival" of that, but without ads, that I can watch at my leisure. Also, the HD tier is surprisingly affordable. A year of this is only a fraction of the price of any of the above.

5) gym membership
I don't have to sign contracts, and just pay monthly, so this is a much nicer alternative to your typical, commercial gym.
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Gary Sonnenberg
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The only one I can think of offhand is my $3 per year weather app.

I just started my first year, so it remains to be seen whether I will actually make it recurring.
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Lewis Goldberg
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Amazon Prime - we use the heck out of it. Packages every week. A lot of it is just 'subscribe and save' stuff we don't want to run out of: deodorant, toilet paper, vitamins/supplements, etc. Also, books, books, and more books. Music. Kindle. So much stuff is just cheaper on Amazon, if you don't mind waiting a few days for it to show up.

Accountable2You.com - Our internet accountability software. $4/mo

Spotify - The kids use that. $no idea/mo

Dropbox.com - My entire electronic life is in the cloud. Learned to do this the hard way. $10/mo

HSLDA Membership - Our Homeschool lawyers on retainer, if we should need them (never have). $110/year

My wife could add more, but these are all I can think of.
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Wendell
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Amazon Prime, and a couple of magazine subscriptions (New Yorker, Rolling Stone) come to mind...
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I currently have a subscription to a sports streaming service. But I got it because the provider messed up during the world cup last year and offered customers a years free subscription as compensation (without publicizing it very wide I might add!). That will run out in July and I won't keep it - it's nice to be able to watch a football match on demand whenever I like but in reality it's few and far between that it happens. Just watched the champions league matches this morning but only because I'm on holiday, for example.

I piggyback Netflix and now Stan off family member accounts. Again - nice to have, but I wouldn't bother with them if I had to pay myself. My partner might.... that will be her decision if we have to!

I do pay for Spotify. It's less than how much I used to pay for secondhand CDs and Vinyl every month. Still not sure how I feel about it.


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Just Hulu and Crunchyroll for now, to watch shows that I like, without ads.

I'm intending to try Classic World of Warcraft when it comes out(/back) this summer. I had never played before Warlords of Draenor, and I've only gotten characters to level 20 on the free Starter Edition account, so far. I haven't felt the need to start paying the monthly subscription to go further in the game as it is now, but I would like to try Classic.
 
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Wendell
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Oh yeah, forgot Netflix. DVDs; better selection especially for foreign TV.
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Lewis Goldberg
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Yep, Netflix here too.
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John O'Haver
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AAA, Amazon Prime, Netflix, XBox Live Gold, and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. I may eventually go to Flickr Pro.
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David Jones
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Netflix, although I hardly use it. I have family members who sometimes do though.

I have a monthly auto-payment to https://www.allclassical.org/ Technically, it counts as a non-profit donation, but since I listen to the station I think of it as paying for a service. Not sure how you want to classify that for the purpose of your question (if it matters).
 
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Sam K
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Netflix and Costco (music lessons for the kids would be a gray area but I'm leaning toward essential/utility for that recurring expense).
 
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kSwingrÜber
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For me, just BGG and Netflix (old fashioned mailed DVD type).

Hmmm... what about gas to and from my monthly games group(s)?
 
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Curt Carpenter
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Tennis club
Costco
Netflix
Netflix DVD
Hulu
Spotify
Prime
LinkedIn Premium (forgot about this; just canceled)
Pest control
Yard service
Music lessons
Is security system a utility? (waste of money)

Probably forgetting some.
 
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Benj Davis
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Netflix
Amazon
PlayStation Plus
And a bunch of people on Patreon
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Gregory Amstutz
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Amazon Prime (lots of mail order, plus the TV/Movies)
Hulu
Netflix

All this makes up for no cable, and it's still cheaper.
 
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Bob Horton
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For me it's just Spotify and my Climbing Wall membership in terms of monthly payments. BGG and RateYourMusic are annual payments, and I pay annually for my Manchester City season ticket
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J J
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Only Netflix. And that only because they produced a couple of amazing shows. But in the end, it has been worth it (and I found a few more amazing shows), particularly with regard to having stuff just there rather than being asked to download pirate copies of things all the time.
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Richie Freeman
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1. Amazon Prime (£39 a year, until next year when I'll have to pay non-student rates cry)
2. Tabletop Gaming Magazine subscription (£15 every 3 months)
3. My laptop was bought on 0% credit (£60 a month)
4. BT Sport for the English Premiership and European Championship rugby (included with my internet for around £30-40 a month)
5. Netflix intermittently - currently paying around £8 a month but it's something I frequently get rid of and resubscribe whenever a few new shows I enjoy are added.
6. I donate $5 a month to the Shut Up and Sit Down podcast/website as I really enjoy their content

I'm also a subscription parasite to my friends and family for the following:

1. Spotify
2. NowTV
 
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kswingruber wrote:



For me, just BGG and Netflix (old fashioned mailed DVD type).

Hmmm... what about gas to and from my monthly games group(s)?
That can be a bit of a gray area. I count gas as essential since I need to drive to and from work (which like many others, is how I pay the bills). However, I also use it to get to bg groups, transport my games, food, etc.

My local group is close by that fuel costs are negligible, but when I go to conventions, I definitely count fuel as part of my expenses (in addition to lodging, badges, parking, food, etc.). And that is more so for my personal expenses file sheet than this thread.
 
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J J
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JasonJ0 wrote:
Only Netflix. And that only because they produced a couple of amazing shows. But in the end, it has been worth it (and I found a few more amazing shows), particularly with regard to having stuff just there rather than being asked to download pirate copies of things all the time.


Huh. I just re-read the OP and some replies, and realised that I had forgotten something that counts:

Comics. I get 2000AD each week (well, every 5 weeks to make the postage less painful, because I buy direct from the publisher in the UK after becoming fed up with the Australian distributor and retailers not giving a shit), and a couple of other comics each month. There's also the Carl Barks Library that I'll be buying for the next 7-odd years (two volumes per year, 30 volumes in total, 15 published to date). The 30th anniversary edition of The Sandman doesn't really count, as it is 60% done now, and has only a few months left.
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Curt Carpenter
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ackmondual wrote:
2) Sirius XM
I've been on travel more, so this was nice, even though I was on my Ipod Classic prior to having this.

This is one that baffles me. For less than the price of Sirius, you could get Spotify, which still has lots of "radio" channels, but also lets you listen to specific artists/albums/songs of your choosing. Including downloading for when you're offline. Is Sirius more for the non-music content?
 
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Walt
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I hate such payments. The only one is Costco, and I should probably get rid of it. The products they offer tend to be over-priced, "gold-plated" junk. A $20 Mr. Coffee will work better and longer than a $200 Costco monstrosity with unneeded features.
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curtc wrote:
ackmondual wrote:
2) Sirius XM
I've been on travel more, so this was nice, even though I was on my Ipod Classic prior to having this.

This is one that baffles me. For less than the price of Sirius, you could get Spotify, which still has lots of "radio" channels, but also lets you listen to specific artists/albums/songs of your choosing. Including downloading for when you're offline. Is Sirius more for the non-music content?
Amongst non-music stuff I've listened to include: comedy, CNN, NPR, and Howard Stern. Quickie searches show Spotify does have comedy, and seems to be on par in that regard.

Does Spotify let you negotiate/haggle over pricing? Again, I wouldn't have bothered with continuing with Sirius XM if I couldn't get a discount.

Also, does Spotify work via satellite radio? I already have the hardware in my car. I travel through swathes of nowhere, so I may not be able to get connection at times. Also, may incur more in internet data even if so.

Last but not least, I recall back around 2006, Sirius lets you download songs for offline play, but I never looked into if this was possible today/ with my current equipment.

Tall_Walt wrote:
I hate such payments. The only one is Costco, and I should probably get rid of it. The products they offer tend to be over-priced, "gold-plated" junk. A $20 Mr. Coffee will work better and longer than a $200 Costco monstrosity with unneeded features.
Costco isn't strictly always better, but OTOH, you can get some nice deals as well.

For the former, you can sometimes find better deals at your local supermarket when sales/promos occur. For example, a dozen eggs for $1 was just insane. It may be a better "price per unit" ratio when other places give you the option to buy in smaller quantities, so there's no waste. E.g. you're paying 3x as much per unit for mayo, but you were only going to use a fraction of the 1 gallon sizes they sell at Costco.

For the latter, the fancier stuff can be a bargain. Perhaps some "fancier cheeses", better wines and beers, premium cuts of meats, and some electronics (e.g. ginormous TVs). Last I checked, they had Nintendo Switches for $339, and it includes Super Mario Odyssey and a carry case, in addition to the standard accessories
 
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Curt Carpenter
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ackmondual wrote:
Does Spotify let you negotiate/haggle over pricing?

Lol. I don't know. Is that a good thing? It's cheaper than Sirius, so not sure that's necessary.

ackmondual wrote:
Also, does Spotify work via satellite radio? I already have the hardware in my car. I travel through swathes of nowhere, so I may not be able to get connection at times. Also, may incur more in internet data even if so.

No. I guess if you travel through nowhere a lot, and don't want to pre-download music, then I can see how satellite radio would make sense. But are there really that many "swathes of nowhere" left? I drive a thousand miles listening to Spotify via internet no problem. But yeah, it definitely works best with unlimited data. Doesn't everyone have that?
 
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Netflix and Hulu and HBO for Game of Thrones when it is on. Way cheaper to pay for those than cable.
 
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