How Managing Debt Gets Harder With Too Many Monthly Subscriptions
If you could do without one app for the rest of your life, what would it be? For many of you, that would be a tough choice. Some may say “none of them”. While it’s true that many of our favourite apps make life convenient and instant, a significant number of them come with a price tag. The monthly fees are usually minimal. But if your phone or tablet screen is a multi-coloured collage of various apps, several which require monthly fees, then you may have a money vampire on your hands. In fact, too many of these monthly subscriptions could make managing debt harder than it needs to be.
Spotify – $9.99/month
Gone are the days where you need to spend $10 to listen to an entire album. Thanks to Spotify (and other streaming services like it), your ten bucks gives you ad-free, access to a countless number of albums, EPs and singles from your favourite artists. Of course, you didn’t need us to tell you that – the awesomeness makes it worth every penny.
Netflix – $9.99/month
We know, we know – Netflix Canada doesn’t have nearly as much as the hit flicks and shows you really want to see like the U.S version does. But hey, you can still make use of it. The ten dollars at least prevents you from downloading (illegally) virus and spyware-laden torrents from shady sites.
Playstation Store – $49.99/12 months
If you’re in that 18 – 34 year old age range, there’s a good chance that you’re into gaming, and have some kind of online membership. Hey, after a long day at school or work, you deserve a few hours of team deathmatch or maybe a few laps in your favourite car racing games. You PS4 owners pay $50 a year, which isn’t bad. With that said, let’s not forget about you Xbox One fanboys and fangirls who just had your membership slashed from $60 to $40 a year.
Amazon Prime – $99/12 months
With its assortment of books, electronics and even nutritional supplements, Amazon has turned into a tempting place to splurge. And of course, you’ll want some discounts and extra perks if you plan to shop a lot. Enter Amazon Prime. For just $99 annually, you can shop til you drop, and pay a bit less for it.
Audible – $14.95/month
Finding time to read books nowadays is a bit challenging. Thankfully, Amazon created their awesome audiobook subscription service, Audible, which gives you access to countless audio renditions of books on your reading list. The only catch here, is that you still gotta buy the books. You can always bypass this by upgrading to a more premium account though.
Blue Apron – $59.94/week for 2 people
One of the more costly apps, Blue Apron, created by the NYC startup of the same, allows its users to pick ingredients and recipes for home-cooked meals. It carries a $59.99 fee for feeding two people ($69.92 for a family). Along with the deliveries, the app is loaded with features including cooking videos and social media sharing.
Adobe Creative Cloud – $49.99/month
Depending on your line of work or hobbies, then your Adobe Creative Cloud account might be a necessity. That’s certainly true if you’re a designer, photographer, filmmaker or some other kind of creative person. The price is substantial (compared to other apps), but we won’t argue with you as to whether it is useful or not. It’s all about your passion.
eBay – $15.95/monthly
Let’s say you’re a salesperson. You’ve got your store on eBay, selling your arts and crafts, or the old books you can’t find in stores – understandably, you need to pay your fees. Takes money to make money right? And for the $16 you pay to keep your store, it really does seem like a small price to pay in the long run.
Dropbox Pro – $9.99/month
Life is too uncertain to keep your precious files on a hard drive. And nowadays, everyone has tons of files they need to store (or at least think they need to). Therefore, it may only seem right to spend just $10 bucks a month for the terabyte of storage space Dropbox offers. You wouldn’t want your 3,000 song library gone forever, because you didn’t back it up.
Office 365 Home – $99.99/year
You might have a unique work situation, where you MUST use tools like Office 365 Home. Perhaps, it’s ideal for your industry or business. To use all of those programs you love such as Word, Excel, or Powerpoint, you decide to pay the $99 fee it comes with annually. And if you feel it is the right solution to get the job done, why abandon it?
So the use of all these apps is hypothetical. We’re not saying that you do this, but there are tons of people who have monthly subscriptions to various apps and services. There could be people out there who run an e-store selling artsy products they designed, perhaps, too tired to cook for themselves, and seek stress relief from their playlist, reading list and T.V./movie/gaming binges. More realistically, there are families out there where one person’s credit card pays for several accounts, perhaps, for a spouse, child, sibling, friend or grandparent. Maybe that describes you. The point here, is subscribing to all of these monthly accounts can add up to a fairly hefty bill, and managing debt can turn into a real chore with these added costs. In fact, let’s take a look at the annual expense:
App/Subscription Cost Calculation
$599.88 (Adobe Creative Suite)
$599.40 (Blue Apron) (Based on 10 weeks)
$ 99.99 (Amazon Prime)
$ 99.99 (Office 365 Home)
+ $ 49.99 (Playstation Network) (take 10 bucks off for Xbox Live Customers)
If the hypothetical person is an Xbox Live user, their subscription would cost about $10 less than this cost. Regardless, that’s quite a lot of money. Just imagine what you could do with an extra two grand in your pocket.
We’re not going to tell you what you should and shouldn’t subscribe to. Just stay aware of what your apps cost you, and how they may impact your ability to save money, manage debt, and pay bills. Additionally, take a good look at the apps you buy and pay for, along with the frequency at which you use them. The results may surprise you. If you realize that you or someone close to you isn’t making much use of a monthly subscription, then do the obvious and cancel it. After all, there’s no need to throw away your hard-earned cash!