She said to Dorothy…Are you a good subscription or a bad subscription?

28 Feb
Various Federal Reserve Notes, c.1995. Only th...

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It is just the beginning of this money makeover and already I don’t think I’m in Kansas anymore.  A house has fallen on my happy ignorance and I am seeing that there items that I can easily choose to change without any negative impact on our quality of our family life.

The first things that come to mind are subscriptions.  Now I am not here to say that you will want to cut out all subscriptions, yes life requires some guilty pleasures, and as I have found, some subscriptions cost you money and some actually save you money. 

First, in my case when I began to write out all my monthly payments, many of them auto pay so they are virtually invisible on my spending radar, I saw that there were a couple of business subscriptions that felt like they were first cousins to my gym membership.  Like my gym membership, they were nice to have but I really didn’t use them that much.  A couple of phone calls and I now have $75.00 dollars a month to spend elsewhere in my budget.  And yes, the gym membership… gone.  Not so impressive but multiply that by 12 to get the annual savings and you have $900.00. 

There is no formula for what is best to cut.  In my case the gym membership went, but if going to the gym is the only thing that keeps you from going crazy then I would call that a definite keeper. However, sometimes we already have other resources, that do not cost us additional money, that we can obtain a similar benefit from.  An example of an alternative for a gym membership might be a Wii Fit program, a bike, or a good pair of running shoes. 

Magazine subscriptions are another place where your “habits” can cost you money.  Do you find that many of your magazines lie unread collecting dust and creating clutter?  Here is your chance to clean house and save money too.  In the case that you have several magazines that you actually do read regularly you may consider starting a magazine exchange with friends who share the same interests.  That way you can pass them around (the magazines, not your friends), share the cost of subscriptions and at the same time reduce the piles of magazines that grow like kudzu on your nightstand.

Well, I must say that my sister, the Queen of All Things Money, will be very proud of me.  We have not even reached our one month review of the numbers and I have already started looking at my money with new eyes.  I must say that it feels pretty good so far, no judgement, no sacrifice, and no hairshirt to wear. I feel lighter already. As a matter of fact, I have even found that some of my subscriptions actually save me money but we can talk about that another day.

If anyone had the courage to take up this challenge what were you able to remove from your budget and just not miss?

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2 Responses to “She said to Dorothy…Are you a good subscription or a bad subscription?”

  1. Greg February 28, 2011 at 7:49 AM #

    I found this article to be very good advice. It’s given me a point to start from and I look forward to beginning it tomorrow.

  2. queenoffamilosity February 28, 2011 at 7:58 AM #

    Congratulations Greg! I look forward to hearing how it goes.

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