Monthly subscription has become a new way for buying many services and products nowadays. Earlier we used to buy things one-off and go for another shopping when required. Services like gym, newspaper, magazine, telephone etc were different, of course. But in the present time, even things like coffee, shirts, shaving kits etc are available on a subscription basis. You add payment information once in the website and a certain amount gets deducted every month or at any other pre-decided interval. You get what you have subscribed for at regular intervals. Admittedly, it is very convenient in the fast lifestyle, isn’t it? There are different arguments on the financial prudence of subscribing to such deliveries. Even for gym subscriptions, less than 10 out of 100 people use the service regularly. There are food subscriptions delivering stuff weekly or monthly.
Some people argue that such subscriptions are taking out money regularly from the pocket, while others counter-argue that what we need is anyway going to cost us, so what is wrong with paying as a subscription? And both the arguments have some truth behind them. What is the actual use of the product we have subscribed for? Many people get newspapers delivered at home but do not read. Sometimes food and shaving kits delivered are piled in the storeroom without use. So, what is the solution? Is it better to buy only when we need the product/service or does a subscription still make sense? In my personal case, I have paid for a gym subscription (without using it regularly!). So is the case for a TV subscription as I hardly watch it.
Sadly, I would confess it is a real waste of money. But, is there a choice of unsubscribing from TV and Gym? I doubt. However, my subscriptions for movies, magazines and coffee have been really useful. Although I don’t utilise 100% of what is available under the offer, still it makes financial sense to me, by saving costs and efforts. Even if I had bought them by paying separately, I would have ended up paying either a similar or more amount. So it makes perfect sense to me because subscriptions come with some discount.
What is your situation? Would you even like to check how much money is being auto-debited from your bank accounts, debit cards and credit cards? Now the first thing you will realise is that you have multiple accounts from where different subscriptions and auto-debits are being paid for. It is difficult to make a list, right? Anyway, if you still decide to prepare a list, you will find out that a few of the subscriptions are just passive money robbers but still you can’t stop them, some are really useful while remaining may be an unnecessary waste of your hard-earned money, and you would like to immediately stop them – unless bound by a contract!
By the way, this was about rationalising subscriptions from a financial point of view. If we think what is the real purpose of these subscriptions, like TV for remaining updated and entertained, phone for calling friends and family, gym for exercise, some websites for learning new skills – and we decide to commit ourselves to these goals, perhaps everything will be better utilised. Simply, subscriptions are not to make services available at doorsteps without effort, but for the result that we would desire out of them. If we are committed to those results and subscribe ourselves to the end goal, perhaps the outcome would be the best. So let’s consider that our subscription is to devote some time for physical exercise (gym), being educated and informed (newspaper, magazine), getting entertained (TV, movies) and then we commit to these goals, perhaps it will be a more logical way of achieving desired results. All the best.