Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Burden of Service(s)

Monthly Subscription Costs
Total: $165

A recent conversation on Twitter caused me to take this a bit deeper. In a time of economic dysfunction, many people are tightening their pursestrings. They are cutting out Starbucks and opting to make Sanka at home. Some are choosing to skip the weekend at the coast this year and enjoy time at the local parks more often. But how many are making changes in what they spend each month (every month) on subscriptions and services?

We recently cancelled cable at my house and switched to watching everything online, with digital rabbit ears or via DVD. I did invest in a Mac Mini (hooked it up to my 46" HDTV) and bumped my internet speed up a bit, but in the end it is a lot cheaper and I do not feel like I am missing anything (especially since I can watch full episodes of Hoarders on A&E online).

I was told once that the average American family spends over $400 per month on recurring subscriptions and services. This is on the utility bill or the car payment. These dollars are being spent on other stuff.

How do you fare?

I opened with my monthly amount. This is actually down from nearly $300/month (cut almost in half).

So where are you?
Do you think this is healthy?
Is it just the way of our society?
______ -as-a-service so that we don't have to "buy" anything?


  1. I'm at $480 (Phone / Gym / Cable / Internet)

    And that was WITH cut backs!

    I canceled:
    Housecleaner (-$100)
    Certain Cable Services (-$50)
    Waxing (-$100)
    Nails (-$100)
    Hair every 4 wks (go every 8 now) (-$100)

  2. I'm paying way too much for online access between a smart phone and regular internet. Add in cable TV, Netflix, TiVo, and my number is similar to yours. I did away with my landline phone, and use a Google Voice number with my mobile phone to save some money. But I too am ready to get rid of my cable box, and start watching stuff online. I figure I'll keep my TiVo with a broadband connection, and then I can watch most stuff through Netflix's Watch Instantly streaming service. I'd sign up for the rumored all you can eat Apple iTunes subscription model, because I could get away with a slower (i.e. cheaper) internet connection, and download shows overnight when time wasn't a factor.
    But overall, in the 21st century, American society has morphed into a service driven economy. We are more concerned with what we get to do on a regular basis, rather than what physically own. I don't see that changing anytime soon.

  3. oneheavenlyheart,

    Wow, you made a lot of cuts. I feel bad (kinda) for those that once benefited from people paying for all those services and luxuries.

  4. My biggest change has been downgrading AT&T landline service I was paying $77/mo for 2 lines and unlimited long distance. Now it's the bare minimum measured rate local.

    I ported the main number to Ooma ( and now use VOIP.