A recent post from another blogger has me thinking: “How much am I paying for subscription services? Do I even know all the services I am paying and agreeing to on a monthly or yearly basis? How much money can I save if I take an honest look and assess my needs/wants?

Personally, I prefer using stock apps and services where I can, but sometimes, apps and services can be a real joy to use instead. I dislike subscriptions and prefer to pay for a service one-time, but here lately many developers or moving away from one time purchases and going to the subscription model to keep the money flowing in. I don’t mind supporting small, independent developers, but I prefer not to succumb to subscription creep either.

Honest assessment of apps/services:

  1. Apple One- Too much good stuff here that I use frequently like Music, TV, 2 TB storage, Fitness+, Arcade and News. A bonus feature is the ability to share it with up to 5 family members who enjoy as well at no extra cost. $30mo.
  2. Adobe Photography Plan- I’ve been using Adobe products for 15 years and hated it when they switched to subscription model. But they made it worthwhile. A lot of value here for $10 monthly. Plus, they host my photography website. Is it possible to do without it? Yes. I have made software purchases ahead of leaving Adobe, but…it’s a tough one. It stays for now.
  3. Bear Notes- Could I use the stock Apple Notes instead? Yes. But Apple Notes is so damn ugly. Bear has all the features and design I want except the ability to collaborate with others. I just re-upped back in December, so it stays for another 11 months. $15 yearly.
  4. DayOne- The best private journal app that I’ve been free using for 6 years. I just subscribed last month thanks to a generous Apple Store gift card. Is it worth $30 a year? That depends on my usage this year. Plus, they just got bought out by my current web host, WordPress, and promise to integrate somehow. TBD.
  5. Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+ bundle- $20 monthly with a lot of entertainment value. ESPN, not so much. They keep all the big matches and F1 races off there. Hulu up-charges to avoid ads (a must). Today, I dropped those two and holding on to Disney for $7 a month. Will it last?
  6. Feedbin- Consider it to be a podcast player, but for blogs, YouTube videos, newsletters and more. There are other feed readers out there for a hell of a lot less but FeedBin checks all the right boxes, and it has been great, but $50 a year with no software improvements? Why? Subscription ends in February.
  7. Fantastical- Do I need a calendar app for $40 a year? When I thought it could help me organize and block out times for my personal life and connect to my company’s email Outlook Exchange, yes. Only to discover my company blocks access to third-party apps for security. Damn. Will not renew in favor of Apple stock calendar app. In December.
  8. Geocaching- A worldwide treasure hunt using GPS coordinates and a fun way to get out and explore. Worth the $50 annually for me.
  9. Micro.blog- A new-to-me platform for hosting blogs. Simple, easy, with amazing community support and direct access to the developer. Will it pull me away from WordPress? Time will tell. $5 or $10 monthly based on desired features.
  10. MindNode- a tool that helps me parse my thoughts with visual diagrams. I’ve been using it to help plot my novels and short stories. I grabbed it again because it was available thanks to an Apple gift card. $20 a year. Then again, pen and paper works just as well.
  11. Ulysses- One of the best software tools around for writers. I’m typing this article on it now and will send it to my website via Ulysses automagically. $50 annually versus the one time paid app I also have called iA Writer. Subscription renewed in November. Status is: we’ll see.
  12. VSCO- A remarkable phone camera app that offers a lot of vintage film emulations with strong community support and even a webpage to host your images. $20 annually.
  13. WordPress- My website host for the past 19 years. They’ve been outstanding but lately quite proud of their offerings and the subscription costs jump as a result. This is why I’ve been looking at Micro.blog as an alternative. $80 annually

Well, that escalated quickly. There may be some subscriptions I have forgotten about that will be a surprise when I get the bill. But those will be addressed accordingly. As a result of this analysis, I’m taking a look at services, value, costs, and alternatives. I’m off to go unsubscribe to a few things and when the renewal notices pop up I’ll reconsider everything.

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