Annual audit of paid subscriptions (saved $1480)

@stevek I had not heard of Framer before, it looks really good.

How are you finding it?

what does this mean? Are you guys still locked down? are your bookstores dying off?

It depends on what you consider simple. If having fewer apps installed is the sole definition of simplicity, you’re right that using a spreadsheet or notes app would be simpler if you already have those installed.

Then again, writing it on a piece of paper would be simpler yet, certainly more technologically simple than using a computer and a spreadsheet or notes application. But I have trouble keeping track of little pieces of paper, so I wouldn’t find that simpler at all.

Using Bobby requires a bit less time and mental bandwidth for me than the alternatives you suggested. That makes it functionally simpler for me, and your opinion to the contrary doesn’t change that.

That’s subjective, of course. But I acknowledged that up front in the statement that seemed to upset you, when I said that “other tracking options seem unnecessarily complex.”

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No longer wander the shops looking for birthday presents, for example. Just research and buy via Amazon.

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I may cancel my Amazon Prime subscription.

I canceled when they started showing advertisements on Prime Video, but did not ask for a prorated refund. So I have about 90 days to change my mind.

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It’s almost like you faked ignorance just so you could tell us about how you don’t like Amazon.

It’s almost like you joined last month… I asked why he wasn’t going to shops anymore.

I love Amazon but I still go to Barnes & Noble. I have been a Prime member since it was invented. I remember when Amazon put extra free items in your order for you to try out. So Boris, my issue with PRIME is it now costs nearly double of when I joined and since the only thing I use it for is free next/2 day shipping which I don’t really feel the need for now. I can hit the minimum threshhold easily with my orders and just get it free anyway. so they are high on my “next to be canceled” list. and yes I think their video and music offerings are garbage and I have my own cloud storage.

Tried doing an annual audit…failed miserably. Here’s my list of subscriptions.

Livestream

  • CBN (Superbook for the kids)
  • Crunchyroll
  • Hulu
  • Netflix
  • Paramount+
  • Disney+
  • Apple Arcade (for kids)
  • Apple Music
  • Spotify

Software Backup

  • Backblaze
  • Synology C2
  • Wasabi
  • Cloudways (running a server)
  • Google Storage
  • iCloud

Software Apps

  • Craft
  • Day One
  • Drafts
  • GoodNotes
  • Microsoft
  • Qardio (health tracking)
  • Collectorz
  • Omnifocus
  • Matter
  • Obsidian
  • Fantastical
  • 1 Password
  • PDF Expert
  • DevonThink

Reading

  • Macstories
  • Macsparky
  • DC Comics
  • Marvel Comics

Miscellaneous

  • Amazon

After adding all these up annually…and then dividing out…roughly $530/month on subscriptions…

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That’s about how much I spend too! Except that includes all major expenses that come up in the year and an additional $200 slush fund for toys. (I have savings account that I move the the amount into each month and take money out for expenses, it’s complicated.)

Just $530 for only subscriptions sounds crazy, but if you can afford it and enjoy them, who cares?

I don’t spend $500 a month on software and services subscriptions, but I do pay a lot more (even allowing for inflation) than I used to pay before subscriptions became normalised. All those “cups of coffee” add up very quickly.

It’s also very difficult for the average power user to assess “fair value”. I value my Overcast subscription very highly, but it costs me very little. I love writing in Ulysses but I can’t think of the last upgrade which I really needed or wanted and it costs many times what Overcast costs. Is one really costing so much more to develop and maintain than the other?

It always has been difficult for consumers to assess value in tech, but in the days when you’d have to decide whether to pay for an upgrade when a new version came out, at least you were faced with a decision. Annual or monthly renewal is a similar point of decision, but it’s usually less painful financially, so easier to just go with the flow. Good for developers, some benefits for consumers (e.g. lower cost of entry) but when a whole industry changes its marketing model, it’s not usually to make things better for the customers.

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The biggest difference is that with a subscription, you generally can no longer use the app if you don’t renew.

Some devs just cut you off. Ulysses lets you read and export your data, but that’s it—no more using the app.

Drafts and Bitwarden have highly functional free versions, so you can keep rolling without the extra paid features.

Agenda (which I don’t use) has what may be the best and most fair model for both users and devs.

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I only came up with $250-300/mo for that list. You’re already saving money!

I am curious about this one, as someone who is very into tech and health/fitness stuff. You pay a subscription for these? The Withings stuff looks very similar and the subscription is for their advanced stats, which seem pointless/redundant, are not worth the cost (to me).

Garmin is also pushing into this space and their thing is “no subscriptions” just premium(?) hardware.

Is the sub worth it for these?

Maybe he is doing 5TB of backup service through Synology C2? That could get expensive. I pay $70/year for 1 TB.

I monitor blood pressure, weight, medications, etc, and follow it monthly. In theory, I could probably save the $99/year and just export the data as a daily task (manually) into something like Craft or AirTable, to look for visual trends, etc.

Regarding Backup…
Synology C2 - about $80/month…
Wasabi - about $85/month…
Backblaze - about $33/month

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FWIW, I’ve been using an Omron BP monitor, an $8 digital oral thermometer, and an old but accurate bathroom scale with Apple’s Health app to log my meds, temp, weight, and BP. Before the Health app I used a legal pad. Now when my doctor asks about my weekly BP readings I hand him my phone and he takes about 30 seconds to flip through the readings. :grinning:

I use the Health Auto Export app to dump all the data every few months and tally my walks, etc.

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I just added iDrive an a subscription, because iCloud Drive quit working for me (Documents appeared as Local as well as Cloud) all of a sudden this morning. Practically every service I looked at is electron-based, and is out as a consideration. iDrive is native and has a very small footprint. Only down side is I have to navigate through many folders to get to the Documents folder in the backup.

As I become more worried about platform lock in (worried isn’t the right word though), I started exporting my data into a spreadsheet for anything that will let me. It’s actually turns our to be better than Apple Health or any of the apps because I can organize and display the data in any form I want to. It’s not as pretty, but it’s fun (assuming you like spreadsheets).

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I understand. I keep everything important in cross platform formats too.