My Life Is A Subscription!


I wonder how many people who rail against software subscriptions lease their car, house, boat, apartment, etc. ?
You could think of this as CaaS, Car as a Service.
CaaS enables you to go places, you find this valuable, and pay the subscription price. Software can do the same thing, For example, Ulysses offers premium features, you find this valuable and pay the subscription price.



That’s it. I dropped Ofice 365 this year when I discovered Libre Office.


So the way you use YNAB, do you have a different category for each individual subscription?


That’s how I’m doing it.


I like that idea a lot actually. Currently I just have one big bucket called “Software & Subscriptions” and everything from App Store purchases to Netflix subscriptions gets dumped in there. I think I’m going to create a category group called “Software” and itemize each subscription as its own category.


Yes, I do. And I have them all under a named category group. I use to have a category group named Subscriptions but renamed it Annual Expenses. I now keep my subs as well as all my other annual expense type stuff in there as well, Sams club, Costco, Auto Registrations…


I do exactly this and its great. It really puts things into perspective and makes you be more careful about subscriptions.


“Beware of little expenses: a small leak will sink a great ship.”
Benjamin Franklin, 1757


Indeed! You can find the quote, and more, in context here:


“Waste your money and you’re only out of money, but waste your time and you’ve lost a part of your life.” ~ Michael Leboeuf

i.e. not spending a few bucks a month on subscription software that can save an hour a month means your time is not worth a few bucks an hour.


okay i finally updated my google sheet with my subsc’ deets:

  • Hulu Plus
  • Spotify ; apple music has better EDM but i can’t justify paying for 2 streaming music apps when I 80% listen to podcasts
  • Youtube Red
  • Day one
  • Habitica - One subscription I can see tangible results been using this app faithfully for about a year and their app/web resdesigns have gone along way since the HABIT RPG days; sidenote we host a GTD Party if anyone plays this game and wants to quest together
  • Evernote Premium
  • Google Drive - 2TB/mo
  • Square Space
  • Host Gator
  • Strides - Habit Tracker
  • Drafts - full disclosure I forgot to cancel my trial but I don’t mind supporting the app I just need to take advantage of all the features I have 9 more months to decide if I’m keeping long term
  • Todoist
  • Freedom
  • Carrot Weather
  • Zip Car - I live in a major city (car-free diet)

A Few subscriptions I managed to grab lifetime deals and/or annual deals

  • Calm (annual)
  • Brain.FM
  • Mindbliss - Meditation
  • Weizen - Meditation


I think it will pretty much be impossible to purchase software anymore as more and more companies are switching to this model.

It seems that a small percentage want to pay for software and I do not understand this expectation of free software.

I have seen so many apps that I use get dropped because of unstainable models wasting my time. These developers need some type of revenue stream to continue supporting their products with new features and just keeping it running with OS updates from the manufacturers.

@JohnAtl you stated it wisely many people have no idea of how much their time is worth.

I am in the process of reviewing all of my subscriptions and like time it just needs to be properly budgeted and allocated.


Amazon Prime
Adobe Creative Cloud
Day One
PrivateInternetAccess VPN
Apple Music
Cable internet registrar for a dozen domains

And a few small donations to nonprofits and Patreon things.

Thinking about:

Duet Display
Workflowy or Checkvist or Dynalist


I’m pretty sparing, but I’m also relatively budget sensitive and have not, until recently, had a stable long-term income:

  • Amazon Prime
  • Backblaze
  • Apple Music (Family)
  • iCloud (200gb Family)
  • 1Password (Family)
  • Netflix
  • Fastmail
  • Linode (1gb machine, $5/mo; I host my website there)
  • Carrot Weather (Come at me)
  • Romwod (guided stretching and mobility videos)
  • Hulu (currently unsubscribed, had been out of the country for several months and cancelled it for that period, but haven’t had a chance to renew. Will probably renew in the next couple months).

That’s about it. My employer (A university), provides me with an Office365 subscription which covers me for my (non-negotiable in an academic setting) Word and Powerpoint needs.

I used to have Text Expander, but after they switched to subscription I abandoned ship, my needs couldn’t justify the cost (not a dig at Smile and their choice – just a reality that my needs were limited).

I’m not a huge fan of subscriptions for software, and I avoid them if possible, but I get why they are a(n unfortunate) reality for some developers. Less opposed to subscriptions for outright services (netflix, Backblaze). Also, budget conscious and disliker of excess, so I tend to only get what I know I’ll make use of and can clearly justify the money on.


My Filmstruck subscription is an on/off thing. I know it’s cheaper to buy an annual pass but monthly gives me the flexibility to just access it in months that I know I won’t be able to enjoy it. My Duet Display sub is auto-renew is turned off. I don’t use the pro feature that much.


Current Subscriptions
Amazon Prime
ShowtimeAnytime channel (via Amazon Prime)
Adobe Creative Cloud
Cable (Still, have but still considering canceling. The thing is, I do watch live sports)
WSJ (Digital Edition)

Cancelled Recently
Spotify (Killing me)
Starz channel (via Amazon Prime)


Streaming - Netflix, Acorn TV, Prime Video, FilmIn

Apps - Setapp, iTranslate

News - The Guardian, Medium, Mac Format, Mac Life, XBox Magazine

Provided by my employer - Office365, Creative Cloud, Jetbrains Suite, WSJ, The Economist


I use a spreadsheet provided by MacSparky. The only thing it doesn’t do, that I wish it did, is track the renewal date.


more granular options coming for those utilizing subscriptions–

As an end-user looking to save money, these changes mean it may be worth toggling off your subscriptions from time to time to see if you’re offered a better deal to resubscribe.


I checked resubscribe options for an iTranslate Pro subscription and there was an offer for 50% off every year.

Definitely good advice!