Subscriptions: Way To Save or A Big, Fat Money Burner?

Hey Skint pals,

Hope you’re all doing well. There’s a bit of a lurgy in the Skint house this week, so I’m not feeling my greatest. However, the early nights have at least given me a chance to catch up on some reading: the wonderful But Beautiful by Geoff Dyer and some magazines too that I subscribe to and often don’t get round to reading.

That’s the trouble with subscriptions: they’re not always worth the money. Apparently 60% of us have resolved to save money in 2013 –  I’m surprised it’s not higher than that, myself – and one of the ways we think we’re saving money is by taking out subscriptions, whether on magazines, newspapers or films and TV.

I’ve told you before about my addiction to newspapers, but because I’m totally disloyal to them all – jumping around almost daily to keep things fresh – I don’t subscribe to any. I do however subscribe to a couple of magazines, (Mslexia for writing advice and Vogue to shake my head at whilst muttering blackly about the price of everything it contains), and I annually renew a couple for Mr Skint too, originally bought as presents. So far, so smug. After all, if you’re going to be reading/viewing anyway, subscriptions make sense, don’t they? Don’t they? Umm, no actually, it seems. Research from film and TV service, blinkbox has found that

  • 77% of are subscribers wasting money every month

    women under hair dryers

    If you’re looking for a cheap way to enjoy magazines, perhaps the hairdressers is a better bet than a subscription . . .

  • The average Brit wastes £14 per month on unused subs and memberships
The reasons for this waste of cash? Lethargy, basically. 15%  of people with subscriptions knew they were wasting cash but hadn’t cancelled because they couldn’t be bothered; 13% stuck with the sub because they didn’t know if they were  getting value for money and a further 13% hadn’t cancelled because they had meant to do it, then forgotten. We’re a shoddy lot really, aren’t we? 
I can identify with this. Though I do read both the magazines I subscribe to it’s only really because they drop through my letterbox. I know I wouldn’t buy every issue otherwise. Certainly not of Vogue (in fact I’m making a mental note to cancel that one. The mighty Conde Nast doesn’t need my pennies.) But at some point, I’ve fooled myself into thinking I’d be better off subscribing – and it seems most of you think the same, with more than half off us holding at least one sub.

Though on the surface subscriptions look like a no-brainer, with 75% of people claiming to feel confident they’re saving money by taking them out, are we really sure? With film and TV services, much of the content has often been available to stream and download elsewhere earlier, so why pay for it?

Would it be more prudent for us all just to pay for what we want when you want it? Or are you a subs girl/guy through and through? Do any of you feel they’re really worth the money? Go on, share the good ones with us please! 

Speaking of wasting money on monthly fees, what on earth is happening with my AOL bill? Usual monthly fee: about £35. This month:£102. Time to get snippy with someone on the phone right now. Will let you know how it went. 

Skint x

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PS – A big thank you to J Money over at Budgets Are Sexy for included a Skint post in his weekly round-up today.




About Skint in the City

Skint in the City provides stylish, practical tips and advice on how to live the high life on a shoestring budget.

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