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  • Writer's pictureAkash Devasar & Co.

There's a new term for daylight robbery - Subscriptions!

Periodically, as I would imagine most couples would, we look at our expenses under the microscope, with a fine-tooth comb we went through it, took a deep-dive into every cent, and I made a startling revelation.

Reviewing my bank account on the app, I saw a regular charge which I’ve been getting for the past 5 years (at least) and just thought, “oh yeah that’s fine, next”, did a sort of double take and thought, “wait a minute, let me just look at this in detail”. I was paying approximately $12/month for my Spotify premium. So I counted, $12 per month, for let’s call it the past 5 years. That’s $720. Wait, WHAT? SEVEN HUNDRED AND TWENTY DOLLARS? Did I... Huh? But I... WHAT? That’s ridiculous! Have I actually spent that much on something I use to keep me entertained during my commute to and from work? That can’t be right or worth it at all.

So next what I did was I divided $720 by an average cost of an Album (~$20) and that is 36 Albums. Meaning I’d have to purchase 1 Album every 2 months to rake in that bill. Which I though it may have seemed reasonable, but it isn’t because I own nothing. Nada. Squat. Jack. Zilch. Zero. Naught. Zip. Nix. Diddly squat. Had I bought those Albums, whether digitally or physically, I would actually own them and can play them whenever I wished but the moment I cease my Spotify subscription, I have no more music that is mine to play as and when I choose to. And that’s when I did it, I cancelled my subscription.

I still have Spotify on my phone but the free version and with whole albums on YouTube these days and playlists available too, you could use that instead of paying for something that you never own. It’s kind of like leasing your home for your entire life. That’s definitely not spending your money right.

The subscription model is probably the most intelligent method to rob consumers. Lots of software have moved onto this concept. Accounting software used to cost thousands. Now you “only” pay a monthly fee based on number of users and functionality. Multiply that by 5 years and you’ll see the bill you’re actually incurring now is worse than paying the thousands in the past. Microsoft office is another example with Office 365 and an annual subscription. Anti-virus, subscriptions.

So periodically my wife and I, and I encourage all of you to, we sit down to review our expenses to see where we can squeeze an extra buck or two. If you haven’t done this ever, do it, NOW! It may seem like a futile attempt to achieving your goals in life but let me assure you that the phrase, “every cent matters” couldn’t be truer. Let’s put it this way, if your annual salary was equivalent to an hourly rate of $30.20 and your employer went, “Mate, could we just call it $30 so that it’s a simpler calculation”, what would you do? I mean, it’s only 20cents right? No? Well you should treat the money you’ve already earned the same way. And so what if I’ve lost the freedom to browse through (apparently) 1,099 lifetimes worth of music, money in the bank yo! Nothing beats it.

Author: Akash Devasar & Co. | We speak numbers |

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