Do you have a nagging sense that all those $7.99, $9.99, etc. monthly “services” are taking a significant toll on your checking account (and complicating your life)? Me too.
In this post find out how you can score a quick win, avoid shooting yourself in the foot, and commit to stop (or at least slow) “Death by a 1000 Micro-Payments”.
Giving credit where credit is due
My inspiration for this post came from Ron Richards, one of the hosts of All About Android. On Episode 128 he mentioned that his Dad said that in the future we will all die a “death by a thousand micro-payments”. That got me to thinking about how easy it is to sign up for services and how over time they can really impact our time and money.
How to score a quick win
- Scan your checking account for the last 30 days. Take 10 minutes to scan your checking account (or credit card statement) and see what payments are coming out.
- Reduce one payment. I’m betting that you can find one payment that you can’t eliminate but you can reduce. For me, this turned out to be Libsyn, my podcast hosting service. It went from $15 to $4.67. Hey, don’t knock it, for that $10 savings you could buy an amazing breakfast in Italy.
- Eliminate one payment. It seems like the way to make money these days is the “freemium” model. You know how this works. You start off with the free plan and you sign up for the paid plan when there is an extra “something” that you want. Look for a service that you can cut back to the free plan. Obviously another place to look is duplicate services. Maybe you have more than one music service or storage service (more about this next)?
How to avoid shooting yourself in the foot
I suspect that the biggest win you can score in this area is in the realm of online storage. However, it also has the potential to backfire.
Currently, one of the best values in online storage is from Microsoft. Office 365 Home Premium includes Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more) plus 1 Terabyte of storage (OneDrive) for $10.59. How much can you store in 1Terabyte? A TON! For example, 17,000 hours of music or 310,000 photos.
I got really excited and then . . . . So I got really excited and thought I could drop DropBox ($9.99), Carbonite ($5.00), and Evernote (5.00). It turns out it’s not that simple. Every service has its plusses and minuses. So what to do?
Start small. I began moving everything to OneDrive and found out something. OneDrive doesn’t allow files over 2 GB. I don’t have many of these but I do have some. I couldn’t just dump all of my files into OneDrive. You probably can’t either. Try a folder or two on your service of choice and see what happens.
Realize the grass may not be greener. In the end, it may not be worth consolidating two services. Sure, it will save money but it might not be worth it in terms of time and energy. For instance, I wanted to move everything from Evernote to OneNote. I’ve been using Evernote for years and when I installed OneNote I realized really quickly that I simply liked using Evernote much better than OneNote. Make sure you consider “total cost” when making these choices.
Commit to stop (or at least slow) “Death by a 1000 Micro-Payments”
Life is short and bank accounts are finite. It’s worth it to invest some time in a big win. There are no perfect services and nothing is truly “free”. My commitment is to eliminate the paid version of DropBox and cancel Carbonite. It likely going to be a slow process over the next couple of months. By doing this I will not only save a bit of money but simplify my digital life in the process.
So why not give it a go? I believe you’ll be glad you did.
Question: What one payment can you eliminate? What one service do you value the most? You can leave a comment by clicking here.