It’s often said that a lot of your money goes out regular expenses. Especially if you set it to auto-renew a subscription, you never even realise that you’re spending (and missing out on) the money in the first place. I was recently fascinated at Hugo’s post on things he pays money for and got a little curious myself.
So I’ve put together a list of things I spend money on. All prices are in AUD, and I’ve converted pricing where necessary from the US amounts. I hope it inspires you to have a look at your own regular expenses and write them down.
Spotify - free
Because I share my Netflix account with my parents, and we have a family Spotify account, they pay for my Spotify subscription. So it’s kinda sorta free.
Netflix - $17.99
I pay for the top tier of Netflix, which gives you 4K video and 4 concurrent streams. We probably could drop down to the middle tier, given that my account is only shared between my parents and myself, and we don’t actually have any 4K capable screens (lol), but it’d only save $4 a month, so I’m happy as is for now.
Adobe Creative Cloud - $14.29
Since I got into photography, I’ve been paying for the ‘Photos’ bundle of Adobe Creative Cloud, which gave me access to Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, and a bunch of other things I don’t care to name. I actually never installed Photoshop in the year that I subscribed, and I rarely ever open Lightroom, so I just stopped subscribing this past month, thanks to this post.
Coffee 😱 - ~$48
I probably buy coffee around 3 times a week, and each time I’ll spend $4 a pop, which makes out to around $48 per month. That’s actually a surprisingly high amount - I really did think it’d be lower, though I do like my soy.
Either way, I do enjoy the coffee experience, and on the other days I usually end up making it at work, so I don’t really care about this expense.
Google Drive subscription - $2.49
I pay for 100GB of Drive space to dump any and all of my camera photos in Google Photos. The app is fantastic, and the web app is the best in its breed, so I have no qualms with sending that money out to the omnipresent Alphabet company.
Apple iCloud subscription 😒 - $1.49
I actually forgot that I had an iCloud subscription. I pay for the 50GB tier so I can back up my iPhone and iPad. It’s pretty absurd that Apple only provides a measly 5GB of online storage for free in 2019, given that you’ve probably just spent almost $2000 to obtain two devices, but here we are 🤷♂️
The convenience of easy backups makes it worth it for me, though I suspect some other customers just never bother paying after they add a second device to their iCloud account and get disappointed when they lose their data and have no backup.
AWS subscriptions - ~$0.50
I only use AWS S3 and Cloudfront in moderate amounts to host my blog images, and they charge in bandwidth usage, not in time, so this ends up being absurdly cheap.
DigitalOcean subscriptions - $16.50
I run one $10 instance and a $5 instance to host a side project and a Dokku instance for a bunch of different cron things I need doing regularly. This ends up actually eating a fair amount out of my budget every month, I suspect.
Heroku subscriptions - ~$5
I usually run about one hobby dyno to get guaranteed uptime for whatever side project I’m working on that month. The hobby dyno price is expensive af, but I usually don’t need uptime on side projects, and any ongoing compute I ship out to my DigitalOcean Dokku instance.
Internet - $60
We live in a really crappy area for landline internet, and we’re nowhere near getting the NBN connected, so for anything approaching usable internet that I can work from home on, we pay for Optus 4G.
It’s a lot more expensive than I want, but it enables me to work from home, which is a quality I value a lot (and you should probably as well).
Total per month: ~$160
This number is far more than I expected, and ends up coming to a yearly expense of nearly $2000 per year. That makes a serious dent in disposable income after rent + savings. Off the back of this post, I cancelled my Adobe subscription, taking off $170 of yearly expenses, but I’d like to shave off additional ones where possible.
iTunes Match - $30
I’m still stuck on the now-legacy iTunes Match service, which allows you to upload your entire music library to the cloud, with free matching to the iTunes catalog so you don’t have to actually use all your bandwidth on the uploads.
I occasionally end up using the Music app on my phone, usually when I am in an area with little reception and no foresight to download my latest Spotify playlists, so I figure it’s still worth it. I’ll probably keep paying for this till they actually deprecate it and put the hybrid service out of its misery. Apparently you get iTunes Match for free if you subscribe to Apple Music.
NetVirtue hosting - $23
I’ve had mitchellbusby.com hosted over at NetVirtue for almost 5 years now. They’re a decent enough Australian-based web hosting company. Nothing to write home about but I’m happy enough that I’ve not moved off it, though I could probably get a better deal with Amazon S3 now that I’m not actively using the PHP support.
Namecheap domains - ~$50
I have a few domains registered with Namecheap. Most aren’t too expensive and I like the ones I have so I’m fine with spending the money here.
The Atlantic print + digital subscription - ~$76
This subscription is a bit pricey, but I do like having a regular longform journalism subscription that I can dip in and out of. I’ve stopped regularly paying attention to news coverage since towards the end of 2017, when the frantic pace of the media cycle gave me an episode of burnout.
It’s essential to stay at least somewhat informed to what’s happening in the world around you, even if so you can pretend to know the latest current affair everyone is chewing the fat on. I pay for the print + digital bundle because I like having a physical copy of the magazine that I can take the time to unplug and read deeply.
Overcast - $12.99
Overcast is my favourite podcasting app, hands down. I’ve been using it since I got into podcasts, and I love it - almost even bought my iPhone 7 specifically because of its availability. No brainer payment to support ongoing development by a developer who actually gives a fuck about his userbase.