Issue #15 - Subscriptions are killing you

Apr 26, 2024

Read time: 4 minutes 

Hello everyone - moving day is coming up next week and we are almost done packing. Moving sucks, but one great thing about it is the chance to declutter. It's amazing how much useless stuff builds up inside our homes.

Anyway, today I'm going after subscriptions. Enjoy :) 


1. Personal Finance

Following my note where I disparaged DoorDash's pricing antics... I received this text message from a reader:

"I have an idea for your next newsletter. Subscriptions.

First time I’ve tallied this and I’m not even convinced I have them all. The small amounts get lost in the mix but add up.

I realized I had been charged for 2 subscriptions hidden in my Amazon orders totaling $750  over 3 years that I never knew I had or used!! And I usually identify as a 🦁" 

 She also sent this screenshot of her initial tally

Usual suspects - 4 different streaming services, data storage, music on demand, and workout.  

When I look at this, a few things come to mind:

1. Are 4 movie streaming services necessary? 

2. iCloud storage of $14.55/month tells me you take too many pictures. Do you need 200,000 photos? Cuz that's how much the 2Terabyte package you're paying for lets you store. 

3. Oh and don't forget the cable TV package that costs $150/month isn't included in this list (even though it qualifies as a subscription). It comes with 200 Channels and your husband only watches the Golf Channel? You know what they say - happy husband happy life! 🤔 

4. I'm glad she found the $750 hidden subscription bundled in the Amazon prime charges and put that to rest. 

Ok, don't want to be too hard on the contributor here. She identifies as a Lion, and she is, compared to most people. Me too, I think. But as "on it" as we are, I too am feeling bloated by streaming packages and the 2TB of data storage.

And funny enough now GMAIL is telling me I'm about to run out of storage, and guess what, they're offering me a nice little $3/month plan to increase the data limit. 

This is how they get you. They convince you to buy the $1,500 iPhone 19 plus, because the 3-Camera 5-Mega-Pixel ensures you will be a professional photographer and become famous, convincing you to take 75 pictures of the same sunset.

Now, even more important to mention is a point that often gets overlooked: when I say, oh, cut out the monthly Subscriptions of $50/month, invest at 10% for 40 years, then you'll have $318,000 more money in retirement. The interesting thing is that the $50 subscription BELEIVE YOU ME is not a static number. 

You better believe these Lions have you by the balls, addicted to their services, in NEED of their services, and every couple of years they will "bump" up the price of that $50 and pretty soon it will be $100. So that $318,000 you could have had in retirement is actually double. 

When Apple and Google say, we are going to increase the price of your data storage by 3x and oh ya if you don't pay it you'll never have access to your beloved sunset photos. They have you trapped. Hunted. You are a Gazelle. 

Conclusion? I think we are in a pandemic of overconsumption, convinced that new shiny object will change our lives. I think many of us are here, either unwittingly, ignorantly, or perhaps 100% aware.

I don't advocate 100% austerity and being a cheap bastard, because no one likes a cheap bastard. Plus, consumer spending is good for the economy, good for business profits, good for stocks. 

Just do a desk audit of your monthly subscriptions once in a while and cut the fat where you can. 

And so it follows, if you are going to be a customer of these Lions, you might as well join the Pride. Buy stocks.

PS. my monthly subscriptions are basically the same, and yes, I recently upgraded to 14.55 2TB iCloud Storage 🫣

Monthly Entertainment Subscriptions
Prime ($99/yr) - $8.25
Crave basic - $11.19 
Apple TV - $12.99
iCloud Storage - $14.55
Netflix - $18.47
Total = $65.45


2. Stock Markets

Speaking of stocks. Don't time the market. Just buy them consistently with your monthly paycheck and automate it. There are a lot of millionaire boomers that learned to invest this way. If they can do it, why not you?


3. Real Estate 

I mentioned last week the deal activity is heating up and it continues into this week. There are several 'ideas' on the table at the moment and it's encouraging to see things percolating.

Some of the increased activity is likely due to the changes in capital gain taxes announced last week, but not all of it. Because even for nimble buyers like us, each day that goes by makes it even more challenging to feasibly acquire a large commercial property in 60 days or less.

Therefore some of the activity must simply be a change in the tides with more sellers coming to market after a relative stalemate for the past 2 years.  


1 Quote

You miss 100% of the shots you don't take, and you get 100% off everything you don't buy. 

-Wayne Gretzky ft. Eddie G.


A Question

After reading the Journal today, are you going to review your paid subscriptions? 


If you enjoyed this issue, please forward this email to your friends to subscribe. 

Thank you

Eddie Gudewill, CFA


P.S. How I Can Help You

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