Thursday, April 6, 2017

{3} Subscriptions Worth the Money

I don't think I'm alone in saying that I don't like paying for digital content.  I know, that's a problem with the whole illegally downloading songs thing and movies (neither of which we do!) and newpapers going under and all of that.  I know.  I'm not saying it's a good or right opinion to have but it's there.  However, in the past few years we have found a few things we don't mind paying for.  A few.  And these took us awhile.  We might also be pretty cheap (a very likely scenario although our recent discussions about a budget for a new couch might have my husband thinking otherwise...)

So, the three digital subscriptions we've found to be worth the money.

1) Dropbox
I've been using Dropbox for years for work but we only started paying for our own 1TB about a year ago.  You guys, it's $99 for 1TB for a year.  That's barely $8 a month.  And I think it's totally worth it.  1TB is a heck of a lot of space, much more than I use on my computer.  I back-up my entire hard drive to it, I use it to transfer pictures between my phone and computer.  I use it to keep the same rotating desktop backgrounds on 3 of our home computers.  Since I can access all my computer files from my phone, I can do things like send my niece a copy of our wedding program 3 minutes after she texted asking for it, all while sitting around the backyard pool with Luke.

It is super handy and, in my opinion, totally worth the $99 a year.  My computer files are safe in case of a hardware crash, I can access files from any computer (with my login), and it makes transferring pictures from my phone a breeze.  PLUS, they save all deleted files on their servers for 30 days so if you accidentally delete anything, you can go get it.  (More on my computer and picture back-up processes here.)

2) Netflix
Is there anyone in America who doesn't have Netflix?  Because really, I can't think of a single person.  We've had ours for only 2-3 years and maybe, maybe share it with a family member making it super cheap.  I only watch it on our tv (using the DVR computer we've had hooked up for years) but Matt has the app on his phone as well as on our tablet.  I've been (so slowly, although so close to being done) watching Hart of Dixie through there for the past year and Matt and I have started rewatching Lost.  Even though we own all those DVDs, it's still easier to just pull them up on Netflix.

Most of the movies we watch on it are for Luke but it's worth the cost just for the tv binging alone.  I think after Hart of Dixie I might start on Parks & Rec again?  There are so many options and it's so easy.

3) Amazon Prime
This one surprises me.  We had done a few free trials but finally bit the bullet about 18 months ago when there was a sale for $65 or something.  We figured we'd try it for a year and then cancel it.

Then we got hooked on the two-day shipping.

We've now paid the $99 annual fee and we no intention of canceling anytime soon.  Especially since it's now $50 to get most free shipping on Amazon.  It's so easy to order something and get it two days later.  Three days before Luke's birthday I was texting Luke's godmother/aunt asking if she had bought him one of the ideas I had given her.  She asked if we were still shopping for him.  We were.  Thanks to Prime his presents were here on time.  It worked.

It's also great for sending presents to people directly through Amazon, which we've done.  No minimums for free shipping there either.  They recently gave me a number for what we've saved in shipping costs and it was in the hundreds.  A number which is not at all accurate since we would never actually pay for 2-day shipping and would probably be buying much less from them if we always had to hit the $50 free shipping threshold.  But, we use it enough that we feel ok with paying $99 a year for it.  (I also frequently take the option to get $1 in digital music credit in exchange for slower shipping, usually about 5 days.  It's how I get most of my new music.)

There are also Prime Videos, which we've hardly used (haven't found much I've wanted to watch that wasn't on Netflix) and I've heard about unlimited photo back-up but since I already had my Dropbox system in place at the time, I've never tried it.  Anyone who has?  I am curious.  And always willing to back-up my pictures in another place!


Anything else we should be subscribing to now that we're already on the train?  I know Hulu is a pretty popular one and I've seen more about Spotify lately (although a recent trial of that drained my phone battery pretty quick!). 

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