As a homeowner, you quickly realize that you’re throwing money around like confetti for the first few months. Everything adds up: a broken garage door, the termite control man, home security system, a painter, new knobs, rugs…. I could go on, but you get the idea.
So, in an effort to not wake up to my daily Chase email in disbelief, I decided to track expenses in a Google sheet. I use Google sheets constantly at work, so a tracker made sense. Eventually the bills will become consistent, but homeownership was a good excuse to re-evaluate my memberships / subscriptions. If you’re like me, I am always up for trying something new – for a price. It is easy to forget you have subscriptions, which is one reason I do not have the auto-renewal set for any of my Amazon purchases. I don’t care if I spend a dollar or two more to do a one-time purchase, I don’t need that much mouthwash in my life.
After doing an internal audit, I cancelled Audible, Quip, and Hubble (kinda). I explain my reasoning below – they all served a purpose at a particular time. I tried Hello Fresh (similar to Blue Apron) last year and it was one membership that I found to be too expensive for what I got. Shocker for a food blogger, but I don’t like to follow directions verbatim. I ended up making a completely different meal every time.
Let me know if you have any favorite subscriptions or good financing tips!
Quip: I subscribed for more than a year and their plans range from $40-65 with the brush refill costing $5-10 each month. I did like that it reminded me to change the toothbrush head. We’ve all experienced the toothbrush that we used a little too long before replacing it. It’s electric and made me brush my teeth for the dentist recommended time. The handle is the investment, so once you’ve paid upfront, the $5 monthly cost seems like nothing. However, I found myself going back and forth between several toothbrushes due to traveling and convenience, so I was behind on using all the replacement brushes.
Verdict: A great gift for a dental hygiene enthusiast, but it became a hassle for me after time.
Hubble: This is a new one for me – I’ve only used it for a few months. I had LASIK six years ago and recently discovered that my vision is off. I’m less than a -2, so I don’t want to fork over $200 a month for contacts. The first month with Hubble is free and the following months are $30. You read that correctly – it’s ridiculously cheap. I found the contacts to be comfortable and I haven’t had a problem with the brand (whatever brand it is). I read other reviews that people thought they were cheap because well, they are! Hubble confirms your script with your eye doctor and then you’re good to go.
Verdict: I put my delivery on hold while I debate a LASIK enhancement (basically round two). However, it’s nice to have contacts on hand when I want to wear them. For glasses, I can’t recommend Zenni enough.
Ritual: This one is two thumbs up. It’s a ‘clean’ vitamin created by a woman that wanted something she could feel good about putting in her body when she was pregnant. I love the branding (check out their Instagram) and the idea behind it. You take two a day. Only downside (in my opinion) is the lingering peppermint taste. I swear I can still taste it hours later. It’s $30 a month, so it’s a no brainer at a dollar a day. Consider it an easy step towards improving your self-care regimen. I keep it in my desk drawer at work and take it as soon as I start my work day.
Verdict: Do it! The Ritual team answers questions quickly on social media, so browse their feed if you want specific supplement info.
Audible: Full disclosure – I didn’t realize I was still paying every month until I logged into Chase to examine my deductions. I haven’t used it in years and while I loved it for traveling and long car rides, I am too busy at the moment to use the service.
Verdict: Great gift for frequent travelers and those that like to listen to their books.
YMCA: This one is a bit biased – I am now involved with the programming committee for one of the YMCAs in downtown Indy, so I see value in being a member. They never turn anyone away due to their ability to pay and it serves as a tremendous resource for the community. When I was recovering from the accident, I walked laps around the upstairs track. I couldn’t walk very fast (ten broken ribs), but it didn’t matter. All fitness levels are welcome at the Y and I never felt embarrassed as runners lapped me. It also made me so happy to see kids playing basketball . It kept my mind (and body) busy.
Verdict: A young adult membership is $39 a month and well worth the value – endless options no matter what activities interest you.
Pure Barre and Pilates: I have debated these two over and over again. Might seem silly to have multiple gym memberships, but I do for different reasons. I have been loyal to my Pilates instructor for years and while I only go once a week now (due to the cost), it is the best hour of ‘Libby time.’ We laugh, we sweat, and I leave feeling stronger.
Pure Barre is pricey and if I don’t feel good, I don’t go. This leads to extreme guilt because I am already paying for it through my year-long membership. However, now that Indiana has become Antarctica, I am finally utilizing the login for their online classes. Most of the neighborhood has watched me do what probably looks like prancercizing in the living room.
FitFabFun: I was underwhelmed. I’ll leave it at that. I don’t like make-up or jewelry and I got both in my box. I had a discount code, so there was nothing to lose and I did get a wool plaid shawl thing that the puppy loves to chase. Also, they don’t make it easy to cancel your subscription.
Although this isn’t a subscription, I’ll throw in my recent frugal find: ThredUp. I discovered ThredUp last year and requested their signature polka dot donate bag. I donated piles of clothes and within a few weeks they informed me that I had $23 in credit. While I don’t think I got much in return for my donated items, I did get them out of my closet.
A few months ago, I remembered I had credit to spend, so I browsed their offerings (you can search by brand and size) and have purchased a few things. It’s the best website for finding that long lost item you regret not purchasing. Checking often is crucial for success – their inventory is constantly changing.
My favorite find is this leopard coat for $30. It’s Chico’s, which I had always avoided because of their odd sizes, but I went for it. I’ve also scored a few chambray shirts (J.Crew) and work dresses (Banana Republic) for under $20 a piece. It’s basically Goodwill, but from the comfort of your couch.
Happy 2018, friends!