How to save money on a digital subscription


How well this can be managed depends on the service. Most cloud storage services do not delete your files when you stop paying, but they will prevent you from adding and making changes. (We say “most” —check the fine print to make sure.) In terms of subscribing to the software, you won’t be able to use that software until you subscribe again.

Perhaps this is best for subscribing to music and video transfers where you know you won’t be using them for an extended period of time. Maybe you’re going to try an alternative service, or you’ve finally looked at everything you can look at Hulu. When and when you return, things will be as you left it until you return within a reasonable time. (Check the fine print again – it’s 10 months for Netflix.)

With services that offer a free level, the timeout is very simple. With Spotify, for example, you’ll still keep your music library. You just won’t be able to download playlists to your devices, play songs in the right order, or listen without interruption in commercials. When you are ready to start again, you will need a few taps or clicks.

Share with family

Amazon Household allows you to share Prime subscriptions and digital content.

Photo: Amazon via David Nilda

You may be surprised at the number of digital subscriptions that family plans offer – at the moment that’s the majority of them. From Spotify and Amazon Prime, to Google One and Microsoft 365, you can usually get together with at least one person and get the same deal for less money.

How much you are actually going to save depends on the service, so before you commit, do some research. In the case of YouTube Premium, for example, an individual plan returns you $ 12 a month, and a family plan for you and five other family members costs $ 18 a month – divide that by all participants and you save a significant amount (you also get YouTube Music, don’t forget.)

It is also important to check the various restrictions and rules of family plans before buying them. In our YouTube Premium example, all family members must be 13 years of age or older, have their own Google Account, and reside at the same address. If your brother lives on the other side of the world, this will most likely be labeled YouTube.

The limitations are the same for most (but not all) services, because what matters is where you live, not how you relate. Some digital apps and services allow you to share login data between multiple people at no extra charge, but if you do, we encourage you to do so securely.

Consider alternatives

LibreOffice is a complete office suite that won’t cost you anything to use.

Photo: LibreOffice via David Nild

We’re all used to renting everything from a cloud storage to a music collection, but don’t forget that these aren’t the only options available to you. Install, for example, Plex, and you can create a Netflix-like experience with your videos stored in place. (Plex also has a subscription level, but many of its features are available for free.)


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