Power of One: One Subscription

The cost of living is rising all over the world and many people are adjusting their budgets. The pandemic has seen a rise in the use of subscription services as people seek entertainment options at home instead of going out. 

For me, going out to a movie has always been a treat. I only went to see a movie on the big screen if it was something I really wanted to see. If I had to guess, I would say I saw a movie in the theatre maybe once or twice a year. Often, I wait for movies to come out on DVD and check them out of the local library.

My entire workday is spent sitting at a computer. When I am off work, I do not want to spend my personal time in front of a computer as well. I need a break. I have never gotten into streaming services for this reason. For me to sit at the laptop and watch a movie for 2 hours feels too much like work when I just spent 8 hours at the laptop for my paid employment.

Television was a luxury growing up. We never had cable. We always had bunny ears. The TV set got maybe three or five channels. I grew up on radio. Radio was free. It was everywhere. It was a constant companion. I love music. I always have music playing in my house and in my life when I am not working. 

As an adult, I have never paid for cable TV either. I just don’t have the money for it. I grew up poor and as an adult am working poor. I don’t have money for TV. For years when I was in the apartment, I got 10 channels for free on bunny ears. The TV was nice to turn on for an hour or so when I got home from work at night to watch something funny or brainless before going to sleep.

When I moved to the house, the bunny ears for the TV set do not work. There are too many hills and this is a rural area. We cannot pick up any television signals here. Even the radio signals are limited to just two stations. 

The past few years in the house has left me with using my DVD player with the TV set since I cannot get any channels by antenna. I still do not feel like subscribing to any TV or movie streaming services. I would not use it enough to justify the cost. There are too many things going on in my life as a homeowner with a disability. I don’t have hours a day to watch a streaming service.

However, I do still listen to a lot of music. I can listen to music as I go about the house doing my chores and what needs to be done. Only being able to reception for two radio stations is quite frustrating. I like both of them, but sometimes I just want to change the dial. I do enjoy my CDs.

Last fall, I needed to do something to break up the monotony in my life and wanted to treat myself. I decided to totally splurge and get a subscription service – to radio. I downloaded and subscribed to Sirius XM on my phone.

Sirius is the only subscription service I have. It was one of the best treats I have ever decided to splurge on. I use it every day and it is a constant source of entertainment while still allowing me to do what I need to do in my daily life. 

At first, I subscribed because I wanted to listen to radio without being subjected to all the fake news about COVID I was hearing. By subscribing to satellite radio, I can listen to music with no commercials and no fake news. There are no news breaks. I do not have to hear about how COVID is “over” when I am mourning yet another fully vaccinated friend with no pre-existing condition who just died of COVID.

If I do want to hear news, there are news stations I can listen to so I can hear what Is going on in the world. When I have had enough of the news, I can change the channel back to one that plays music only with no news. Satellite radio allows me more variety and more control over what I hear. When I have had enough of the gloom and doom news, I can choose to just hear music.

Satellite radio is also amazing because I can use it to hear sports. I hear baseball, hockey, and soccer/football games on the radio. I can hear all of the games without the market or blackout restrictions they put on TV sports. Even streaming TV sports has restrictions and the packages are very expensive. By listening to games on the radio, it saves me money. I also have access to international games that are not available with TV packages.

While the news tells of people tightening their budgets and cutting back on streaming services, my life is simple. I have one subscription service. For my lifestyle, subscription radio gives me more enjoyment and more bang for my buck than a subscription movie or TV service would. 

If it happens that I need to decrease my expenses drastically, I would only have one subscription service to cancel. I could go back to the two radio stations that are available here and my CDs. However, I get so much enjoyment from satellite radio that I think the $12 per month cost is worth the service. It is my only subscription and is the biggest splurge in my everyday life.

If you could only have one subscription service in your life, which one would it be? I hear of households that have 4-5 subscription services that are now trying to cut down to save on money each month. Would you be able to cut down to just one? Would you be able to live with no subscription services?

For me, my one subscription service is a luxury. I have never had a cable bill in my name. I’m pretty sure this is the first time in my life I have a monthly bill that is purely for pleasure and not a necessity like the mortgage, electric, phone, etc. For me to cut back my expenses due to the cost of living increase, I would cut my subscription service. Beyond that, I would be cutting necessities like food or utilities. 

As many of us are looking to reduce expenses right now, what can you decrease or cut? What one subscription service would you keep if you cancel the rest? Find your one. 

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