What Subscriptions I Pay For And Why

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The other day I was reviewing my budget and asked the question on twitter. The founder of SubteraTech, Amit Bajaj (twitter handle: @amitsinghbajaj) replied with the below gem:

‘Cancelling your unused subscriptions’ is a common money-saving advice, but little did I know Amit knows his shit when it comes to tracking his monthly and yearly subscriptions. He has a spreadsheet on it, tracking:

  • Monthly/yearly cost
  • Payment and renewal date
  • Subscription status (active, consider to cancel, cancelled)
  • Whether the subscription is a necessity or optional

…My explanation doesn’t do it justice, must screenshot and show.

Amazing right! If you want the template, ask him on twitter.

So I used the template as a guide and compiled my own subscription list in my notebook, now reproduced here. For the sake of being comprehensive, I’m adding ALL my monthly commitments. I also consider ‘recurring payments’ as a type of subscription.

Monthly subscriptions I pay for

Necessity – ongoing

Necessity – until final payment date

Yearly/Annual subscriptions I pay for

Necessity – ongoing

  • Grammarly Premium. Editing and proofreading tool, handy to have as a writer. Paid RM300.42 renewal in November 2017 during Cyber Monday, got 50% off.
  • Individual memberships for Malaysia Writers Society and ACCESS Blockchain Association (Malaysia). The linkage to these groups helps me professionally.
  • Domain/hosting for Ringgit Oh Ringgit. I just paid RM923.45 in November 2017 for another 3 years of hosting 🙂

Optional – consider to cancel

  • Spotify Premium. Took the Family plan, costs me RM44.80 per year. I don’t think I’ll continue next year, turns out I don’t listen to music that much. That said I really like being a Premium user, so maybe I’ll just use Grab points for it or something in the future. Related: 3 Ways to Get Cheaper Spotify Premium in Malaysia

Subscriptions I’ve cancelled

  • Gym membership. Nightmare dowh. Not only I was pressured to buy more personal training packages, the gym also ‘accidentally’ charged me for one more month. After two months and constant back and forth with their staff to get the money back, I gave up. Only left them bad reviews online because when I tried to fill in the consumer complaint form at Tribunal For Consumer Claims Malaysia, the website didn’t work. (For the record, the gym is e-fitness at One City. Don’t go there, they suck).

Subscriptions I’m considering

  • VPN service. Now I use a free option (Touch VPN), but wonder if I need to get a paid one. Those of you familiar with VPN, do I need a paid one or will Touch VPN do?
  • Netflix. As of time of writing, I’m trying out the free trial valid for one month. I have to say… it’s nice to use, the user interface is amazing. Probably going to share a premium account with some friends to save some money. RM51 divided by 4 people is just RM12.75 per month :p
  • Beauty boxes. Because it seems fun, but totally unnecessary, so I won’t unless it’s a crazy deal.

What subscriptions do YOU have?

What subscriptions are worth and not worth the money, for you? Share in the comments section!

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  1. That’s a really cool spreadsheet! Like!
    Antivirus software… is worth paying for every year. I just renewed my Panda Security antivirus for another 2 years (219.99 for 2 years works out to be 9.17 ringgit a month).
    Really worth it.

    Another thing I subscribe to is Microsoft Office 365, might switch to an annual plan next year to get more discounts.

    1. Hey Zoe,
      You reminded me about my anti-virus subscription! Added in article 😛 Personally I like/am used to Avast.
      Thanks for your sharing!

  2. Mine would be:

    Google suite ($5/month)
    YNAB ($50/year)
    Hosting ($5/month)
    Domain ($9/year)
    Spotify ( RM30/6 months) – Sharing Family plan ?
    Digi Internet plan (RM106/month)

  3. maybe you can leverage your hosting/domain with someone in return for an adspace ? btw the spread sheet not able to zoom , how to do so ?

    1. Hey,
      I do this already, notice the banner ad on top of the page :p

      Edited settings, you should be able to click and zoom in now. Thanks for letting me know!

  4. Suraya,

    This is a very thoughtful article and it just came in so timely as I just recently listed down my installments payment . However I overlooked on the monthly commitments.

    Iphone 6S under Maxis Zerolution – MYR 142 for another 6 months to go (balance to go MYR852)
    Maybank Cash Treats – 280 per month for another 7 months (balance to go MYR1960)
    Car loan : MYR 1308 ( another 7 years to go!)

    Monthly subscriptions
    Maxis post paid : MYR 128 + MYR 48 supplementary line = MYR 176
    Apple music – MYR 14.90 per month
    Apple iCloud storage – MYR 3.90 –
    Unifi Broadband : MYR 190 ( for 50MBPS)
    WWF Donation : MYR 32 per month (including GST & Auto deduction fee)
    Insurance PA : MYR 34 per month

    That’s MYR 2178.80 commitment a month – time for a review especially those monthly subscriptions. Thanks again!

    1. Hey Pinky,
      Cool, thanks for sharing your list!
      Everything looks in order, but curious… what is Maybank Cash Treats?

  5. I recommend paying for a comprehensive software like Quicken to manage personal finance. I’ve been using Quicken Deluxe (for over 5 years now) to keep track of income, loan/debt, instalments, recurring and non-recuring expenses, investments and even foreign currency I have remaining from overseas trip. This solution allows me to have an overview of how much I’m spending monthly/yearly on subscriptions without having to maintain an Excel sheet.

    1. Thanks for the tip, Calvin! My finances are fairly straightforward, but can see the need of something like this if I have loans and mortgages.

  6. My insurance damn high wey, I’m paying 200 per month. But I also one shot paid for Google Drive an additional few hundred gb for my work stuffs. It’s like RM144 per year?

    That’s it I think.

    1. Hey if you don’t get to use your insurance for its intended purpose, that’s a good thing you know

      No other subs? Keep it that way! I dunno why sometimes I itchy to find new things to subscribe to

    1. Thanks, wan!

      Re: loans – hey there’s no police say cannot, so why not hahaha. if it helps you to keep track of your subs, add it in your list!

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