Money Diaries

Subscription, subscription, and subscriptions

I read about subscription at Suraya’s website and decided to look at my own list. And it’s not pretty, wait till you reach bottom of this post.

The idea of a subscription model started in the 17th century (yes, it’s 300 years old!), but it’s only recently that nearly everything comes in pay to access package. Ideally, a minimalist only needs about 8 subscriptions to live well and prosper.

8 things to live your whole life based on subscription:

  • Rent a place
  • Lease a car | Ridesharing
  • Grocery box delivery | meal box delivery
  • Fashion box
  • Toiletries box | Sephora beauty box
  • Entertainment site
  • Hobby memberships | subscription
  • Medical prescription subscription

Is it worth it? I think so. These are legit categories to subscribe to. The trick to not fall under the subscription trap is not paying for more than one in each category. That sounds easy, and I have been all round savvy until I look into my occational expenses.

How do I fare?

When I look into my list, things that I currently pay for are ALL digital. 😕

First, I don’t consider installment or payment like rent and insurance as a subscription. They do, and they don’t, depends on how you define it?

Second, I wouldn’t say I like a subscription. It makes me feels like every part of my life is temporary. Once the music stops, the musical chair stops. Once you’re out of cash, life is over.

Here are the list of things I use and paying or don’t pay (free version) for:

Making this site works:

  • Grammarly – I think I paid USD49/year.
  • Domain fee for websites – USD9/year, hosting is free.
  • Productivity sites: Asana, Trello (paid by startup friends)

In the name of learning:

  • Duolingo – Occasionally pay USD6.99 a month. No longer paying. Go ahead, take the hearts when I make a mistake.
  • Trala – USD99.90 a year. I dream of being a violinist. It’s a delusion.
  • Scribd – USD49.90 a year. Cool books access and document. I mainly use for engineering books, which will cost up to RM800 a book.
  • Landa by Linkedin – Not so legally gotten from Shopee at RM2.5/year 😮
  • Membership site – Some sites that I love to support. USD30 a month, currently paid for 4th month. Time to reconsider?
  • iCapital newsletter – RM49/year to be a smarter investor
  • News+ – Free account
  • Libby for public library access – Free
  • Masterclass pass – Free. It’s USD180/year, but I get free access.

Fun and entertainment:

  • VPN – RM5 a month to access all countries under Netflix.
  • Netflix – It’s actually free from my brother.
  • Spotify – using the free version
  • GrabFood – RM4.90 plan to stop me from getting more than 5 times of food deliveries.


  • Student email – USD4
  • Alternative phone number – RM 5 every 2-3 months
  • Apps on subscription – none. I delete apps that “offers in-app purchase.”
  • Apple cloud storage – It’s USD 0.90 a month that I refuse to pay. I’ll transfer the files to somewhere with space.
  • Software – Blessed with free access to legit software.
  • File sharing sites – USD 10 when I need it.

Did I oversubscribe my life?

Remember the times when I told my friend to cut all the subscriptions that she couldn’t’ have? I feel like such an imposter now. Even with the current reduced subscription, that’s still about RM2182 a year on digital things alone. I tend to think I only pay for truly value-added service 😂 , but the total is still 🤯. How should I cut them?

Update: Cancelled the USD30/month membership site. Reduced my subscription expenses to RM667 a year.

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