When I got a "real job" after grad school, I got even more crazy. Buying a house meant I needed a subscription to Sunset "the magazine of Western Living" so I could get recipes, travel ideas, and other domestic stuff. Their recipes are awesome and always turned out perfectly.
I also loved Real Simple which is pretty and domestic, but not at all simple, just expensive minimalist design. Cooking Light was another favorite for healthy recipes, when I learned I could trade in frequent flyer miles for free magazines on airlines where I wouldn't accumulate enough to get a free flight. I had a job which required plane travel weekly, so having all these magazines helped pass the time.
When we moved to Seattle and my job became more demanding, the magazines piled up. My new swanky gym had its own subscriptions to things I liked to read. I didn't have much time to be domestic. So slowly I cancelled all the subscriptions, except for a few. I loved the topics and writing at Wired, and got a free subscription to Blender, a music magazine that was surprisingly interesting and well written. But still, I didn't *need* them so I let my subscriptions lapse in the interest of saving money.
I also had a portable satellite radio gadget so we could listen to XM radio in the house or at the gym. I LOVED the variety of music, but not so much the monthly fee. When we were getting ready for T's arrival, we looked at all of our expenses and cut where we could - no more XM, no more DirecTV, no more home phone.
I have acquired my husband's dislike of monthly subscription fees. I get it - from a financial point of view, it's a regular outflow of money that you're often locked in to, you may not be using it as much as you're paying for it, and it's sort of "invisible" because you either pay up front or it gets billed automatically, making you more out of touch with where the money is going.
So for a long time I had no regular subscriptions to anything - no magazines, no online services, no TV, nothing.
But they've crept back in. I signed up for a subscription to the gorgeous CARDS magazine. I also found out from my friend Jenn that there are scrapbooking kits you can subscribe to monthly. I didn't need to know this, given my tendencies to shop for and hoard craft supplies.
I signed up for Scrapscription, which is a monthly mini-album kit. They're wonderfully complex, and the projects take me days to complete. In fact, I've only finished two and I've been subscribing for 4 months now (yikes!). But they're beautiful and I feel a huge sense of accomplishment when I finish one, not to mention they make fantastic gifts for relatives, or quick mini-scrapbooks to capture things we do. The one I'm currently working is going to be about our girls' trip to Portland in July.
And of course craft hoarding begets more craft hoarding, so I also bought a small monthly subscription to the Silhouette Online Store, which allows me to download files to use with my electronic die cutting machine. I've made T's birthday invites, lots of cards, and doo-dads for my Project Life pages this way.
|Roller Rink Kit by Studio Calico. Droool.|
So really, I just need to STOP with the monthly subscriptions. I certainly have enough supplies to last me a long, long time. Probably more than I'll ever be able to use! In a month or two, I'm planning to re-evaluate these choices and see if I really need to continue *all* of them. I'm sure I can scale back and still feel like I'm getting my little "treats".
What's your financial "vice" - the thing you can't get enough of?