Spring cleaning: cancelling my online subscriptions

Having two kids can be hard on the wallet sometimes. And I’m never happy unless I’m switching browsers, servers, services or distros every few months. So my current effort has been to track all my online expenses and terminate them with extreme prejudice.

Here is a list of all the things I’ve been using, and what I decided to do with them. First, the ones I didn’t cancel:

  • The Browser – Still my favourite source for curated long reads.
  • LWN – And my favourite source of linux news.
  • Saavn – This is only Rs. 100 a month so I’m not saving much cancelling it. My favourite source for music streaming/download.
  • Google Drive – I pay $2 a month for 100GB, and this is too important to cancel. All my kids’ pics are here.
  • Gandi – They’re my registrar for this website. The site is hosted in blogger so that part is already free.
  • Lastpass – The next service I cancel will probably be this. But its not too expensive, and integrates pretty well with my lifestyle (multiple machines and phone), so I’ve become rather tied to it.

And here are the ones I have sadly had to cancel:

  • Fastmail – I moved back to gandi’s email service. The webmail is not that great but I can always use a dedicated client. I’ve also moved several newsletter subscriptions to my gmail account to reduce the traffic here.
  • ACM – I initially got this only for the safari account that came with it. But my best study time is during my commute, when I never have any connectivity. Cancelled.
  • Linux Journal – A decent magazine that I’ve been a member of for the past couple years.
  • Marvel Unlimited – A great service. But apart from the initial couple months, I’ve started using the service less and less.
  • rsync – I didn’t know I was still paying for this until I came across the recurring payment page in PayPal. Cancelled. Good service, but it didn’t fit in my workflow.
  • Newsblur – Another good service. I switched to a free alternative (Digg)
  • Magzter – Got a year’s worth cheap, but never really used to it. Magazines don’t look good on the phone screen. So many things to read, so little time!
  • HotStar – I got this only for Game of Thrones. They do have the Wire and a few other good HBO shows.
  • Netflix – No time.
  • FSF – This one felt bad, because this is the only non-profit I donate to. But the $10 a month did add up to a lot more than many of the smaller ones in this list.
  • Digital Ocean – I had a VPS here for playing around with new tools. My web-to-email tools were also hosted here. A toy VPS is the hardest to part with 🙁
  • AWS – My free tier expired so I got rid of this asap.

Not bad for a few days’ worth of digging around and moving stuff, I guess. I think I’ve saved around Rs 15000 30000 annually with this. But knowing my nature, it won’t be long before I slowly start resubscribing to some of these. A low end VPS is going to be high in that list.

Update: added netflix and the fsf.

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