The Variable Value of Membership

In your ceaseless search for great discounts, sales, promotions and coupons, you are sure to come upon many deals regarding subscriptions and memberships. That magazine subscription is a whopping 80% off of the newsstand price! Membership to this club gives me unlimited access! Yes, the numbers and offers dance in front of you like a huge piece of triple chocolate fudge cake. You know you probably shouldn’t partake, and you definitely don’t need to… but it’s so tempting!

Memberships to organizations and clubs can offer enormous discounts for regular users. If you are a big fan of going to the zoo, a membership might be pretty enticing. With a single-day pass often around $20 and a year membership usually around twice that, avid zoo-goers save a lot of money with a membership. However, great aspirations may not always come to fruition. Someone who plans to visit the zoo three or more times a year may only end of going once. This is an example of a poorly purchased membership.

A membership can offer great savings if it is used and taken advantage of regularly. Otherwise, you are not getting your money’s worth and it may be better to pay for the services as you go. Another example of a club that often becomes just a card in a wallet is a gym membership. New Year’s resolutions fill the buildings… for a few weeks. After that, the paid services often go unused. Spa clubs, alumni associations and museum sign-ups make up a few more partners of this union of neglected memberships.

Subscriptions can also add up to a sad pile of wasted spending. Again, subscriptions can be great. If you read every issue of a magazine, you will save a hefty amount of money by avoiding the newsstand prices and signing up for a subscription. A weekly publication may cost around $5 for a single issue, while it might cost more than $50 for a year’s subscription. An avid reader will get his or her money’s worth in just a few months. Someone else, on the other hand, may only read the occasional issue and misguidedly purchase a $70 subscription. Premium cable channels, video game networks, and movie or music subscriptions offer a few more examples of purchases that may not be used to their full potential. Even a coupon book may cost you more than you save if you don’t use it regularly.   

Choose wisely when it comes to your memberships and subscriptions. The most important factor to think about is how often you realistically will use the service. If there is any doubt that you will not use it enough times to cover the cost of the subscription, it is not worth it. If you do not use the service on a regular basis, you are paying for a service you are not using, meaning it is something you do not need.

If you have any related stories or can think of other services like these that often are paid for and rarely used, share below!

            

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