The Netflix Money Suck

My friend Karen told me how much her life has changed and how much money she saved after she decided to cancel her cable subscription.

“I’d turn on Keeping Up With the Kardashians, and then three hours would pass,” she said. “I thought, ‘Is this how I want to be spending my time?'”

I confessed to Karen that I had received a Netflix DVD rental of The Artist in June, and that it was still sitting in my apartment somewhere. There’s no reason for me to hold on to it—The Artist is now available on Netflix Instant Streaming. Paying $8 a month to receive DVD rentals in the mail seems reasonable and affordable until you realize you’re paying $8 a month to keep an unwatched DVD hidden under a stack of magazines for half a year. I canceled the DVD portion of my subscription, but kept the streaming service.

The reason I kept the DVD-by-mail subscription for so long was because, well, sometimes your friend from Dallas says she’d like to stay in and watch The Coal Miner’s Daughter with you one night, and it’s not available to stream. My solution for that is to now pay for individual streaming rentals on Amazon or iTunes (at $1.99 to $4.99 per rental, depending on the movie). I figure paying for things when you’ll actually watch it makes much more sense.

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