Sam Soffes

On Managing Money

Posted on

I generally suck at managing money. My usual attitude to paying for anything is "I need this, so here is the money." When people ask me how much things cost, I never know. This is stupid.

I've kinda of brainwashed myself into thinking I don't have a choice except to pay for this. Doing pretty well as a software engineer in San Francisco makes this a possibility. I realize how stupid this is.

Anyway, I'm starting to hopefully break the habit.


Monthly subscriptions seemed like a logical place to start. I had a ton of services I have been paying for and either not using at all or could easily go without. Here's a list of services I canceled or downgraded tonight:

  • Netflix - watching less TV now
  • Hulu - watching less TV now
  • GitHub - not using pay features
  • Zipcar - not using any more
  • Railscasts - really love, but can go without for now
  • Vimeo - not using any more
  • Flickr - not using any more
  • Dropbox - started using Rdio, so no longer need the extra space for iTunes syncing
  • Xbox Live - rarely use and can go without
  • Rdio - switched from a family plan
  • DNSMadeEasy - switched to a cheaper service

I was pretty proud of the big dent I made in my wasted spending. That's $930 in savings a year. Not bad.

Do It.

This is a great exercise. I just went through my bank statements and identified as many of these subscriptions as possible. The yearly ones are obviously harder to find, but you get the idea. Anyway, if you suck at managing money, this is a good place to start. Highly recommend.

Update 03/04/12: Signed up for Netflix, Hulu, Github, and Railscasts again. Oh well.