How Much Do I Spend On Subscriptions? A Full Breakdown.


I spend $438.79 on average per month.

Every 6 months, I do an audit of my costs and my monthly/yearly subscriptions.

I do it for 3 reasons:

  • Making sure I am not overpaying
  • Match values with current life/work
  • Being financially responsible

And June just came to an end, so I went through my subscriptions and finances which gives me the opportunity to share it in public.

I broke it down in a couple categories:

  • Personal
  • Family (incl. entertainment)
  • Work & Business

And this is the result:

Note that pricing can vary from region to region, so this could influence the cost.

The Breakdown

Personal

  • iCloud $0.99/month

Average monthly: $0.99

That’s it. I don’t have a lot of personal subscriptions and this will likely never change. There was a time I would have had an entire list of truly personal subscriptions, but after marriage this changed where the cost actually significantly went down.

Family

  • Apple One ($25.95/month)
  • Spotify Duo $6/month 
  • Netflix Premium Plan ($11.99/month)
  • Disney+ ($8.5/month)
  • Mobile Phones (3 contracts) ($33/month)

Average monthly: $85.44

After calculating, we save more by buying the ONE plan from Apple, even though my wife does not use Apple Music, but I do on top of Spotify. Apple Music has some of my favorite artists and music that Spotify does not have. So it’s a bonus.

Our family subscriptions are to a minimum because we don’t have much time to consume media or watch movies regularly.

Even today, we question if we need the Disney+ subscription but she often watches some drama shows and shares the account with one of her best friends that are in a less fortunate position and try to save costs.

I feel pretty good about this number, especially when the average spent per consumer is a whopping $219 per month

And now the biggest one of them all:

Work & Business

I decided to throw that in a table, because it’s a long list.

PlatformI am PayingMonthly
Superhuman Email$30/month$30
Notion Plus$96/year$8
Obsidian$96/year$8
Tresorit$149/year$12.4
Google Workspace$21.60/month$21.60
Grammarly Premium$72/year$6
Zoom Pro$144/year$12
Canva Pro$14.99/month$14.99
Adobe Creative Cloud$20/month$20
Moleskine Studio Bundle$24.99/year$2.1
NordVPN$42.80/ year$3.5
One FoxTail WordPress Hosting$9.99/month$9.99
Upmind$15/month$15
MS Office$70/year$5.8
Bloomberg News$34.99/month$34.99
Finbox$29.99/month$29.99
Symbolik$69.99/month$69.9
Tradingview$630/year$52.50
Total Average$352.36

Average monthly: $352.36

Average monthly without financial tools: $165.88

I have a rule: If I spend more than 15% in recurring overhead vs earnings I need to revisit my options.

And eliminating the financial markets brackets (day trading, stock markets etc) I would say this is a number that is reasonable for any business.

As you can see, I made an average per month, even though I pay lots of subscriptions per year because it’s often so much cheaper.

Most of my  days, I spend creating content,niche blogging,  managing our e-commerce and consulting for clients.

Day Trading is more of a side activity but still critical to my cashflow, paired with DIY stock research for my household.

Since most of the readers here do not day trade, (which is something I would never recommend to anyone) 

I feel $165.88 per month to run multiple businesses is a VERY acceptable number.

A Little More Details

Some of the tools are irreplaceable for me, and that includes my favorite one: Superhuman Email

You might think this is crazy to pay $30 for an email client, but you can read my Superhuman review here.

Notion & Obsidian

Whilst both have free tier options that are likely more than enough for the average user, Notion PLUS adds so much more value for me in the PLUS plan because of the unlimited spaces, file uploads, and guest invites.

I do however just see they increased their pricing from $96 to $120/year but it’s not going to be a blocker for me.

Notion Pricing Plans

Obsidian on the other hand, I am in a bit of limbo. I use it enough and I love the ease of syncing (hence the premium subscription), but after auditing the last 6 months, I tend to use it less and less.

One of the main reasons was that I spent too much time in Obsidian writing in MD format and I have a hard time organizing my current workflow in Obsidian. 

I kinda want to move most of it to MS OneNote and Notion, but I am still flipping a coin on that. I will revisit Obsidian once my subscription ends in September.

Tresorit

I still think this is one of the best cloud storage providers to date. And mainly used as my main backup for critical documents or files, following a 3-2-1 rule in backup using OneDrive, offline storage, and Tresorit.

But now that I have become a fan of using Google Docs on iPad, I am slowly adding Google Drive for content only and lesser critical files. I also use it now to add links from Notion to Google Drive in my content calendar.

Creative Apps

Whilst Canva is great without a subscription, there is a lot you can do with the premium version. My wife and I use it for our e-commerce and social media efforts.

Creative Cloud by Adobe is more for myself . PS Express and Audition to record podcasts are the main drivers.

WordPress Hosting

One Fox Tail Hosting is my preferred hosting provider. This blog included runs on their hosting and it’s probably one of the best WordPress hosting providers I had for a reasonable price.

They recently introduced a lifetime deal, which I contemplate taking as it saves me quite a penny over the years.

Anything Else

Upmind is for ticketing and customer service in our e-commerce business. Whilst I am not a fan of using startups or early-stage products, this one is built by a team I know and have multiple businesses that have been thriving for almost 2 decades.

Final Note

Overall, I think my subscriptions and finances are still okay.

I suggest other people do the same, and do a regular audit so you are aware of the costs and not overpaying for items you don’t need.

When your business or household changes, this might change. What’s good today might be invalid tomorrow or require an upgrade if the cost is justified.

People who just start a business will find a lot of free options, but remember that free can be very expensive(especially timewise).

It often makes a lot of sense to go premium once your business grows.

  • Always make educated decisions before committing to a platform
  • Estimate the impact what a subscription can do to you, financially or workwise
  • Don’t cut corners on critical elements when it’s a tool that gives you a solid return on investment. Whether that’s time or revenue.
  • Read into suggestions, but don’t blindly follow influencers or recommendations. Often those influencers are in the space of affiliate marketing and are promoting a product to make a buck, but never use the product or service.
  • And last but not least, every situation is different. Not everyone can afford costly subscriptions and no reason to put fellow creators or starting entrepreneurs down when geo or monthly income plays a huge role

About Me

I am Jiang Ming or Jay, I write passionately about niche blogging, starting a business, WFH, and productivity, with a pinch of marketing and side hustle tips.

All content is based on my views and/or my own experiences. Some of the links might have an affiliate link which I earn a small commission from, which I prefer over stuffing my blog with ads.

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