I had a surprise waiting for me in my email inbox on Tuesday. Netflix announced that it was going to boost the price of the current plan that my husband and I subscribe to – the plan where we get DVDs one-at-a-time (unlimited though, during the month) and unlimited streaming. What currently costs me about $10.00 will now jump to $16 if I still want to keep both options. Otherwise, I can just get DVDs or just stream videos – both options are $8.00.
Naturally, this has caused people to throw their hands up in an uproar with thousands threatening to leave Netflix. It prompted an email from me to my hubby that said two words: “Hmmm” and “thoughts.” Because here’s the thing … I remember how much I used to spend on movie rentals when I was a singleton. And I remember how Netflix got me through the years when I did not have cable TV, so I’m going to give Netflix the benefit of the doubt on this one. But this move has also got me thinking … and this is the same line of thought that I have about my gym membership … does my usage of Netflix (or my gym membership) justify how much I spend per month?
Bluntly? No. Right now, “Into the Wild” has been sitting on my DVD player for over a week or so. I went on a streaming kick a little bit ago when I watched three seasons straight of “In Plain Sight.” Don’t get me wrong – I enjoyed that too. I also enjoy how my DVD queue reflects different phases – the “I need to really catch up on ‘Battlestar Galactica’ and ‘Doctor Who'” phase or my unexplainable crush on Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen. I also like the times when we have friends over who have little kids and we can go past the funky foreign films and find some Strawberry Shortcake videos or something else that’s suitable and keeps them entertained. (We don’t have kids, hence we do not have cool toys or kid-friendly movies, unless you want to subject your three-year-old to “Heat.”)
In the grand scheme of things in my financial life, giving up Netflix should be a no-brainer. But yet I sit here and I write this and I’m whining that Netflix is going to force my hand.
Again – when I lived alone and when I did not have cable TV, I spent way more than $16/month on renting movies. But now I’m married, we have cable and I don’t watch as much TV or movies as I used to. Maybe it’s time for me to grow up and recognize that I’m not in my 20s and the time when I rented every new release that came out is a fond memory. One that I do not have to spend $16 a month on.
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