Fewer Subscriptions

For a little over two years I've been using Setapp as a "developer's App Store", picking up applications that allow me to solve specific problems encountered both at the day job and in my personal projects. With it I have been able to try out a number of different tools to find the best one for the particular tasks at hand and, for $10 a month, it proved to be worth the subscription rate. That said, as my work has become more specific, there has been much less need to quickly find an application to solve the occasional "Problem X" as there was just a couple of years ago. For this reason, I pulled the plug on the subscription and instead bought the two applications that I use most often: TablePlus, which I am now using daily on account of all the PostgreSQL work, and ForkLift, which is used a couple of times a month to upload large sums of data to Amazon's S3 storage buckets.

This move is the continuation of a process that I seem to have subconsciously embarked upon, where subscriptions that no longer offer the value perceived in the past are cancelled. This month it's Setapp. Last month it was Netflix. The month before was Amazon Prime. None of these subscriptions are particularly expensive, but they do add up and it has me thinking about the business model of collecting relatively small fees for access to a walled garden of digital goods and services.

Over the last couple of years a lot of us have slowly accumulated a large number of subscriptions to all kinds of services. Sometimes this is to support the developer(s) of a project. Sometimes this is to access commercial materials. Sometimes this is for sheer convenience. These fees add up pretty quickly. Is every service worth the amount provided? It seems the only time I ask this question is after an email hits the inbox letting me know that I've been charged for another month or year of service. I'm all for supporting people in the quest to do good, though I sometimes wonder if there's a better way to use the money.

This reduction of subscriptions should be a good opportunity to examine the lot of them. By being a little more careful with what services remain active, it will be possible to invest a little more intelligently in independent projects as well as my own.