I got an urgent notice in the mail the other day and I did what most people do when they see piece of mail with an urgent notice – I set it on the counter and figured I’d just deal with it tomorrow. After all, if it was really that urgent, whoever it was who sent me this letter should have just picked up the phone and called instead of sending something so very important through the mail. Bad on them.
Tomorrow came, and I decided that I should see what the urgency was all about. If for no other reason than to pique my curiosity. Maybe it’s a letter from Starbucks acknowledging my absence at the stores of late and that they miss me so much they are giving me free mochas for a year. Much to my disappointment, it was not a letter from Starbucks. And much to my enjoyment, it wasn’t a bill. Well, it was a bill, but not the kind of bill that gives you a free visit with a collections agency for ignoring. The kind of “bill” where you can actually choose whether or not you want to pay it. Yes, there it was – the final, final, final notice from Good Housekeeping asking me to renew my subscription. For the low price of $47.88/year.
Seems I have a bit of an issue with magazine subscriptions. Because Good Housekeeping isn’t the only subscription I have. I have subscriptions to Glamour and Dr. Oz The Good Life. Based on the stack of unread magazines I’ve accumulated, clearly I don’t really need them. Otherwise, I’d have room under my nightstand for things other than all those unread magazines.
So, as soon as I shredded the urgent notice from GH and tossed it in my garbage, I checked my online account to make sure that I didn’t have the Good Housekeeping subscription on auto-renew. Guess the joke would be on me if they sent me such an urgent notice in the mail only to charge my credit card anyways. The title of my next issue would be “We told you it was urgent but you didn’t listen”.
That brings us to this week’s financial fun fact: yeah, sometimes it’s nice to get something in the mail other than a bill or a stack of junk mail. I admit that I used to get excited when I got a new issue. But, as you can see, I have been slacking on my magazine reading. So I ask myself, is the annual subscription fee worth it? If you have annual subscriptions – whether it’s to a magazine, a newspaper, a website, or something else – ask yourself if you are getting the return on your investment that makes the fee worth it. And if the answer is no, then either cancel your subscription, or simply don’t renew it. And then make sure that if your online account is set up for auto renewals that you update your account and remove your credit card information.
I’ve got all of my magazine subscriptions cancelled, and my accounts are updated so I don’t get a charge for another year’s subscription. And I’m still waiting for that letter from Starbucks.