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Cancel Your Newspaper and Magazine Subscription

by retirebyforty on August 1, 2011 · 36 comments

in expenditure, saving tips

Are you a newspaper and magazine subscriber? We used to subscribe to the local newspaper and several magazines, but we canceled them all over the last few years. I think this is probably just me being cheap, but lately I hate hate hate paying monthly fees. I’d rather save the money these days.

The local newspaper costs $21/month for a 7 day delivery. This is not expensive, but why should I pay $21 when I can see all the major stories on their website? We can also see reader comments to each article. Sure, if everyone thinks like this, then all the newspaper subscriptions will decline and they’ll go out of business. Oh wait, that’s already happening. Anyway, that $21 will go into my retirement fund instead of going to the newspaper.

our congressman

Our congressman is resigning due to sexual harassment allegation, erratic behaviors, and sending this picture to staff. Read all about it on the Oregonian website.

We actually love reading the Sunday paper while lingering over a nice breakfast and we  occasionally buy a Sunday paper just for that purpose. The real problem with the paper is we don’t have time to read it. When we subscribed, the papers would be piling up for a few days before we had any chance to go over it. By then it’s old news. Mrs. RB40 often felt stressed because reading the paper became one more thing on her already-extensive to-do list. I also felt guilty for throwing out the papers without reading them. They were useful for cleaning our glass windows, but how many papers does one need for that chore?

We also subscribed to a few magazines (fashion mags for Mrs.) and had gift subscriptions for travel/living magazines given to us from relatives.  While it was fun to thumb through these magazines, after awhile, we came to realize that there weren’t any really new ideas being imparted.  Reading monthly magazines became a chore instead of a fun pastime.  We asked our loved ones to not subscribe magazines for us anymore, and cancelled our subscriptions for the ones we purchased. While the money we saved was nominal, the time (and stress) we freed up was exponential.  When we need to find an answer to something, we tend to log onto the internet.  Does this mean we gave up reading newspapers and magazines completely?  Our city has a free weekly that keeps us up-to-date on local news.  The Mrs.’ coworker brings in magazines which gets passed around (so what if they’re a month out of date)?  We also live in a condo tower with a shared laundry room, so one can find various discarded reading material available for sharing.  And there is always the local library if we really want to read a specific magazine.

Do you still have newspaper and magazine subscriptions? Why do you subscribe if you can get the same information online? Would it be better if they move to a totally online model? That way, we wouldn’t have to cut down trees to print newspapers.

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

LifeAndMyFinances August 1, 2011 at 4:27 am

I’m right there with you RB40! I don’t subscribe to anything. I can always find what I’m looking for online.

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retirebyforty August 1, 2011 at 10:14 am

Online is the way of the future. The newspapers will have to adjust soon or go out of business entirely. They must be able to make money online too.

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Jon -- Free Money Wisdom August 1, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Amen! I hate subscriptions. They are practically worthless. Feel for the newspapers but unfortunately the internet is much more convenient and a lot less pricey. I don’t have the time nor the money to invest in a magazine I won’t read!

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SB @ One Cent At A Time August 1, 2011 at 4:45 am

I dont have any active subscription now. I read only online news

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LLF August 1, 2011 at 5:41 am

There are some magazines I still support, like Pop Sci so I would pay the $12 a year for it. Although, I am considering the e-mag version, because of the paper stacking up. I canned my fashion mags because I don’t have time to read them. Also, if you collect 2 years worth of the fashion mags, you’ll see that they have the same stuff all the time. Good ideal putting that money into retirement.
As for news, I just turn on the radio turning my commute and get all the news from the new radio and gossip from the morning shows. AND it’s free radio, not paid.

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retirebyforty August 1, 2011 at 10:14 am

A lot of the finance magazines also have the same topics over and over again. I guess there is only so much you can write about in the niche. ;)

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No Debt MBA August 1, 2011 at 6:05 am

I have no subscriptions. Just the idea of switching addresses each time we move is enough to deter me, cost aside!

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Kellen August 1, 2011 at 6:25 am

I subscribe to “Clean Run” a dog agility magazine. Mostly because no library in the area carries it. I don’t think I’ll be renewing my subscription though, because I haven’t had much time to do agility, and I can keep the 12 issues I already have for when I want some ideas of practice drills to set up.

I had the same problem with the newspaper – seeing all that paper piling up made me feel guilty for not reading it all. Now, I just get my news from NPR on the way to and from work.

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retirebyforty August 1, 2011 at 10:16 am

NPR is great. That’s how I get most of my news also. Does Clean Run have a website? It seems like you can get almost any information online these days.

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Jeff @ Sustainable life blog August 1, 2011 at 8:51 am

I dont have any subscriptions for newspapers, but I do have 2 magazine subscriptions that I really enjoy. One is monthly, and the other is bi-monthly, so there’s plenty of time for it to stack up before the next one comes and I can still read it. I do enjoy them both, but sometimes get a little overwhelmed with them.

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cashflowmantra August 1, 2011 at 11:42 am

We haven’t received a newspaper for years (probably almost 10). I do subscribe to BusinessWeek and Forbes. I read them cover to cover, but am about 3 weeks behind currently due to the blogging.

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Financial Success for Young Adults August 1, 2011 at 1:45 pm

What about the coupons in the Sunday paper? I don’t subscribe but I’m actually starting to get pretty ticked that I pay 2 bucks for a paper I don’t read just to get the coupons.

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retirebyforty August 1, 2011 at 2:10 pm

You should slow down, relax, and read the paper over a nice hash brown & eggs breakfast. ;)

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MoneyCone August 1, 2011 at 2:33 pm

The only magazines I subscribe to are the one’s that are free!! (Forbes, Barron’s and BW)

As you say, most of the information is available online.

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krantcents August 1, 2011 at 3:00 pm

First I negotiated with the Los Angeles Times to get the lowest rates for the subscription, but the size of the paper is going down. I feel the value is deteriorating faster than ever. I do like the physical paper to read while eating breakfast. I am probably old school about that. The few magazines I receive, I shopped the subscription online and got a bargain. 3 years for $8.22. Much less than the renewal.

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retirebyforty August 2, 2011 at 10:14 am

We like to read the paper over breakfast too, but we have less and less time these days. With the baby, we have no time at all… It’s too bad the newspaper are going down the drain. They need to come up with a new business model.

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Squirrelers August 1, 2011 at 5:18 pm

I haven’t subscribed to a newspaper in years.

I used to get the paper daily, then switched to Sundays only. That was a real source of enjoyment for me in days past, reading the Sunday paper. Sports, business, real estate, and a health/life section. Oh, and scanning for coupons too!

That was then, however, and today is different. Actually, it’s been quite a few years like I mentioned earlier. I just don’t see the point in buying the paper. The information that’s online and free is right there for all of us. Information overload, actually. Why pay a subscription for a newsprint? That’s so 20th Century :)

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retirebyforty August 2, 2011 at 10:15 am

I agree, but sometime it’s nice to read the Sunday paper. We go to the corner store and buy it once in a while. :)

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Evan August 1, 2011 at 9:00 pm

Years ago I had a subscription to the WSJ that would just stack up at home and at work…it took some mental strength to admit to myself that I will never read them lol and so I eventually cancelled it.

Right now we just get the Sunday paper. The wife tries to read it cover to cover, and I just look at the ads lying to myself that I will upgrade the tv or laptop lol

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retirebyforty August 2, 2011 at 10:17 am

haha. :D It’s fun to see the Sunday ads. I read the comic first and then the rest a bit at a time. We don’t even have time for that these days. The little guy is always demanding attention.

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Echo August 1, 2011 at 9:35 pm

I’ve never had a newspaper subscription, there always seems to be one kicking around at work that I can read if I want to.

I have two magazine subscriptions, and both are add-on’s to my monthly cell phone bill ($1 each) that my employer pays for. One is MoneySense and the other is Canadian Business. They are solid magazines, and I’d probably pay for them if I had to.

My mother-in-law buys me a subscription to Maclean’s magazine every year, which is a national news magazine that is published weekly. I have stacks of unread Maclean’s lying around the house. I just don’t have time to read all of the articles, and because it’s news, the articles are out-of-date compared to what I’ve read online already.

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retirebyforty August 2, 2011 at 10:18 am

Print medium is way too slow for news these days. It’s still good for entertainment and other things, but it’s so much easier to get news online or from the radio.

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Denise @ The Single Saver August 2, 2011 at 10:22 am

Our local paper has started charging for reading certain online content – but they do give you 20 free views a month. Luckily, they have not figured out how to track mobile device views so I am still able to read for free on my Android Tablet. The paper just isn’t good enough to pay what they are charging and I don’t have that much time to read it, anyway.

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Hunter @ Financially Consumed August 2, 2011 at 12:02 pm

We don’t directly pay for any newspaper or magazine subscriptions, however we get a few magazines by spending our mycoke rewards points. Yes, I have an addiction to Diet Coke. I’m with you though, can’t stand monthly financial commitments.

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Lindy Mint August 2, 2011 at 12:19 pm

When my husband and I first moved in together, we ordered the paper, mostly because both of our parents had always had it, and it had been a staple in both of our lives. But we soon saw them piling up too, and eventually cancelled it.

I always had visions of us sitting at the breakfast table on a Saturday morning reading the paper. We do that, except the “paper” is now the iPad and the laptop, and that’s okay with me.

I do still like the idea of magazines, and the sense of discovery you get in a way not found in typical internet formats. But I do agree that they become a chore to read when you’re a subscriber.

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Everyday Tips August 2, 2011 at 1:27 pm

I recently re-subscribed to our local paper because it covers high school sports,and my kids show up in the paper periodically. (Gotta clip!) Also, I love the coupons in my Sunday paper.

There are a lot of magazine subscriptions I have let expire though. I never read magazines much anymore.

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Christa August 2, 2011 at 1:51 pm

I tried the Sunday paper again a while ago, but you’re right, it does just become a chore. I cancelled it recently. But I still have about 3 magazine subscriptions, simply because I love the relaxed state a paper magazine can put me in!

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Little House August 2, 2011 at 3:19 pm

I canceled all of my subscriptions years ago. It was for exactly the same reason; we didn’t have time to read the newspapers and all the mag stories were regurgitated. (Though I do miss NatGeo). However, I can find most of the missed content online.

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Spruce Up Your Finances August 2, 2011 at 8:17 pm

Totally agree. Almost everything can be read online now so there is really no need to subscribe to magazines and newspapers.

As for me, the only time that I subscribe to a magazine lately was when my niece handed an order for me for fund raising contributions and I elected for the magazine which has 60% off. I figure, it was a good deal $9.98 for 1 year monthly subscription and a percentage goes to their fundraising efforts.

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101 Centavos August 4, 2011 at 5:13 am

I canceled the newspaper years ago for the same reasons, it was stacking up unread and we were tossing it out or recycling it. This was before I had worm bins which could use the shredded newsprint. Still, I get all the newsprint I can use from fellows at work that subscribe to the WSJ, and from back issues of the Northern Miner.
As for magazines, we’ve been slowly phasing them out. I still have a Mother Earth subscription that is ideal for bathroom reading.

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simplewealthguy August 5, 2011 at 7:52 pm

our local paper, the Sydney Morning Herald costs $1.20. Their iphone app is $4.99 per month. A no brainer really.

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retirebyforty August 6, 2011 at 7:59 am

That’s a big saving!

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James @ property agents london August 10, 2011 at 3:45 am

By not subscribing to newspaper and magazines, we not only save money but it is also good by environment point of view. The lesser usage of paper is there, lesser would be the cutting of trees. Moreover, if you find important information, which you want to save for ever, it might not be convenient to save those papers forever, but it is always easy to look for that information online whenever and wherever you want.

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retirebyforty August 10, 2011 at 3:24 pm

I agree 100%!

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