Thursday, April 23, 2009

Subscribing Like It's Going out of Style


In most ways, I assume I'm behaving in this economic downturn (nice euphemism for a cataclysmic global financial panic, eh?) like everyone else. I've trimmed back expenses, held off on nonessential major purchases (thank goodness I didn't buy a new car last year when I was contemplating it) (but I can still dream), and in general tried to make sure I didn't do stupid things with my money.

But I realized today that I have increased activity in one economic area: subscriptions. Just in the past couple months, I have sent in new subscriptions to Esquire, the Financial Times, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, and Chicago magazine, and New Scientist. That's in addition to the magazines for which I already have subscriptions, and it brings my total subscriptions to 13.

Some of those are publications I'll read no matter what the cost is, but others have made the math irresistible. Esquire, for example, practically pays me to receive the magazine. I haven't lived in Chicago for a decade, but I still buy an issue now and then of Chicago magazine; I finally realized that a $12 annual subscription is easily paid for if I buy just three copies a year at the $4.99 cover price. Financial Times is a great newspaper that gives me news and views that is usually lacking in U.S. media. I was buying a copy or two a week, then I saw the subscription offer of 52 weeks for $99. Paying nearly $100 for a newspaper sounds like a lot of money, but it comes out to a savings if I bought just one copy a week of the paper (it does have a high cover price). So, another no-brainer decision.

So my subscription count has increased in the midst of this little economic fluster, and the biggest help has been to those publications of which I was an occasional but regular purchaser. Again, the publications I've read for decades and to which I'm particularly attached will always be on my must-buy/subscribe list as long as I'm alive and they're publishing. For the others, though, my financial considerations coincide with their circulation needs (and thus their advertising goals).

I just wanted someone to know I'm doing this for you. For the economy. For the children. Cuz I'm cheap.
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