We’ve come to expect most things to be free online whether it be movies, music or news. There are however services worth paying for, if not only to keep them up and running. There’s a saying: If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product. I pay about 45 euros every month to be able to listen, view, sell, read and feel safe online. Here’s what I spend it on.
Always subscribe to and pay for at least one news source. The press is hurting at the moment and supporting your local, national or international news organization will help with their transition to digital. I pay for a monthly digital subscription for Helsingin Sanomat, which is the largest paper in Finland and the Nordic countries. They recently switched to a paywall system and at the same time streamlined all their platform services. I’m happy to pay 14,90 € a month for reliable news.
I started using Spotify shortly after its launch and I’ve loved it from day one. Although their music library could be a bit more comprehensive , Spotify has evolved over time and they now feature great mobile, desktop and browser players. Spotify is 9,95 € per month and for that you get rid of the ads and get access to the mobile app player. There are also alternatives such as Rdio and Deezer.
Netflix, HBO and Viaplay have all launched streaming video services in Europe this year and I really like Netflix. I used to watch streaming films on sites with unlicensed content but I’d much rather pay for it and get a better user experience. Netflix is 8 € per month and if you install a proxy altering addon such as Media Hint or Hola in your browser you get access to all the US content.
I sell vintage design online and my wife sells clothes. I use the largest Finnish service called Huuto.net and more seldom Etsy. I pay a five percent commission on the things I sell which amounts to about 15 € per month.
I opted to pay for Norton when setting up my parents’ computer. You can of course use AVG or any other free service but for simplicity and reliability I decided to pay 20 € for a one year subscription.
Flickr allows you to store as many images online as you want and it makes it easy to share them with friends and family. I retain the rights to them, I know who has access to them and I can delete them whenever I want. Flickr is 22,50 € per year. I also pay for additional Apple iCloud storage space, which is 16 € per year. That way my phone data is automatically backed up. To keep this WordPress blog running I pay 100 € /year in hosting costs.
I pay 10 € / year for Wikipedia because it’s a service we all use and that would be surely missed if it were to disappear. They rely solely on donations to keep the site working but I’ve heard that they have a significant sum saved up by now.
Other apps and services worth paying for:
ReittiGPS (alternatively Reitit) is the local route application without which I couldn’t get anywhere in Helsinki and the surrounding areas.
Tripit, is handy when travelling because it stores all the flight and hotel information that you need.
Instapaper, allows you to store and read articles for later.
With iZettle you can receive payments with your phone and you pay a small commission with every transaction.
Kickstarter features new product ideas and you can support the ones you believe in to possibly get the product early.
With Kiva you can issue small loans to people who need them around the world. An easy way to change the life for someone.
Dropbox gives you personal storage space at low cost but there are also other new alternatives.
That’s it. If you have any other personal favorites, please comment and share.