The Cost of Living: Bills, what are they good for?
No one “likes” paying bills; at least, not anyone that I know. However, I do have a few bills that I dont mind paying. This concept came strange to me while laying in bed last night, A notification popped up on my iPad it said “Damian, a bill has just over drafted your account.” It was really more along the lines of: “Spotify has just charged $9.99 to your bank account.” But nevertheless, a bill had processed and I had just received a notification on my iPad. I look over to read “Damian, a bill had just overdrafted your account.” In reality, it was really closer to “Spotify has just charged $9.99 to your bank account.”
Nevertheless, the bill had been processed, and I had no way out of it. I decided I would share with you all some of my cost of living.
Bills I Don’t Mind Paying
Spotify - $9.99
I honestly cannot write enough about my love and obsession with Spotify. Sure, there are other streaming services such as Zune, Mogg, and Rdio. Though, from what I have expierenced, Spotify is best in its class. I have met rare occasions where I could not find what I want when I want it. FRAGMENT Anything from Radiohead, to Deadmau5, to Aretha Franklin, to Frank Sinatra, to Mozart.
Honestly, I have this service in use at least 18 hours a day. Yes, I am that guy that plays music while I sleep. I listen to music while I game, while I drive, and while I workout. All of this audio is powered by Spotify. Most of the time I do not have room on my computers and devices for all the music that I want to hear. As my taste began to expand so did my needs, and let’s be honest, no one is happy about taking up 60GB or more of space on a sub 500GB hard drive.
The killer feature here is offline syncing for devices that do not have internet or 3G access. I have an old iPhone that I take with me to the gym and in long winded car rides. In order to not further kill the battery in my phone, I use offlineplaylists in my Spotify app to play music. The beauty is that it is cross platform! I can have the same playlist on my iPad, on my iPhone, on my HTC One X, on my desktop, and on my iPod shuffle. I don’t know about you but that is one hell of a deal for $9.99 a month.
I would suggest this service to anyone that has an obsession with music, is low on storage space, and has no desire to be rear-ended with a torrenting fine.
Dropbox - $9.99
Dropbox has many uses for me. First and foremost it allows me to sync documents from my desktop to my mobile devices. Its nice to have anything from word documents to images at your finger tips. I work as a ‘creative’ so it doubles over as a mobile portfolio that is updated across all devices.
On a professional level we use Dropbox in and out of the office to sync images, marketing material, and files for our podcast and video production. It is a life saver. There is nothing like syncing a file to all appropriate computers by simply dropping it into the appropriate folder.
While working in groups, syncing across devices, or just backing up data to the cloud, Dropbox is a must have application. Dropbox comes in the flavors of: free for 2GB with up to 16GB of added space via referrals (500MB each), $9.99 for 100GB, $19.99 for 200GB, and the ever so lofty $49.99 for 500GB. Google offers a very similar service called Google Drive. If you are trying to go the free-to-play route, Google Drive might be a better solution at 5GB for free with a $2.49 option for 25GB. Both services offer a web interface to download and view data in the cloud.
Netflix - $7.99
The titan that is Netflix is 3rd on my list of bills that I enjoy paying. Though, as of recent, I am not to sure why. Maybe it’s due to my lack of time or the divide between gaming or cinema. Although at the end of the day it is relaxing to throw on an episode of Rescue Me or watch something in my instant queue like ‘The Devils Double’ or ‘Goon’.
Netflix streaming comes at the sweet sweet price of $7.99. Not to bad when you take in to account the unlimited streaming and huge load of content. A little birdy told me they might even have ‘High School of Dead’ on stream… watch out after hours anime streaming (NSFW).
World of Warcraft - $14.99
This bill is new and I am still not to sure how I feel about it. I honestly do not have much time for gaming, but when I do, it’s hard to find a game that everyone has and wants to play. I know, I know, World of Warcraft is possibly the worst game for compatibility. Oddly enough, most of my friend have characters on the same server. You can find us on The Venture Co!
I have always wanted to play a Pokemon MMO, and Cataclysm will be the closest thing that I get to that for a long while. You know you want to live out your dreams of being the best Pokemon master in Azeroth, or you simply want to run around with a Panda named “Pandamonium” World of Warcraft is an easy bill to swallow. WoW seems to be the most outdated price scheme in the lot.
Bills I Hate Paying
Verizon - $29.99
Oh, how I despise Verizon and my MiFi. Maybe it’s just the hardware, or the area I am located, but I have terrible service with Verizon. I went with the red giant in hopes that I would have a reliable hotspot; I was clearly mistaken! Since my purchase of the devices I have had a 40% success rate. The device it self has had its battery replaced once and the device as a whole replaced another time. Still, I get horrible service and terrible battery life when I get any service.
24 Hour Fitness - $29.99
The ever so daunting gym bill. Rarely does anyone I know really get their use of the monthly $29.99, but when push comes to shove, it is nice to have a 24 hour gym. With the freelance and gaming lifestyle that I live, I find my self thinking about the gym when 2AM rolls around. Though usually it is passed up for a set of push ups and a game of DoTA 2. Fitness should come more often and is something I plan on stepping up in the coming months.
Out of the above bills, by far my most appreciated one is Spotify. I cannot stress enough how important and convenient this service is to making my days wonderful. Accessing almost any artist, any time, and on any device is priceless. In my book, this cannot be beat. Do your self a favor and pick up the free trial. The service comes with a great desktop application, and they have just updated the mobile to allow free streaming (at the cost of listening to advertisements).