Things I spend money on

I have quite a few subscriptions, both online and offline. I quite like a lot of these things, so I thought I would share.

Online

Spotify

I’ve had a Spotify subscription ever since it came to NZ in 2012. I still think it’s the best all around music streaming service. I’m currently using a family plan, with five friends. Apparently we’re all live together in a one bedroom apartment. $3.75/month.

1Password

I’ve also been using 1Password ever since the subscription service started, and I’m still really happy with it. I love they have fantastic apps on every platform—I use the Windows, Mac, Android, and Web apps on a daily basis. Like Spotify, I share it with a large group of friends. $1 USD/month.

Day One

Unlike 1Password, the Day One apps outside of the Apple ecosystem aren’t very good. Despite this, I still find it to be a fantastic app for keeping a journal because it’s so specialized to the task. I use it every day, and it sets me back $2.92/month.

DigitalOcean

I run a DigitalOcean Kubernetes cluster that runs Waka and the everylotbots. I don’t run everything on it though. I still have a home server cluster running microk8s, that runs a UniFi controller, Home Assistant, and a few other things. I manage to only use a single Digital Ocean instance, which ends up costing $38/month.

AWS Lightsail

These days, I only spend a couple of dollars with AWS a month. I run a tiny Lightsail instance, for my Mum’s Wordpress site. $3.50 USD/month.

Xbox Game Pass

The Xbox Game Pass library is getting pretty large for PC these days (~100 games). Microsoft often advertise offers where they’ll give you 3 months for $1. Afterwards, I cancel and go back to my purchased games until another offer comes up.

Photoshop & Lightroom

There’s now a free version of Lightroom in AU/NZ, but I do enough photo editing to justify paying for it. Photoshop also comes in handy sometimes. I share this with a friend, so if I’m away from my desktop PC, I have to do my editing over remote desktop. $7.50 AUD/month.

Sharesies

I do most of my investing through Sharesies, which I find pretty good. It doesn’t charge transaction fees, but there is a small monthly charge based on the amount you have invested. I’ve also tried a few other platforms—Hatch, which lets you buy US shares, and Link Market Services. The fees tend to be higher, and the user experience isn’t nearly as good. I end up spending $3/month on Sharesies fees, but try to invest a few hundred every month.

YNAB

I use YNAB to keep my budget under control, and I find it saves me hundreds of dollars every month. I wish it had bank feeds in NZ, but bank feeds are difficult, even in the UK & EU with open Banking. YNAB costs $7 USD/month, but it’s worth every cent.

Offline

2degrees Phone + Internet

I get both through 2degrees, which tends to have the best international peering. At home, I get 1Gbps and a static IP for $110/month. I also have their $27/month mobile plan which gives a measly 2.5GB of data.

Auckland Transport

I’m trying to cycle to work more this year, and work from home when the weather isn’t good. As a result, I’m not spending a lot on the relatively expensive train/bus fares anymore ($7.80 for a return trip to the city). Last year, I was spending around $150 a month, but often spend under $50/month these days.

News

I currently subscribe to the Spinoff Members, and a print subscription to Metro. I just cancelled my print subscription to The New Yorker, because I wasn’t really reading it.

Kōkako Coffee

Kōkako have a coffee subscription where they send you a different bag of their coffee every month. I originally received as a gift, but it’s fabulous and I have every intention to continue it. A subscription will set you back $15.50/month.

Cityhop Car Sharing

I don’t own a car, but I’ve been using Cityhop when I need one. It costs ~$10/hour or ~$60/day, depending on the vehicle. There’s plenty of cars in the city centre, but I wish there was one walking distance from my house. I don’t need it particularly often, so I spend under $100/month. It’s still way cheaper than owning a car.

Genesis Electricity

I currently have this through Genesis, because they offered a great sign up deal. It changes every month, but it usually ends up to be less than $80/month.

Water

In Auckland, water & wastewater transmission is not included in your rates (technically, the water is free). This is a good thing. It’s usually less than $20/month, but the pipes don’t explode in the street.

Auckland Rates

This is a bit of a deal. Auckland has the cheapest rates in the country and the best amenities—there’s fantastic parks, libraries, community centres, roads, rubbish collection, events, and more. It’s $100/month. It should be more.

Mortgage + Body Corporate + Insurance

It’s by far my largest expense each month (~$2000), but it’s better than renting, and way better than flatting.


There’s definitely things I’ve forgotten in the list (e.g domain names, credit card fees), but I think these are all the interesting items I pay for. Next time, I’ll go through all the things I don’t pay for.