(Psst: The FTC wants me to remind you that this website contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase from a link you click on, I might receive a small commission. This does not increase the price you’ll pay for that item nor does it decrease the awesomeness of the item. ~ Daisy)
By the author of What School Should Have Taught You.
Growing up, my family got the local newspaper every day. It was just a part of life, and I never thought anything of it. If there was a day without the newspaper, it just felt wrong. For me, the largest part of this was because I was then deprived of reading the cartoons.
It wasn’t until I was in high school that I began reading the newspaper for the news’ sake. My local newspaper eventually ended up raising its rates, and my family canceled the subscription, instead opting to go to the local post office every Sunday as a family to put a few quarters into the newspaper vending box to get the gigantic Sunday paper. We paid a dollar for it.
I eventually graduated high school, moved out on my own, and subscribed to a different newspaper once I moved out of town. As the years went by, I began to notice that the price was gradually creeping up.
I used to be able to buy a daily paper for two quarters in a coin machine. Now, I notice that you have to pay $1.25 at these same machines for the weekday paper. The Sunday paper is in an even more expensive vending machine. This can end up being a fairly expensive habit.
Things eventually got to the point that I wasn’t willing to pay for the paper anymore. Local sports aren’t really interesting anymore when you’re not reading up on your competitors, the cartoons grew stale (I’m sick of Peanuts, For Better or For Worse, and Garfield. If your creator quits drawing you, you don’t deserve to be published anymore.), and the paper grew thinner and thinner.
Why did I want to continue to pay more for less news?
I didn’t. And so, I canceled my subscription.
I ended up saving about $150/year by doing this, which may not seem like a lot, but I was able to put that money to other uses that ended up being more important to me.
I don’t think that people need to cut out every source of fun and comfort from their lives to live the life of an Ebenezer Scrooge. I still like to buy the occasional iced coffee when I’m out, and I’m a sucker for Irish breakfast tea (if it’s iced), peach tea, and blackberry tea. None of these are necessary, but they’re fun, and there is something to using “fun money” as well.
If your daily paper gives you a sense of happiness with your morning cup of coffee, then, by all means, go ahead. But if you find yourself in a financially strapped position, I do think this is something that could be cut out without much loss.
Wondering what you’ll do about your daily sudoku or crossword puzzles?
I have a solution. Run to your local dollar store and buy a sudoku book. It’ll cost you $1.25 (dang inflation), and you’ll have half a year’s worth of puzzles there in front of you. You can do one every morning with your coffee for a year for $2.50. If that’s really the only part of the newspaper you really care about, I just saved you over $145/year.
Wondering what you’ll do about your local classified ads?
I recommend Craigslist or the actual physical bulletin boards that are placed throughout your community. I’ve learned a heck of a lot about what’s for sale by looking at the bulletin boards at the local farm stores and in other offices around the town. There are plenty of other online venues for these types of ads as well.
All of this is free information.
What will you do about your local news?
Social media, your local news channel’s website, and your local news channels app will all give you the information you would normally get from your newspaper. These will all be free as well.
What will you do about sports?
I like playing sports but hate corporate sportsball. If you’re looking to find out how the local football team did against the crosstown rivals, however, you can easily get this information from your car’s radio, social media, or online. There’s no need whatsoever to pay for any of this information.
The same holds true for professional and college-level sportsball.
What will you do about weather?
You can get all of this information from your phone, on TV, from NOAA broadcasts, or from online. Ha, you can even ask a retired person. Any of them. They all know the weather. (I love you, Granny. Please don’t cross me off the Christmas list for this.)
The point is that there’s no reason to pay for any of this information either.
I guess I just don’t see the point of paying for a newspaper anymore.
Once upon a time, I thought it would’ve been fun to run my own newspaper. Now, I think that they’re dying out largely because they no longer have anything to offer. The bulk of the information that they would typically hold can just about always be found for free.
The local news that is actually good to know has gradually been shrunk further and further to the point that you’re basically paying to pick up a dinner napkin. It’s just not worth it.
If you’re really on a shoestring budget, I would urge you to take a closer look at your daily newspaper subscription. Ask yourself the question: Is this really worth it? Or could the money be better used someplace else in your budget? Do you still get the newspaper or did you do away with the subscription? Let’s talk about it in the comments.
Aden Tate is a regular contributor to TheOrganicPrepper.com and TheFrugalite.com. Aden runs a micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has four published books, The Faithful Prepper, An Arm and a Leg, The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications, and Zombie Choices.