This is a blog post I've been meaning to write for a while. I'm actually glad I waited this long as my opinion on it has changed slightly.
The post I was going to write was about why I pay for subscription-based software on a yearly basis if available. But something has happened since then. I switched software, and here’s why that’s significant.
After using the note taking app Bear for about 9 months, I started realizing I wanted a platform independent way of taking notes. All of my notes were stored in a way where they can only be accessed via a single app (Bear) on devices made by a single company (Apple). Since I had purchased Bear Pro approximately 9 months earlier, I had three months remaining before my subscription was set to renew. I cancelled my subscription and I started looking for alternatives.
Once I had found what I was looking for, I started taking all my notes in the new system. Why would I write notes in the old app whose days are numbered. Literally, since I had already cancelled my subscription the days left on my yearly plan were counting down.
And here lies the problem. When I switched from one thing to another, I usually do so preemptively. And most of the time, I give myself more time to switch than is necessary. In this example, I payed for an entire year and saved about 16% but ended up wasting about 25% of the subscription because I switched to a different app before the plan expired. I would have been better off paying monthly rather than yearly.
Now don't get me wrong, yearly does have it's advantages. It did keep me using Bear for 9 months instead of jumping back and forth, trying out different apps, because I had already paid for Bear Pro. If you know you are going to use something for at least a year, paying for a whole year in advance can save you money. But in general, I think monthly subscriptions are the way to go because they are, in my opinion, cheaper on average and offer more flexibility.
You Need A Budget (Affiliate Link) is an example of where I pay yearly because I know I'm going to use it for a while. And I also want to force myself to stick with it because of how important it is in my life. Finances is usually not an area in your life to experiment with.