All of the cycling I've been doing and the running that Kristin has been doing has come at the expense of our television and videogame time and we finally realized that we were wasting a good bit of money each month on subscriptions to Netflix and Gamefly that we weren't really using anymore. Case in point, the drawer beneath our television had 3 Netflix movies that we've had in our possession for nearly two months. The copy of MotoGP 06 that I had from Gamefly has been sitting idle in that same drawer since February. We're big fans of both services but there's just too much going on to warrant spending the money on them right now.
When it comes to Gamefly, the games I had already reduced my subscription to cover just one game at a time, but even that was too much. Between the occasional game I want to purchase and the Live Arcade offerings, I really don't need any others at my disposal. As it is, the obligation to play the Gamefly games has caused some of the games I did purchase to sit on the shelf ensconced in the same shrinkwrap they had in the store.
As for Netflix, we didn't fully cancel the membership. We love Netflix. Although the last couple of movies we've "rented" have come from the Xbox Live Video Marketplace -- downloading movies in 720p is too good to pass up -- Microsoft doesn't have a large enough assortment yet to encourage doing away with Netflix entirely. So, instead, we dropped our subscription down to 1 movie at a time, with a maximum of 2 per month. This only costs $4.99/month.
The hardest cut was the MLB Extra Innings programming. As you can tell from reading the blog, I'm a big sports fan. I participate in fantasy leagues, I go to games, I buy season tickets, and ESPN is to me what Nickelodeon is to a four year old. Alas, I simply don't have time to watch baseball all day and, honestly, between the nightly Mariners game on FSN and the occasional game on ESPN-HD, what do I need more baseball for? If anything, all it ever does it cause me to push off work until the late hours of the night. I told Kristin at the end of last baseball season to cancel the MLB Extra Innings for 2007 -- it's very expensive and we didn't need it. Funny thing happened though, in that DirecTV didn't turn it off until yesterday. So, surprisingly, I thought we were getting it for free all last week (maybe everyone was, I don't know). And I was very glad we were. I did want it after all, even if I knew my productivity would be threatened. And then it went dark. I thought about calling DirecTV and ordering it again, but I had to restrain myself.
I've written about my new bike and Kristin's new kayak being "lifestyle purchases". Well, this is the other side of that coin. If we're going to spend money on recreation than we have to give up some of the money we used to spend on entertainment. Sucks, but it's only right. And while cutting back on DVD subscriptions may not sound like much, that money adds up over the years.
I'm sure all three companies will be emailing us some awesome super-duper, top-secret offer to lure us back. When they do, I'll let you know what it is so maybe you could take advantage of it instead of us.