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Saving on Memberships

January 3rd, 2006 at 10:21 am

One of my goals for the year is to clean up all the loose ends that are unneeded expenses.

The first area is memberships.

Professional memberships look great on the resume. I'm retired now, except for consulting and such, and my credential themselves are worth more than all the "fellow of"s. I don't use all the credit card offers, and "benefits" that come with the memberships, and I don't need the "networking". So, time to drop all those grad school fears that I needed a bunch of titles to prove myself. My work proved itself, and I became the person everyone was trying to network WITH. A strange "rite of passage", I suppose, but it's time to let the fears go.

Four professional memberships I have all came due this month. Annual dues range from $150 to $1000. They renew automatically if not canceled. I canceled them ALL today, $2500 SAVINGS from previous years.

Second area is shopping memberships.

This one is a bit more complicated. Comparing cost of membership with actual savings over the year. They wouldn't be selling memberships if they weren't making money on them.

Barnes and Noble. $25, 10% on all purchases, so I would need to spend $250 on books etc. a year to make it worthwhile. Probably will. But, MD and I EACH have a membership, and we can combine them as a single household membership, and save $25. Done.

Roadrunner Sports. $25, 5% savings and discount on purchases. Have used this quite a bit in previous years, running and workout clothes, but the savings are much better at Dick's clearance racks, or online at REI. Definitely paid for itself in SHOES this year for the whole family. But I really need to look at this one.

American Greetings. $25, 3 memberships. My whole family uses this, especially my sister for her school work. But I did scoop up the "free year" membership from the freebies section (thank you Kimmie!), so $25 savings!

MisterArt.com. $25 for VIP discount. I have used this extensively since we retired, and especially for nice gift sets and paints and canvases and things that are difficult to find locally. I'm stocked up for now, though. Sister uses it quite a bit for crafts for her school, but the freebies section has pretty well maxed her out on teacher ideas and supplies, so this one can go. $25 saved.

GNC Gold card. $25, 20% savings every month. Just renewed this, and we do get protein drinks, etc., but we are well stocked. I'm stuck with it this year, but will have to consider it for next year.

AAA Roadside assistance. $35 I don't use this regularly, but they were the only company to respond, even though we have dealership roadside assistance, etc. There are discounts, I've received coupons books at the outlets and a very nice travel game set. They just updated their web site with other benefits, so I need to look at this one in more detail.

I'm sure there are more, and I am definitely going to be watching for them on the credit cards. Auto renewal isn't always a time saver! Still, thats $2575 "saved" against last year's spending.

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