As a 7th anniversary gift to my beloved Capricorn husband, I just spent several days itemizing one month of our family's living expenses. Reader, you may be noticing a theme to these missives lately along the lines of "desperately trying to get my shit together." I had a lot of fire and motivation going into a lot of these various shit-collation projects, especially the easy ones that involved doing something medium-annoying one time (ie, dentist) or, best of all, purchasing something. The projects that required a firm commitment to sustained long term effort were exciting too, for about the first two weeks. Now I hate them all and resent past-me who committed to them, of course. But mostly I'm still out here, getting my shit together. Bit by bit.
I hated every minute of doing the spending-itemization but ultimately I did come up with some ideas for how to spend less on bullshit and more on things that make our lives better. I was hoping, of course, that we were secretly somehow spending a neat $800 a month on something I don't like and don't care about and we could just, you know, stop using or doing that one thing, but that did not turn out to be the case.
One thing that I said in my email to my husband where I broke down my findings was that we should probably save the next step of this project, our respective credit cards, for some later stage in the process. I hope he agrees with me. I did tell him that, broad strokes, the expenses I charge are takeout, therapy and subscriptions. Three things that make my life a lot better! But that, with the exception of therapy, I could probably stand to cut back on. But like .. how? Every time I open my Patreon and Substack dashboards, I resolve to unsubscribe from at least half of the podcasts and newsletters I subscribe to. It's a cool $120 a month on those platforms alone, which seems not wildly unreasonable but also ... not superb. And that's not even including the apps, for example the app that claims it will find unwanted subscriptions and unsubscribe you from them, and which itself costs $7.99 a month. Can you just press a button to unsubscribe from that app, or do you have to send them an email to unsubscribe? I think you already know the answer to that one. Honestly, it's a miracle they don't make you CALL them.
Of course, in the process of trying to pare this expense back, I realized how much I love my subscriptions. So I thought I would share some Things I Subscribe To That I Love:
WHO WEEKLY PATREON (the $5 "Jonathan Cheban" tier)
Honestly, this is such good value for the money. Bobby and Lindsay not only create bonus episodes every week for their Patréons, the bonus episodes aren't just our hosts yammering (though I would be FINE with that)- they are extra call-ins and even dedicated tv-recap episodes. PLUS, each bonus ep comes with a little newsletter that has many fine links and random listener-generated content, like a recent list of "fall/cozy vibes" movies.
SMALL SPELLS tarot and astrology insights
Even if you think astrology and tarot are hooey -- well, okay, if you think that, you'll hate this one. But if you like the symbolic language of tarot and find the study of archetypes interesting, Rachel Howe's writing will appeal to you as much as it does to me. She posts new stuff pretty frequently and her illustrations have a very simple powerful appeal. I love her tarot deck.
Leaflet (Free but why? I would pay!!)
A Piece of Cake by Bill Clark (ed Andrew Spena)
This is one of not one, not two, but THREE newsletters I subscribe to that are primarily focused on baking. Which would not be all that weird except that I have celiac disease and can't eat most of the food these brilliant cooks are describing. So it's a little bit weird, along the lines of reading detailed tourist guidebook for a country you not only have no plans to visit but are ... I didn't think this metaphor through ... going to be arrested at the border of? But of course some of the recipes are gf and some are adaptable and anyway, I love armchair cooking more than I love the real thing by quite a wide margin these days anyway. The photos in Cake are also super great always.
Evil Witches by Claire Zulkey
What a freaking miracle that Claire has created parenting content and community on the Internet that's nontoxic and helpful. The latest one is an interview with a vet about pet euthanasia, which doesn't sound like "parenting content" but if you have a pet and children you immediately understood that it is.
I am out of time for today's issue but I will continue this list in this week's paid edition, to which you should subscribe ... you know, if your budget allows! And if it doesn't, I'm right there with you, so email me -- I have just figured out how to give gift subscriptions and am delighted to gladhand some around.