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It’s been a while since I did an “Ask the Readers” post here on My Personal Finance Journey. In fact, the last one I did was all the way back on January 1st of this year when I asked if everyone was being patient about investing in their 2011 Roth IRA or if they were already contributing money to it (like I excitedly was).
Needless to say, it’s been too long! To make up for this, I’ve got a double-feature “Ask the Readers” post for you all today!
Ask the Readers Question # 1: How Has the Recent Netflix Pricing Program Change Affected You?
Netflix is often regarded among frugal living fanatics as a safe-haven or oasis where we can obtain our DVD, movie, Blue-Ray, and TV series entertainment fix for much less than it costs for monthly cable television. Indeed, I am no exception to this rule, being a loyal Netflix user myself.
Because many of their subscribers are very dedicated practitioners of frugal living, it’s no surprise that there has been a significant outcry against the recent increase in pricing of their monthly DVD and instant streaming program options.
As I was putting together the information for this post, I was searching around Netflix’s home page and was somewhat alarmed to see that they don’t clearly list their new prices for their different rental programs. The only way to clearly find this information is to be logged in to your account. In order to shed more light on the new prices, I’ve attached a screen-shot of the different pricing programs at the end of this post. From what I can tell, it appears that they have increased their prices by around 33%.
Ask the Readers Question: How has the change in Netflix’s prices affected you? Did you downgrade rental programs or pay the added costs to keep the same program?
Personally, I have been on the 2 DVD’s out-at-a-time unlimited rental + unlimited instant movie streaming for $15 per month for the past 2 years. When I was informed of the recent increase in the price of this program to $20 per month, I simply told myself that the extra $5 per month isn’t worth it to watch instant streaming movies/TV series. Therefore, I downgraded to the $11.99 per month 2 DVD’s at-a-time program.
Thanks Netflix! You now receive $4 less per month from me! Way to go! However, overall, I am still a big Netflix fan. I believe they still provide a better service than BlockBuster.com and is MUCH MUCH of a better deal for me than paying for cable each month.
Ask the Readers Question # 2: At What Price Does Gasoline Have to Increase to In Order for You to Change Your Everyday Driving Behavior?
According to GasBuddy.com, the current average price per gallon of gas in the United States is $3.69.
Many of my friends drive almost 40 miles to and from work. At a total of 80 miles and figuring 20 mpg average fuel consumption, this adds up to almost $14.76 expenditure in gas per day. Assuming that they make approximately $30 per hour in their job (before tax), the means that they work 30 minutes per day just paying for gas. If you think about it, this type of expenditure can be become very significant over the long term.
Ask the Readers Question: At what price would gas need to rise to in order for you to change your everyday driving behavior?
Personally, I think that my absolute breaking point for when I would definitely have to change my driving situation is if I was having to work 1 hour per day to pay for the gas to get me to my job. If that was the case, I would try to figure out some way to either carpool or move closer to where I work in order to reduce the expenditure. However, I would most likely try carpooling before it got to the 1 hour per day level.
I look forward to hearing everyone’s take on these two topics!
Reference Figure – Netflix Rental Program Prices (not easy to find unless you are signed in and are a current subscriber)