Ask the Readers – Opinions on the Recent Netflix Pricing Change and Gas Price Level Needed for Behavior Change?

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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 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, 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)


  1. For me, the Neftlix price change was the straw that broke the camels back. They simply don't have the latest titles on DVD as fast as On Demand and their online library sucks except for old TV shows. When I could get both services for the same price it had some value to me, but now, On Demand appears to be the better option.

    As for gas, I don't drive that much and work from home, but when I do I'm fairly price insensitive. That said, I think $5/gal is the point where the general public will drastically shift their habits.
    My recent post How to Find a Programmer, Web Designer, and Other Freelancers

    • I'm a Comcast internet customer, but I am not familiar with their On Demand option at all.

      I just tried to look in to it, and it appears that the way it works is that certain titles are available for free and then others you have to pay a per-view or per-title fee. Is that correct? Or, do they offer membership options that give you full access? Just in looking really quickly, it appeared that their free options weren't that plentiful.
      My recent post Help a Reader – Should You Continue to Fund Your 401k With the Recent Market Downturn?

  2. I thought the change was utterly ridiculous. I had streaming access and one DVD out at a time. It became too expensive so I downgraded to just streaming. Heck, for rates they are charging I can go to Redbox and still not hit the amount they want me to fork over.

    And gas…well, I don't know. That is a good question. I would probably start carpooling again and maybe even invest in a motorcycle. Better gas mileage.
    My recent post Interview with J. Money from Budgets Are Sexy

  3. My choice to get rid of my car was based partially on gas prices. Also on the environmental impacts, the other costs of car ownership, and finally the health impacts of walking/biking instead.

    My guess is that it will be $10/gallon before people start changing habits, which will happen when we start running out of oil.
    My recent post Things To Do After Retiring Early

    • Wow! I commend you for being able to get rid of your car.

      Do you live in a city setting where there is a lot of public transit? I think if a city had a subway, I could do without a car, but buses would get old.

      I agree though. $10 per gallon does seem like a reasonable level where people start changing habits.
      My recent post Help a Reader – Should You Continue to Fund Your 401k With the Recent Market Downturn?

  4. I have to say overall I don't think Netflix prices are outrageous considering how many movies/shows you have access to. I am more upset that they will now charge the same for streaming vs. DVD's. The streaming library is not very complete – we have the streaming +1 DVD purely because of this reason. They need to work on streaming options if they are going to charge separately.
    My recent post Day 285 – Do You Like Free Money? I've Got Some For You.

    • Thanks for reading 60k project! I was actually a little surprised at that too. I would have thought that the DVD plan would be worth more than the instant streaming due to the selection.
      My recent post Help a Reader – Should You Continue to Fund Your 401k With the Recent Market Downturn?

  5. There are a lot of reaction on the Netflix price change and some hinted that they would cancel their subscription since it is just too much. I do not have Netflix as I barely have time to watch movies or tv lately.

    As for the gas, I moved close to work so I do not have to worry about price fluctuations since I only fill up my car every three or four weeks.
    My recent post July Bonding with Friends and Picnics at the Park

    • Good moves on both accounts Ken! I live very close to work now and bike to work.
      My recent post Help a Reader – Should You Continue to Fund Your 401k With the Recent Market Downturn?

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