We’re used to subscriptions now. We get it. It’s tough to pay in full for a year’s worth of anything. Home insurance? Netflix? Forget it. I’m never going to have that sort of cash on me. But split it into 12, 24, or 52 smaller payments, and suddenly I can afford a lot more stuff than ever before.
Could you imagine if you had to pay for all those things in one hit every year? Not likely we’d ever have the money for more than car insurance and iTunes. Well, I wouldn’t anyway.
And that’s the incredible nature of subscriptions. We have access to more because we don’t have to pay for it straight away. Subscriptions work side by side with the pay cheque. Thus, their amazing success as a payment method.
So what are the things we currently pay for that work like a subscription? Well the obvious one is rental properties. You pay your rent every week or month, and in return you get a house. It’s a subscription, same as your gym membership. You get to use the gym whenever you want in exchange for your monthly fee.
Do you order in pre-made meals? Pay a weekly payment for 7 days of food? That’s another subscription. It doesn’t seem like living in a rental property and having food delivered is the same as subscribing to pay TV, but it really is. It’s just a periodical payment for a service or product.
What could be around the corner for this subscription culture as we move away from ownership? What else could we end up subscribing to?
What if we stopped owning our cars and just subscribed to a car instead? Could we get a different car every week that suits whatever we need? Perhaps one week we need a minivan for shuttling the kids around. Then maybe a truck to shift house or drive to the rubbish tip. Maybe we just need a little coupé for a few weeks while we travel for work.
Have you thought about clothes? What if you could just pay monthly for a clothing brand membership and have clothes sent to you whenever you requested.
Could the same idea work for travel? You could subscribe to an airline or travel agency for a certain amount of travel miles each year. And music events? Maybe pay a subscription for local music venues and attend as many concerts and festivals as we like for one monthly fee. The possibilities are endless, and I think, pretty exciting.
One of the amazing benefits of this system is it takes away so much responsibility from the subscriber. You and I don’t have the stress of having to manage and maintain any of these products we choose to subscribe to. Someone else maintains the system and we just get to enjoy the product.
When you own something, you are also responsible for handling maintenance, insurances, and troubleshooting when it goes pear shaped. But in a subscription culture, someone else does all the admin of managing these things, and we just pay the fee for the stuff we like.
As we move towards this new way of funding our lifestyles, we get to really decide what things matter to us. While moving away from the ownership paradigm might seem daunting, the value of something is ultimately defined by its personal benefit to you. If that can be achieved at a lower cost, we’re looking at a future where we can have so much more for less.
This exciting new subscription culture can maximise every penny we earn.