It's one thing to splurge on a one-time purchase. When you've been lucky enough to come into a bit of unexpected dough, why not treat yourself to that new Kinect sensor, right? But when you spurge on a subscription service, like XBox LIVE or MobileMe, you're buying the gift that keeps on taking. Before you sign up for that regular monthly credit card charge, consider this idea for getting a cheaper subscription rate.
If you're dying to get online with XBox LIVE, it's probably because you want to play with friends. So how about this idea: Go in with your buddies on a family plan.
By signing up for a family plan, you're cutting the subscription cost for everyone (kind of like buying toilet paper in bulk). And, yes, you can each still play from different apartments.
There's plenty of subscription services from all over the tech universe that can let multiple subscribers cut their rates. Here are a few of our favorites, but let us know if you think of any others by leaving a comment!
- XBox LIVE offers a Gold Family Pack, giving you 12-month LIVE subscriptions for 4 different players for just $99.99. All you need to do is move everyone's accounts to one XBox, buy the plan and then specify your "family" members. Once everyone is setup with LIVE, they're free to take their accounts home to their own console anywhere in the United States.
- Apple's MobileMe e-mail and cloud sync subscription service is pricey for one person—$99 per year. But if everyone is willing to sacrifice a bit of e-mail space, you can register up to five people for just $149. The "primary" account gets 20GB of space and each of the four family members get 5GB.
- XM Radio is a bit of a splurge for one person (especially with so many awesome radio apps available for smartphones). But if you get a big group together, you guys can re-coup some of the cost with multi-radio discount plans.
- Now that Netflix features a plan that lets you watch unlimited movies and TV via Netflix Streaming, it's easier than ever to share a subscription with friends. For just $7.99 a month (around $2 per person), four friends on four different computers (or streaming devices like XBox or Wii) can watch all the flicks they want. Want to watch from more than four machines? Well, of course, somebody out there has figured out how to hack the limit.