Category Archives for Expenses

How I saved money on my Hulu and VPN subscriptions in 2017

This is an update on how I saved money on my Hulu subscriptions this year. Its slightly different from the Hulu savings tip I posted in a few years ago and in this post, I will also cover on VPN subscriptions as well.

In 2014, I blogged about how I saved money by purchasing disconted Hulu gift cards on eBay to pay for my Hulu subscription. That’s one way to get around paying for monthly Hulu subscriptions because I don’t have a US credit card. That ship has already sailed and if you do a search on eBay, the Hulu gift card deals aren’t that great and there are hardly any discounts.

That’s where Hulu shared accounts enter the scene

I found this guy (or girl) on Carousell selling Hulu shared accounts who is selling Hulu shared acccounts. Essentially, it just means that someone in US paid for a Hulu subscription and is trying to make some money back to offset the subscription fees by sharing his/her Hulu account. The only condition of the deal was that I cannot make any changes to the account or create my own Hulu profile (which isn’t a big deal to me).

The price is rock-bottom cheap because it’s only $10 for lifetime use. Now, I’m very wary of lifetime subscriptions because they only last as long as the account is not terminated. In this case, the Carousell seller guaranteed at least 6 months of Hulu subscription usage or they will give me another shared account to use.

Which is not a bad deal because I take it that I’m paying $10 for 6 months of Hulu subscription.

I decided to share this on my blog because I’m already using my shared account for about 4 months now and everything is still working smoothly. I also paid for a Crunchyroll shared account to catch up on the latest animes. For my crunchyroll shared account, I’ve only had a problem with the account once but the Carousell seller was quick to give me another shared account to use within the same day.

Let’s talk about VPN subscriptions

To watch shows on Hulu, we need to make Hulu think that we are logging in to their platform in US. One of the ways to do this is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) which allows us to connect to Hulu through a US-based network to ‘pretend’ that we are accessing Hulu in US.

For the working adults, they should not be new to VPN because many companies have VPN software that allows their employees to have a secured connection to their file and email servers when they are using public wifi networks.

We all know that VPN can be quite cumbersome and in most cases, result in a slow Internet connection.

For me, I only watch shows on Hulu using my Apple TV or iPad at home. If you’re like me, there’s another option that you can consider. Smart DNS.

What’s Smart DNS?

Smart DNS is a sophisticated technology which allows Internet users all over the world to unblock Geo-restricted (or Geo-Blocked) websites like Netflix, Hulu, WWE Newtork, BeInSports.net, BBC and many more popular websites which contain regional-restricted content by re-routing traffic required for determining your geographical location.

Sounds complicated but essentially, Smart DNS only requires you to change your DNS setting to the designated IP address provided by your Smart DNS provider.

The Smart DNS provider that I use at home is GetFlix.

Based in Australia, GetFlix is a subsidiary of Global Stealth Inc. They have servers that will get you 18 different Netflix regions, which is more than adequate. In terms of privacy policy, they say that they will not sell, trade, or rent any personal information at any time. That said, they might use non-personal data for marketing, or to share with their “business partners, trusted affiliates and advertisers.” Although this is a nice way to say they do keep some logs, I have no reason to think they will maliciously use my personal information.

GetFlix offers a rather cheap subscription of 4.95 USD per month and a heavy discount of up to 54% off if I sign up for 24 months for 54.90 USD.

While this is a pretty sweet deal, I’m always on the lookout for even sweeter deals.

I found that StackSocial is offering a lifetime GetFlix subscription for a crazy low price of 35 USD.

GetFlix is running a lifetime deal on StackSocial for a limited time only!

$35 $891

Limited time only

Get Lifetime Subscription to GetFlix

  • Access popular global streaming services from anywhere around the world
  • Access over 50 VPN nodes
  • Enjoy a fast & reliable solution for watching TV, listening to online radio & more
  • Benefit from easy-to-use Smart DNS technology
  • Get a free, optional VPN & SmartVPN account to encrypt all your traffic with 256Bit SSL encryption
  • Use w/ all of your favorite devices
  • Utilize the services without needing to install any software
  • Access Netflix on any device: computers, mobile devices, media players, gaming consoles, smart TVs
  • Please note: Getflix doesn’t replace the need for a subscription streaming service

Cheapest subscription ever!

This year, I’m paying less than $50 to access my favourite TV shows on Hulu. I think this is the best deal possible (at least in 2017) and I’m enjoying huge savings without being tied to any contracts.

If you have any other money saving tips, please share them with me in the comments section below.

Save money by tracking your subscriptions with TrackMySubs

In the last 2 years, businesses have been transitioning their products and services from a ‘pay once and use forever’ business model into a subscription-based business model.

For me, I’m using subscription-based services for almost everything in my daily life.

Here’s a some of the subscriptions I’m paying on each month:

  • Microsoft Office 365
  • Netflix
  • Hulu
  • Spotify Premium
  • SingTel fibre and mobile
  • Personal insurance
  • Mortgage loan

All of them are paid automatically with my credit card, which is great because I don’t want to spend time making regular payments all the time.

The downside of this is that I tend to lose track of all the subscriptions that I’ve signed up for and ended up paying for subscriptions that I don’t really use. Like Netflix that I signed up to watch Marvel’s Defenders, and ended up paying for a few more months after I finished watching the show, just because I didn’t keep track of my subscriptions.

Then I discovered TrackMySubs, a tool that lets users track all their subscriptions.

TrackMySub is running a lifetime deal on AppSumo for a limited time only!

$15 $288

Limited time only

Get Lifetime Access to TrackMySubs’ Entrepreneur Unlimited Plan

  • Track Unlimited subscriptions
  • Set Unlimited alerts per subscription
  • Send alerts to an Unlimited number of different people
  • Manage Unlimited payment types
  • Organize with Unlimited folders
  • 60-day money back guarantee. No matter the reason.

Forgetting about a subscription sucks because you’re paying money for something you’re not using. (And maybe you would be using it if you remembered you were subscribed to it in the first place!)

Here’s how my account is set up to monitor all my subscriptions.

 

TrackMySubs employs a powerful automated alert system that makes sure you never forget another subscription. I was pleased to know that you can set multiple alerts at custom times and set reminders for team members (or as I like to call them, family members).

You can also add notes to each alert so that you and your family members understand what it is you’re paying for and anything else you might need to know.

To use a monthly subscription to track monthly subscriptions may sound oxymoron and it’s hard for me to pull the trigger on getting it.

However, TrackMySubs is running a special lifetime offer on AppSumo where you can pay a small price of $15 for lifetime access to their Entrepreneur Unlimited Plan (usually costs $96 per year). I’ve pulled the trigger and have already bought this deal so I’m sharing it with you today.

There’s also nothing to lose with AppSumo’s 60-day money back guarantee because you can always request for a refund if you don’t like it. No questions asked.

Keep track of all your subscriptions today!

Get TrackMySub’s lifetime deal on AppSumo today!

$15 $288

Limited time only

Get Lifetime Access to TrackMySubs’ Entrepreneur Unlimited Plan

  • Track Unlimited subscriptions
  • Set Unlimited alerts per subscription
  • Send alerts to an Unlimited number of different people
  • Manage Unlimited payment types
  • Organize with Unlimited folders
  • 60-day money back guarantee. No matter the reason.

Fixed Expenditure Update: 2017

Here’s an update to my fixed expenditure for 2017 with some changes to my expenses liabilities.

Mortgage: $828 $879 (CPF)

As I move to the 3rd year of my bank loan for my HDB flat, the monthly mortgage repayment amount has increased from $828 to $879. Still within my monthly CPF contribution with some surplus so I’m comfortable with that.

Parent Allowance: $600

My mother retired many years ago after her leg started giving her problems. On top of the monthly payouts from her CPF account, I have been giving her some allowance each month. $500 $600 isn’t very much but that said, she isn’t spending much as well. I try my best to manage most of the household expenses so that she doesn’t have to pay for any of them.

Insurance: $156.93 $154.48 (excluding Medisave premiums)

I did an evaluation of my personal insurance portfolio recently and surrendered my investment-linked policies, switching to several term insurance policies for a much more well-rounded insurance coverage.

Death/Total Permanent Disability

  • SAF Group Term insurance for $300,000 sum assured – $38.40 per month
  • NTUC Income i-Term insurance for $200,000 sum assured – $24.70 per month

Accidental Death

  • SAF Group Term Personal Accident insurance for $300,000 sum assured – $13.38 per month

Integrated Shield Plan

  • PRUshield extra A Plus – $273 per year (though paid once a year, let’s take it as $22.75 per month)

Critical Illnesses (CI)

  • SAF Group Term Living Care insurance for $300,000 sum assured – $30 per month

Early Stage of CI

  • SAF Group Term Living Care Plus insurance for $100,000 sum assured – $10 per month

Mortgage Insurance

  • Aviva Mortgage Insurance (came as a package with my bank loan) – $17.70 $15.25

 

Taxes: $123.36

Income: $116.96

Property: $6.40

Utilities: $77.66

On top of my usual mobile and Internet subscription, I also have a premium Spotify account (cheaper when contracted on SingTel Music) for music on the go. I’m grouping everything under utilities because I deem them as essential services. Some may argue that I can easily reduced my utilities through piracy but I believe paying for premium contents (just not as much as the crazy prices our cable subscription cartel is charging).

SingTel Fibre 100mbps Internet, SingTel Mobile and Spotify bundle: $76.66

Total: $957.95 $888.83 (Cash) and $879 (CPF)

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