Find good old media at thrift stores
Anyone who knows me, knows that I eschew subscription services that require payment. I'll do whatever it takes to avoid paying for all you can eat services like Amazon's Prime music or even Netflix. You can read more about some of specific efforts to hold onto old media here.
Yesterday, after a nice early lunch with the wife, we were going to be strolling by my favorite thrift stores in Brooklyn. I always like to browse the media, to see if there is anything I can inexpensively add to my collection.
Today, I hit a mini-jackpot, finding a 3 disc set of the Dave Matthews band live in Central Park and a good copy of a CD by The Calling.
I have an entire process that I go through, almost immediately upon arriving home with my purchase. Basically it's a rip and upload process that gets the music into my personal library for access anywhere at any time. I usually justify the purchase on a "cost per song" basis, knowing that I'll probably want to listen to a particular track in the future, and if I want access to it, I will pay at least $1.29 for the privilege. Unfortunately, my 3-disc set was missing the Disc #3 so I didn't get the full deal on that, but 2 of the discs, with a complete booklet is nice little score for $4.99. The set retails for $13.94 on Amazon, and gets great reviews. The other disc, by The Calling included the popular track "Wherever you go", which I'm familiar with, but will be a good chance for me to check out some other stuff by this group. This CD retails for 9.39. My back of the envelope calculations say, I scored a total of 24 songs, which would cost $30.96 individually, or 18.69 for the physical discs, but I ended up getting them for $7.
Get a process
My full process goes something like this:
- Inspect the disc, make sure it's clean
- Rip the music
- Strip covers and inserts from plastic case
- Store the contents in plastic sleeve
- Upload the music to my music service
- Store the disc(s) in the sleeve and file in storage boxes
Get a storage system
I use these plastic sleeves to store the stuff compactly and then I keep all the originals in two large shoe box sized boxes. That way, when Amazon's "Echo" tells me that I don't own the song, I can march over to these boxes, like Kevin James and say "I'll show you B@&*H". That happens, more frequently than you might imagine, and it's not by accident. Monthly fee services have a vested interested in getting you to sign up for their monthly auto-payment plans. So having your hard copies is kind of important, if you don't want to get "nickeled and dimed" in the digital future. Eventually, I probably will go fully digital at some point, but putting off expenses like this for a little longer, allows me to see where the landscape is shifting, and make some infrastructure choices, based on my needs. Any time you can forestall an expense, or eliminate are recurring monthly expense, you can keep your money in your pocket and do other things with it, or hopefully earn more money on it. It's a simple tip, that might not be for everyone, but the concept of pushing out expenses should always be an arrow in your financial quiver.