37 Memberships “Worth Every Penny”, According To The People In This Viral Online Thread

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These days, it feels like more and more things either have memberships or subscriptions. However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Some of these signups are genuinely great—but it takes a keen eye to know what’s worth its weight in gold and what’s fluff that’s draining your budget.

Inspired by redditor u/CamHalf, the members of the r/AskReddit online community revealed the top memberships that they personally feel are “100% worth every penny.” Of course, that’s a bold claim. However, many of the internet users were happy to elaborate. Scroll down to see what they had to share!

Bored Panda reached out to the author of the viral thread, redditor u/CamHalf, aka Cameron, who together with Tyler co-hosts the ‘Lagers and Loudmouths’ podcast. The OP was happy to share his thoughts with us about the types of memberships that are good to embrace and which ones it is best to avoid. Read on for our interview with him!

37 Memberships “Worth Every Penny”, According To The People In This Viral Online Thread Public library.

u/Lemonbear63:
Some libraries offer tool rentals and others offer culture passes that allow two people to attend attractions. Absolutely worth the price of free.

u/SlippidySlappity:
We got all sorts of cool stuff. Trail cam, bird watching kit, telescope, tools, Roku with subscriptions, Nintendo switch, toys, yard games, night vision goggles, and more on the way! Libraries are the best!

ergonaut , Ondrej Bocek / Unsplash Report

We were curious to get Cameron’s, aka u/CamHalf’s, opinion on memberships, so we asked him which ones he personally values the most. “Outside of the standard streaming services that many people have, the memberships I feel my family gets the most bang for our buck is the public library. It’s free, you can’t beat free!” the co-host of the ‘Lagers and Loudmouths’ podcast shared with Bored Panda.

“We pay for an annual kid’s science museum membership for my almost 6-year-old son. We also pay for a yearly membership for my wife and son at Dollywood Theme Park. But after reading the thousands of responses to my question, I feel like I need a Costco membership! Unfortunately, our nearest Costco store is over an hour away. But perhaps that’s still worth it. The people of Reddit seem to think so,” he said.

37 Memberships “Worth Every Penny”, According To The People In This Viral Online Thread YMCA – I pay $70 a month for a family of four and it includes use of the pool, gym, and sauna and up to four hours of childcare a day. I go nearly everyday and have lost 60 pounds over the last six months. It’s also my only childcare as a stay at home mom so it keeps me sane.

neopolitandynomite , Yan Krukau / Pexels Report

The reality is that many people these days are looking to cut costs to save more money. We wanted to get the OP’s take on how someone might go about evaluating whether or not a membership or subscription is worth keeping if their budget’s in trouble.

From his perspective, this is a relatively simple thing to do. “Are you using it consistently enough to justify the cost? It’s just a matter of sitting down and doing the math to see if the numbers are in your favor. If you use something once or twice a year, it’s not likely worth the membership price. But if you use it weekly or evenly monthly, one might be able to justify the cost.”

37 Memberships “Worth Every Penny”, According To The People In This Viral Online Thread The US National Park Senior Pass. The BEST bargain in the nation.

u/BramStroker47:
I got my national park pass for free and all I had to do was give twenty years of my life to the military.

BrunoGerace , Magda Ehlers / Pexels Report

37 Memberships “Worth Every Penny”, According To The People In This Viral Online Thread Costco… For the chicken and food court alone it is worth it.

u/SibylUnrest:
Also the over the counter medications. It’s wild how much cheaper my allergy meds are there compared to someplace like CVS.

anon , Mike Mozart / Flickr Report

37 Memberships “Worth Every Penny”, According To The People In This Viral Online Thread The Great Courses. It’s now under the umbrella of Wondrium (and they have a bunch of other stuff, but I look for the GC stuff) They have hundreds of courses. Each one has roughly 26-40 lectures. They’re the best professors in the world – the ones that students report as their favorite teachers.

My boyfriend and I always have four on Thursdays: a science, an art, a philosophy (or wild card) and a history. We’ve done classes like: botany, the analects of Confucius, The Medici’s, the physics of time, early humans and the history of food.

I’ve got a good deal with them at $10/month all I can stream. Great for lifelong learners.

Shaydie , Unsplash / Unsplash Report

According to Cameron, probably few people expect their posts to go as viral as they do. However, he said that he can “certainly see” why the topic got so much attention.

“So, I think people are always trying to get the most bang for their buck, and memberships are often one of the best places to get that bang. They usually have a higher initial cost, but they pay out in dividends as long as you consistently utilize them.”

Feel free to check out Cameron and his co-host Tyler’s podcast ‘Lagers and Loudmouths,’ where they address various debatable questions. “We like to do one more serious topic and one fun topic. For example, our last episode that dropped discussed the pros and cons of legalizing psychedelics as the serious topic and ‘who are your top 3 TV dads?’ as the fun topic,” he shared with us.

37 Memberships “Worth Every Penny”, According To The People In This Viral Online Thread TSA Precheck.
 
u/Puzzleheaded_Key6211:
I have global entry. For a few dollars more it’s definitely more beneficial if you go internationally often

cormack16 , Ramon Kagie / Unsplash Report

37 Memberships “Worth Every Penny”, According To The People In This Viral Online Thread I live on an island in Alaska with limited healthcare. An emergency flight to a more capable hospital will cost $50000. For $100 a year I save $49900 if I ever need their services. That $100 covers everyone living under my roof. There is no limit on the number of flights. And seniors pay $75. Of course, the flight isn’t a guarantee. Bad weather or the donated jet needing repairs can, and does, prevent you from being flown out.

Ksan_of_Tongass , Defense Visual Information Distribution Service Report

From our perspective, there are two broad types of memberships. There are the ones that help you save money and ensure brand loyalty. Then, there are the ones that gobble up your cash in exchange for a (theoretically) useful or entertaining service.

The former would be something like a grocery or retail store membership where you get discounts, collect points, and get all sorts of promotions. Meanwhile, the latter are things like annual memberships to cultural and recreational events and activities, as well as monthly gym memberships or streaming service subscriptions.

In our experience, the memberships and subscriptions that are usually most worth it have two aspects to keep in mind. First of all, they’re ones that you use constantly. Look, many of us have had moments where we imagine the type of person that we want to be. We put in the effort and resources to set up the groundwork.

37 Memberships “Worth Every Penny”, According To The People In This Viral Online Thread When my ex and I had first moved to New York we bought family memberships to the MET and the Natural History museum during the first week. Seriously, the best decision ever. They have ALL kinds of year-round events and things to do that you can bring family and friends.

The MET has a members only rooftop bar and mezzanine, members only music events like we watched the philharmonic play Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” in the Temple of Dendur. Members only gallery viewings, curator talks, talks by archaeologists and various things you could volunteer for. It was like having an “In” into the city.

The Natural History museum had a monthly “Jazz under the stars” night with free food, drinks and music under the planetarium. I met Bill Nye and Neil Degrasse Tyson (when he was working there) and a bunch of other minor celebrities.

These are not expensive memberships either.

joeldg , Kevin Mueller / Unsplash Report

37 Memberships “Worth Every Penny”, According To The People In This Viral Online Thread AAA or equivalent roadside service club in your respective country. A single tow costs more than your membership and it quickly pays for itself. Plus all the other discounts and affiliated services they offer, it is absolutely worth the money.

llcucf80 , Gary Brownell / Flickr Report

37 Memberships “Worth Every Penny”, According To The People In This Viral Online Thread About 10 years ago, I was member of the nudist resort that was near me. For giggles, I brought in my college ID. About 160 a year for 24 hour access to the resort and grounds.

For me it was my country club. Pool, big hot tub, gym, sauna. By my math at the time, all I had to do was visit 5 times a year to pay for it. I was there 2 to 5 times a week. Since it was a very rural area and not much to do, going there saved me money as anything decently worth doing was an hour or more away.

Also since it was a nudist resort, most of the people that annoyed me were not apt to bother me. Perfect privacy to detach from the world.

Pyreknight , Junior Montalvan / Unsplash Report

For instance, you might buy lots of art supplies and sign up for digital lessons, get a gym subscription, or sign up for tango lessons. However, we might not have the energy, willpower, or passion to follow through with that commitment. So that membership or subscription becomes a money sink. It’s a relic of our (lukewarm) desire to be someone else.

So, if an activity isn’t an integral part of your life, cut it out. You’ll save money. But the bigger victory here might be something else entirely: it’s being honest with yourself about who you are and who you’re not. Maybe it turns out that you like the idea of being an artist more than the hard work it requires to become a pro. Or you might want to take some pressure off your shoulders and simply draw or paint for fun. 

Similarly, you might realize that gyms aren’t for you. You might not enjoy the crowded social space as much as other people do. Instead, you might prefer jogging, hiking, swimming, tennis, playing team sports, or some other way of moving. 

37 Memberships “Worth Every Penny”, According To The People In This Viral Online Thread As a parent, the local children’s/science museums. Got more than my money’s worth on bad weather days.
 
u/PinkMonorail:
When my kid was little we had Disney and LEGOLAND passes. Can’t afford Disney anymore and at 29 they’re too old for LEGOLAND.

iambatmanjoe , Michał Parzuchowski / Unsplash Report

37 Memberships “Worth Every Penny”, According To The People In This Viral Online Thread I have a subscription for air filters for the home (FilterEasy). It’s one of those things you always forget to replace, then when you see them at the store, you forget what size you need. With the subscription, the correct ones come in the mail, every 3 months, like clockwork.

The_Kentwood_Farms , Steven Vance / Flickr Report

The second aspect that you want to consider when evaluating any membership is to look at how it impacts your life. To put it simply, if the service is something that makes you happy and gives at least some meaning or purpose, keep it. The activity should more or less align with your values and lifestyle.

That might involve signing up for memberships in local heritage foundations, volunteering efforts, or national park organizations, depending on what you value the most!

37 Memberships “Worth Every Penny”, According To The People In This Viral Online Thread I’m a scuba diver. For $75/year I get extra insurance in case I have an accident while diving. They pay for medical evacuation, they have a dive doctor speak to the ER doctor if they don’t know how to treat me, and they help coordinate getting me into a decompression chamber if I need it. My health insurance won’t cover any of that.

Plus I can call them anytime with medical scuba questions.

sweetawakening , Pixabay / Pexels Report

37 Memberships “Worth Every Penny”, According To The People In This Viral Online Thread Parents know this one trick: zoo memberships. Got the one for all NYC zoos, including guest passes and free parking (for us AND guests). Sounds pricey up front, but we would go at least once a month through spring and summer for a day out, bringing grandparents, friends and cousins.

DopeCharma , Brett Sayles / Pexels Report

37 Memberships “Worth Every Penny”, According To The People In This Viral Online Thread I’m a paramedic, please heed this information. If you live outside of a major city, hell, even if your city’s hospital isn’t the best, seriously consider purchasing a membership to your closest air medical helicopter company. The cost isn’t outrageous and it saves you if you ever need to use it. Helicopter bills are expensive and insurance will leave you out to dry on them. It’s in your best interest to inquire about purchasing memberships if they’re offered.

arrghstrange , Steward Masweneng / Pexels Report

Alternatively, if you’re pressed for money but get a lot of use out of your (possibly expensive) memberships, you can always cut costs elsewhere. However, that requires a thorough analysis of your income and expenses. The first step is to come up with a realistic budget. The second is to cut back on your expenses. While the optional third step is to increase your income.

In terms of expenses, you can dial back on dining out and cook more at home. Buying groceries on sale and in bulk can also help you save more than just a few pennies. And you may even want to consider going meatless one or more days a week. Quality red meat is expensive. However, there are plenty of good protein sources out there that are cheaper.

37 Memberships “Worth Every Penny”, According To The People In This Viral Online Thread My union! They’re out there fighting to get me better wages and working conditions and will back me with lawyers if the company tries to pull any shenanigans. Totally worth a few hundred bucks a year!

NativeMasshole , August de Richelieu / Pexels Report

AMC Alist – I pay $26 a month for 3 movies a week. At my preferred theatre tickets for that are already $22, so each movie I seen in a month after the first is essentially free. Probably not worth it some months, but in the summer when I see 5-7 movies a month it’s fantastic.

redshadow310 Report

My university makerspace.

3D printing, 3d scanners, laser cutting, sewing machines, cricut machines, vacuum molding, you name it.

It doesn’t have to be for uni related work.

And it’s completely free*

*95% of the time, the materials are supplied for you. If you want to use your own material, you can (for example, they only supply 3mm plywood for the laser cutter. If you want 5mm, you need to source it yourself).

Reverse_Psycho_1509 Report

Similarly, going out for coffee less often isn’t going to magically solve all of your financial worries, but those small savings quickly add up. If you think you’ve cut back on everything realistic, you may want to consider your options for earning more cash, too.

For instance, it might be time to talk to your boss about that raise you deserve. Or you may want to pick up more hours, get a second job, or start a side hustle. Alternatively, if paying the bills, putting food on the table, and enjoying life is getting next to impossible, it may be time to search for a better-paying (and hopefully more meaningful) job.

What memberships or subscriptions have you personally found are worth every penny, dear Pandas? On the flip side, which ones did you find to be overhyped and not as useful as you thought? Share your experiences in the comments.

Pet insurance. Love my fluffball and don’t want cost to get in the way if something big happens.

mrk1224 Report

37 Memberships “Worth Every Penny”, According To The People In This Viral Online Thread Massage and Costco.

Monthly massage (or facial, but I’m all about the massage) is some of the best money I’ve ever spent.

Costco is worth it for gas alone, with the bonus of basically everything else I get there as well.

blueberry_pancakes14 , Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels Report

AARP.
Most people don’t know that you only have to be 18, and the discount I can get at most restaurants is better than the discount I get for being a vet, usually.
Let me say again, you only have to be 18!

cabinetguy Report

The Calm app. $70 per year, so less than 20 cents per day. I use the “Baby Shhh” Soundscape every night as my “sleep music.” My brain has now learned that, when it hears that rhythmic sound, it’s time for sleep. There are other Soundscapes, depending on what you’re looking for, as well as Sleep Stories(read by the likes of Cillian Murphy, Harry Styles, Matthew McConaughey, and LeVar Burton(!!).) Meditations and a Daily Move designed to target a body part or stress or fatigue or whatever. I love it! 

raisanett1962 Report

This is maybe not a “membership” but it’s a recurring monthly charge to a service at least.

We pay just shy of $100/month for a guy and his wife to come clean all the dog poop out of our yard twice a week. We have 2 big dogs and 3 little kids. This service is SO incredibly worth it, it’s not even funny. We’d give up the fiber internet package before we gave up “the poop man”.

randiesel Report

Cook’s Illustrated website. I pay for full access to the CI recipes and America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Country. Their recipes are outstanding and definitely better than 90% of the stuff you can find for free.

The_B_Wolf Report

I hate to admit it but Amazon Prime. When working on a project it’s just so handy to have next day delivery. Damn you Bezos!

Obvious_Badge7112 Report

Audible. I pay for the plan with the 1 monthly credit and always find books that take at least that long to listen to on my commute and that cost at LEAST as much as the membership.

Diavolo_Rosso_ Report

My wife has several restaurant memberships that she signed up for years ago.

She got into them during promotional periods that refunded the membership cost as introductory periods. She paid $25 initially, and they discounted that from the meal. When she signed up.

They never actually turned on the “charging” aspect, and she gets a lot of free meals given to her throughout the year.

They are mostly boutique restaurants, and she gets various perks like priority seating (no wait) and special attendance by management along with the meals being comped.

ambermage Report

PBS Passport. Local TV shows, award winning documentaries, NOVA, and foreign TV for $5 and NO ads! All other streaming services get more expensive each year and the content is usually crappy reality TV or lame romantic comedies.

If you live in the UK, PBS is kind of like our version of the BBC without the licensing fees and we get British imported TV shows.

anon Report

Regal Unlimited is awesome, unlimited movies whenever I want is definitely worth it for me. I go to around 4+ every month now.

MirrorkatFeces Report

As someone who’s in college and writes a s**t ton of essays, Grammerly has been worth every penny. The suggestions and corrections it makes are insanely helpful for writing clear essays.

scorch2020 Report

REI – not sure how common it is nation wide but as an outdoors person it’s great. One-time sign-up fee for $30. I get 10%back on all of my purchases. I believe my first purchase was a new snowboard and new bindings, and the 10% I made back on it already surpassed the $30 I spent once on my membership.

s_c_boy Report

For ADHDers – ChatGPT, the amount of learning random s**t has increased exponentially since.
I ask it to explain complex subjects to me as if I were a child and once I have the concept I confirm with it by asking it if what I theorize is correct, it’ll let you know if it is or isn’t and will proceed to explain why it did/didn’t.

In my case, the one I stuck with the most was Computer Networking. I struggle with learning and require a little more help. Once it explained what “network”, “subnet”, “LAN”, among other bespoke terminology were, I started to, mentally, build a network from the ground up, checking every step of the way to ensure I was fully grasping the concepts.

Chaotic_Nova Report

Peloton app. 13 bucks a month, all the exercise classes you could want, no bike or tread needed. Strength, yoga, pilates, Barre, Cardio, stretching, meditation, even outdoor running/walking. Again, no bike or addl subscription needed. It’s shocking how few people know about it.

LongEyelash999 Report


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