Subscription services that are useful and budget friendly for students


Graphic by Kash Patel

I’m always hesitant to spend money on an app or a subscription service, since you never know how well it will work out and it can be difficult to cancel it depending on what you choose to sign up with. I’ve gone through an unending trial and error process with subscriptions and there are definitely some standout options that are worth it more than others.

Plugging in your credit card information, downloading something and forgetting about it is always one of my biggest problems, so you have to figure out what it is you’re willing to dedicate your attention span and money into.

  • Spotify Premium ($9.99/month or $4.99/month for students) – I love Spotify and I’ll never regret signing up for Premium. It’s perfect for when I want to listen to music on the go, it’s introduced me to new artists who I probably wouldn’t have heard of without it, it has great playlists for any mood or vibe you can think of and the perks that go along with paying for it are worth it. You can sign up for a free trial for 30 days to see if you like it and cancel it at any time, there aren’t any ads, you can download whatever music you want and there’s unlimited skips, which is perfect for picky people like me when you just want to find the right song for your morning commute.


  • Headspace ($7.99/month) – Meditation has slowly but surely become a very needed and valued part of my daily routine. You read about it everywhere on millennial blogs and health oriented Instagram pages who rave about its benefits, but its not an easy practice to start doing on your own everyday if you’re particularly stressed, anxious or busy. This is why I really like Headspace. They have a collection of guided meditations to choose from for various moods and themes, you can set alerts on your phone so you don’t forget to do them, there’s “sleep sounds” and more. Andy Puddicombe’s soothing voice is just the right amount of calming direction you need, putting Headspace at the top of my list.


  • Netflix ($8.99/month) – This seems like the most obvious choice out of all subscription options, but it’s definitely something I know many people don’t directly pay for themselves. They use the same account as their parents or their friends all share one. When the day comes for you to actually pay for your own streaming service, it’s good to know that it is worth the money. Although prices have gone up over the past few years, its popularity holds merit. As an entertainment service that is significantly more affordable than cable, Netflix — despite complaints that the Canadian site doesn’t have enough movies — holds up in the long run for movies and TV shows.


  • The New York Times Basic Digital Access  ($1.00/week) – For unlimited article access on the app and website, this subscription is worth the money if you like reading articles every day. There hasn’t been an article that I regret reading, it encourages me to keep up with important world events and I’m more of an informed person because of it. If you’re going to put your money into a reliable news source, this would be it.


  • Zombies, Run! ($2.99/month) – Ever wonder how long you’d last in a post-apocalyptic wasteland? Well now you can find out! This app is a lot of fun if you’re looking for a more unique way to get into exercise and become a bit more active. It’s one of the most entertaining apps that I’ve used and it immerses you into a story while improving your running abilities.


You complete missions as you transition through a narrative and you can integrate your own playlists into the app as well. Opting into zombie chases encourages you to run faster, as the sounds of the undead grow louder if you slow down.

It tracks your pace, distance, time and number of calories burned. If you want to feel like you’re living in the world of The Walking Dead while breaking a sweat, then this is the perfect app for you.

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