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Some apps just aren’t worth your money Save Your Money: 9 Apps You Shouldn't Pay For Save Your Money: 9 Apps You Shouldn't Pay For Some subscriptions are really worth the cost, but others you should cut out of your spending. Here are several popular subscriptions you can replace with free alternatives. Read More . With so much software out there and limited cash, it’s really important to be sure you aren’t throwing money away on subscriptions you’ll never use.

However, we had several insightful comments pointing out apps and software that are worth the cost. Of course, these won’t be the same for everyone — someone’s must-have app might be something you wouldn’t even use for free. This time, let’s take a look at apps that are generally worth your money, and how they could save you money in the long run How To Start Saving Money And Stop Spending With 4 Easy Habits How To Start Saving Money And Stop Spending With 4 Easy Habits One of the top new year resolutions on many people's lists is to spend less and save more. It's easier said than done, but you can still rely on several apps and tools to help... Read More .

Backup Services

You’re probably sick of hearing it, but you need to back up your computer’s data, period. Not backing up will eventually end in tears These Guys Didn't Back Up Their Files, Now Look What Happened These Guys Didn't Back Up Their Files, Now Look What Happened If there is anything I learned during those early years of working with computers (and the people that use them), it was how critical it is to not only save important stuff, but also to... Read More , and that’s a place you don’t want to be. While there are plenty of built-in backup methods in Windows 10 The Ultimate Windows 10 Data Backup Guide The Ultimate Windows 10 Data Backup Guide Windows 10 makes data backups effortless. We have summarized every native backup, restore, recovery, and repair option we could find on Windows 10. Use our simple tips and never despair over lost data again! Read More that require an external hard drive, the most secure backups are kept offsite.

The general rule of backups 5 Basic Backup Facts Every Windows User Should Know 5 Basic Backup Facts Every Windows User Should Know We never tire to remind you to make backups and keep your data safe. If you're wondering what, how often, and where you should back up your files, we have straight forward answers. Read More is that you should have three copies of all of your data on two different storage mediums, with one in a different location than the others. To fulfill these requirements, you need to use a cloud backup provider. Thankfully, the cost is relatively low.

CrashPlan and Backblaze are two solid options for personal backups. Both cost $60/year ($5/month), but consider this cost versus the memories and hours of work represented in your data, and it’s clear that this cost is completely justified. Data can be recovered off a dead drive, but it often costs hundreds of dollars, if not more.

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CrashPlan lets you back up to an external hard drive 7 Things to Know When Buying a Data Drive for Backups 7 Things to Know When Buying a Data Drive for Backups Thinking about buying a data drive for storing file backups? Here's what you need to know if you want to make an informed decision. Read More and their cloud at the same time, offering you fine control over what gets backed up and where. Backblaze offers one-click backup that covers everything so you have it all covered.

Our digital lives reside on our computers, and there’s no excuse not to have a backup. If you can only purchase one app from this list, make it a backup solution. You’ll be glad you did!

Creative Software

This one varies depending on the user, but you’ll know who are if you need this category. While free alternatives to Adobe products 13 Free Alternatives to Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, & More 13 Free Alternatives to Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, & More What if you don't want to spend $50 per month on a Creative Cloud subscription? The good news is that there are free alternatives available. Here are some of the best. Read More exist and are adequate for many novice users, if you’re a professional graphic designer, video editor, or similar (or aspiring to be one), spending the extra money on the best software is worth it.

Adobe’s pricing is a bit confusing Your Guide to Choosing The Right Adobe Product Your Guide to Choosing The Right Adobe Product When most people think of Adobe, they either think of Photoshop or Acrobat Reader. But the company has a plethora of other useful software packages that most people know nothing about. Read More , but the base plans are $10/month for a bundle with Lightroom and Photoshop, $20/month for one app of your choice, of $50/month for the entire suite of Adobe apps. Buying the industry-standard app might be a bit more expensive in the short term, but it definitely pays off.

You’ll be more efficient Squeeze an Extra Hour out of Each Day with These 10 Quick Tips Squeeze an Extra Hour out of Each Day with These 10 Quick Tips A few simple habits can help us shed some inefficient ways and increase our reservoir of time doing the things that matter. These ideas can get you one extra productive hour every single day. Read More thanks to better software and be able process jobs for clients in less time, leading to you making more money. In addition, having knowledge in standard tools could translate well into different job opportunities.

The best advice here is to try a free app for what you need to do and see if it’s enough. If not, you’re probably at the level where paying for the best software is the smarter option. You’ll know if that’s the case!

Streaming Music Services

Most of the big music streaming services (aside from Apple Music) all have quality free plans, so you might be satisfied with listening for free. However, if you like music, a premium subscription to Spotify, Google Play Music, or Apple Music is an amazing value.

Most albums cost $10 if you buy them straight from Amazon, iTunes, or on a CD. For that price every month (less if you use the shared family plans Save on Premium Subscriptions With These 9 Shareable Accounts Save on Premium Subscriptions With These 9 Shareable Accounts Premium subscription services are great, but the costs add up fast. Here are 9 services you can share to get the most for your money. Read More ), you can listen to all the music you want with no limits. Paid streaming also allows you to listen offline, which saves you mobile data costs. In addition, you can give any artist a listen without fear of wasting your money if you don’t like their record.

The only way that these services wouldn’t be a good deal for you is if you already have a massive MP3 collection and only occasionally dip into Spotify to check out an artist. For everyone else, decide which streaming service you like best Spotify vs. Apple Music vs. Google Play Music: Which Is Best? Spotify vs. Apple Music vs. Google Play Music: Which Is Best? While there are lots of music streaming services around, there are three major ones that stand out above the others: Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music. But which is best? Read More  and jump into the music. If you need some help, check out why we love Spotify Premium Is It Worth Upgrading to Spotify Premium? Is It Worth Upgrading to Spotify Premium? Spotify Free brings you tons of music at no cost, but are the extra features of Spotify Premium worth shelling out for? Let's find out... Read More .

On a related note, don’t waste your money on SoundCloud Go We Tried SoundCloud Go So You Don't Have To We Tried SoundCloud Go So You Don't Have To SoundCloud Go is a new premium music streaming service designed to compete with the likes of Spotify and Apple Music, but is it worth paying for? Read More .

A Virtual Private Network (VPN)

If you’ve never used a VPN, you might be surprised at all the times it’s appropriate to use one 8 Instances You Weren't Using a VPN, but Should've Been: The VPN Checklist 8 Instances You Weren't Using a VPN, but Should've Been: The VPN Checklist If you haven't already considered subscribing to a VPN to secure your privacy, now is the time. Read More . Essentially, a VPN obscures your browsing and makes it looks like it’s coming from somewhere else.

The applications are many 5 Refreshing Uses For A VPN 5 Refreshing Uses For A VPN Read More : if you want to browse sensitive information without your ISP or the government knowing what you’re looking at, need to access content that isn’t available in your country, or want to stay safe when browsing on public networks, a VPN should be on your system.

While there are free VPNs 6 Top Free VPNs for Chrome Users 6 Top Free VPNs for Chrome Users Many Chrome users want what Opera has: Free VPN within their browser. And while there are lots of paid VPN options available, there are also some really good free ones for Google Chrome. Try these. Read More available, you get what you pay for, and since you’re trusting your VPN to keep your browsing private and secure, it’s worth shelling out some money. How much it’s worth it depends on your needs and how much money you’ll save — if paying for a VPN lets you access video content in another country and saves you money on a cable bill, it’s worth it in the long run.

It’s a lot cheaper to pay $5–10/month for a quality VPN The Best VPN Services The Best VPN Services We've compiled a list of what we consider to be the best Virtual Private Network (VPN) service providers, grouped by premium, free, and torrent-friendly. Read More and keep your information safe than to be a victim of identify theft because your information was stolen from an insecure coffee shop 3 Dangers Of Logging On To Public Wi-Fi 3 Dangers Of Logging On To Public Wi-Fi You've heard that you shouldn't open PayPal, your bank account and possibly even your email while using public WiFi. But what are the actual risks? Read More .

And make sure you know common VPN myths 5 Common VPN Myths and Why You Shouldn't Believe Them 5 Common VPN Myths and Why You Shouldn't Believe Them Planning to use a VPN? Not sure where to start, or confused about what they do? Let's take a look at the top five myths about VPNs and why they're simply not true. Read More before you start using one, just to make sure you know exactly what you’re getting.

Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime has come a long way in the past few years. Aside from the sticker feature of unlimited free two-day shipping, there are tons of lesser-known Prime benefits 6 Amazon Prime Benefits You Might Be Ignoring Right Now 6 Amazon Prime Benefits You Might Be Ignoring Right Now Scratch the surface. Amazon Prime has so many more benefits that people have forgotten about or simply don't realize exist. Read More , like unlimited cloud storage for photos, 20% off all new video games, and exclusive access to all the deals on the annual Prime Day What's Amazon Prime Day and How Do I Get the Best Deals? What's Amazon Prime Day and How Do I Get the Best Deals? Amazon Prime is one of the best events for consumers in last decade. It really brought online shopping to the masses and transformed the way we approach purchases. Read More .

There are a few ways to decide on pricing Which Amazon Prime Subscription Is Right for You? Which Amazon Prime Subscription Is Right for You? Potential subscribers formerly only had one option when it came to Amazon Prime. However, now, Amazon is offering three different subscription plans so you can pick the one that best suits your needs. Read More here — the core Amazon Prime service is $99 for a year or $11/month if you pay as you go. This lets choose how to get the most value out of the subscription; if you shop all year round, Prime will pay for itself with the shipping savings and discounts, but you can also use it in the short-term, too.

If you never use Amazon, then Prime won’t save you money. But if you use Prime Music for your premium music service and Prime Video to get your TV and movies (see below), that’s already $20/month saved! It’s easy to see how much value a single subscription gets you here.

Netflix or Similar

While there are some reasons you might want to avoid subscribing to Netflix 7 Reasons You Should Avoid Subscribing to Netflix 7 Reasons You Should Avoid Subscribing to Netflix Just as there are pitfalls to cutting the cord, there are downsides to Netflix you might consider to be deal-breakers. So before you sign up to Netflix, take a moment to consider these imperfections. Read More or other similar video services (like Hulu or Amazon Prime Video Netflix vs. Hulu vs. Amazon Prime: Which Should You Choose? Netflix vs. Hulu vs. Amazon Prime: Which Should You Choose? It has been years since we've compared heavy-hitting streaming services, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. And with changes in pricing, content, quality, and interface, we thought it was time to revisit the topic. Read More ), the benefits outweigh the costs if you take advantage of them. The $8/month for the Basic plan (which doesn’t include HD streaming and only allows you to watch on one device at once), or the $12/month for the Premium plan (which includes HD and up to four simultaneous devices) gets you a lot of content.

If you can part with cable Should You Cut the Cord or Keep Your Cable TV? Should You Cut the Cord or Keep Your Cable TV? If you're still holding on to your cable subscription, but are debating if its time to make a change, we're here to help. This guide should help you make your mind up. Read More (which you’re probably paying at least $40/month for), you can get all of your entertainment from your chosen video service. From classic movies and TV shows to Netflix originals, there’s always something to enjoy even if you watch every night, due to new content being added every month 13 New Netflix Originals You'll Be Watching in 2016 13 New Netflix Originals You'll Be Watching in 2016 Netflix has released a lot of original content -- including House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black, Narcos, and Master of None -- but 2016 is slated to be Netflix's most exciting year yet. Read More .

Another benefit of video streaming over cable is the flat price. While the price of Netflix has increased Netflix Suffers Price Rise Shock, Microsoft Confirms Xbox S Release... [Tech News Digest] Netflix Suffers Price Rise Shock, Microsoft Confirms Xbox S Release... [Tech News Digest] Netflix suffers due to recent price rise, Microsoft teases the new Xbox S, Netflix nabs the new series of Star Trek, become a Jedi using your Vive, and watch a live-action version of Futurama. Read More a few times over the years, it’s a standard rate for everyone and doesn’t involve all kinds of fees and special offers to navigate like paying for cable.

Plus, if you decide you don’t want the service anymore, you simply go online and cancel it. Compare that to calling in and dealing with terrible customer service Are You Getting The Most Out Of Your Customer Service Experience? Are You Getting The Most Out Of Your Customer Service Experience? Have you ever called customer service, only to end the call frustrated, disappointed and without resolution? Or perhaps there was a resolution, but it was unfavorable and certainly not worth the time you spent on... Read More for half an hour, and the lack of stress is another clear benefit.

Make sure you consider the costs of cutting the cord Considering Canceling Cable? The True Cost of Cutting the Cord Considering Canceling Cable? The True Cost of Cutting the Cord When you add everything up, do you really save money by cutting the cord? We do the math involved with cancelling cable in favor of Internet services. Read More before you decide to switch over, though, as it doesn’t make sense for everyone.

Premium Password Managers

You might notice that this entry is also on the list of apps you shouldn’t pay for, and that’s for a reason. While you can definitely get along with using the free version of LastPass or another password manager, if you can pay for a premium manager and need it, the added security is worth the cost.

LastPass, for example, only allows you to use its Free plan on one device LastPass Is Now Free on Phones, But There's a Catch LastPass Is Now Free on Phones, But There's a Catch Password management app LastPass has some carefully worded good news: "Now you can get started on your phone, free!" Read More  — so if you have it installed on your laptop, you’re out of luck on your mobile device. While you can always pull up the password on your desktop and type it in on your phone, this can get tedious and might lead you to use weaker, easier-to-type passwords 7 Password Mistakes That Will Likely Get You Hacked 7 Password Mistakes That Will Likely Get You Hacked The worst passwords of 2015 have been released, and they're quite worrying. But they show that it's absolutely critical to strengthen your weak passwords, with just a few simple tweaks. Read More , decreasing security.

Thus, the $12/year (just a dollar a month!) for LastPass is a steal, allowing you to easily access your passwords on the go. The cost of having a password stolen is not cheap (think of what someone could do with access to your email account 5 Ways Your Email Address Can Be Exploited By Scammers 5 Ways Your Email Address Can Be Exploited By Scammers Read More ), and memorizing all of your passwords is tough. While not critical, a premium password manager leads to better security practices and is thus worth the cost.

Xbox Live or PlayStation Plus

Though gaming is an expensive hobby, it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune Your Expensive Hobby Doesn't Have to Ruin Your Budget Your Expensive Hobby Doesn't Have to Ruin Your Budget Hobbies -- especially electronics-related ones -- can be really expensive. But they don't need to ruin your budget! Here's how to make financial adjustments for expensive hobbies. Read More if you put some planning into it. One of the best ways to save money on gaming 5 Genius Ways to Save Money on Gaming 5 Genius Ways to Save Money on Gaming Gaming doesn't have to be a bank-breaker. Read More is to subscribe to PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold Xbox Live Versus PlayStation Plus: What Do You Get With Each? Xbox Live Versus PlayStation Plus: What Do You Get With Each? Let’s see which provides the best bang for your buck. Read More , if you have one of those consoles.

The $50/year for PS Plus or $60/year for Live Gold might seem like a lot, but consider the price of new blockbuster games is usually $60 at launch. Paying that price just once gets you access to new games every month, meaning you can check out fresh content all year for one fee.

Both services also enable you to play online games, which can also go a long way in saving you money. Instead of burning through a single-player campaign Less Is More: 5 Small Games That Are Big On Fun Less Is More: 5 Small Games That Are Big On Fun Hundred-hour games with loads of content are awesome, but sometimes you just want a focused, fun-filled experience. These 5 titles deliver just that. Read More and never touching a game again, multiplayer can breathe new life into a game and make the money you spent on it go further.

What Are You Happy to Pay For?

While so many services reek of being a ripoff, it’s refreshing to take a look at the services that are truly a good value. Each of these plans will cost you some cash, but it’s the higher costs of not having them that makes them worthwhile.

Integrate the savings from these subscriptions into your all-important budget 5 Budget Apps You Should Use If You Really Want to Save Money 5 Budget Apps You Should Use If You Really Want to Save Money Here are the most effective budget apps currently available. Pick the one you like best. Read More , and you could be well on your way to a better financial future.

Now we want to hear from you — what apps and services are worth the cost? Let us know what subscriptions you’re happy to pay for every month down in the comments!

  1. wingo
    August 24, 2016 at 9:52 am

    Ben, your reply above belittles you. I think the point being made is the devil is in the detail. If you and more importantly makeuseof consider yourselves professionals details are important. As a reader, these little errors make ask myself how much I can trust the research and information in the article if the writer and the editors (are there even any) don't care enough to correct the little errors. Now I may make grammar and punctuation errors in my comments but I am not pretending to be a professional writer seeking credibility, I am just an armchair critic giving my two cents worth.

  2. Raoul Leon
    August 23, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    "The general rule of backups is that you should have three copies of all of your data on two different storage mediums . . . ." The word mediums should only be used when speaking of more than one fortune teller. Otherwise, the word is NOT used for anything else. Mediums is NOT the plural of medium. The word you want is media.One medium, two media. Media is NOT television and newspaper news. An incorrect useage if there ever was one.

    • Ben Stegner
      August 23, 2016 at 8:36 pm

      Thanks. I know this was ruining the article for everyone.

  3. Fábián Gábor
    August 19, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    For backup can't really recommend Crashplan. It's really slow from the EU, most of the times the upload speed is around 1 mbps. In 3 weeks coulnd't upload my 400 GB data. I gave up and bought myself a NAS instead.

    • pandrew3@bigpond.net.au
      August 24, 2016 at 8:47 am

      I hope you didn't buy a Netgear 104 NAS. I am sitting here looking at my dead NAS 104 with 16Gigs and no access. No real help from the support supplied by Netgear. I have $1000.00 of junk sitting on my desk. And don't add another drive to the system as it can take 48 hours to rebuild. There are better, cheaper, and far more secure ways to backup your data. Even Netgear themselves state that a NAS is NOT a good way to backup your data.

  4. Peter Buyze
    August 18, 2016 at 5:43 am

    In terms of password managers I don't agree with your comment that it's worth paying for a premium one. Yes, a premium p/m may well be worth it, but that does not mean it is necessarily better than a free one. You only take 1 example: LastPass, to explain why the free version is limited.
    KeePass is the iconic free p/m, it is open source & can be used on as many devices as you like. It is widely used by the EU institutions & the EU is even having it audited. I have used it for some 8 years now & can really recommend version 2.

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