Southern Belle in Training

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle Blog || Est. 2012 || Virginia Beach, VA

October 4, 2021

Subscriptions and Memberships That I Find 100% Worth It.

     One thing that I'm always curious about is what non-necessary items fellow 20-30 somethings are spending their disposable income on. I'm not talking about things like housing, food, insurance, etc.- I mean non-essential items! I frequently hear about subscription services or memberships to various things that I think sound really cool, but I'm pretty particular about keeping my reoccurring monthly and yearly expenses only to things that I really love or find necessary. I thought it would be fun today to share what (non-essential) things I can personally justify spending money on each month or year!

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Subscriptions and Memberships I Find Worth It:

Every few years:
  • TSA Precheck (and Global Entry) - I finally got TSA Precheck in 2019, and I don't know why it took me so long to do so!! Oh my goodness- best $85 you will ever spend. Even if you only fly a handful of times in the five year period that it's good for, I promise it's worth it! I also got Global Entry at the same time, which is like Precheck but for re-entering the US after flying abroad. Unfortunately thanks to 2020 I haven't been able to use my Global Entry yet, but I am glad I have it and I'm hoping to finally try it in 2022. It is only $100 to get both together, versus just $85 for just TSA Precheck. FYI: A lot of travel credit cards also give you a statement credit for getting this which can be a nice perk. 
  • AAA - From my first dead battery a few months after I got my first car in high school, to a scary experience blowing a tire on the interstate in college, to a couple months ago when I got a flat tire at the beach, AAA has always been there for me. My parents have been AAA members for as long as I can remember, and I was put on their plan when I got my drivers license in high school. AAA is 100% worth it! I personally will never drive without it. While I luckily haven't had to use it often, it is an incredible resource to have when you need it. AAA members also have access to exclusive travel discounts, and the resource of using AAA travel agents for assistance with booking larger trips. Some car insurance plans or dealer maintenance plans do include roadside assistance, but I personally think AAA is the preferred choice over any of those.
  • Junior League - I have only been a member of my local Junior League chapter for about six weeks, so I'm definitely not fully qualified yet to speak about what it's like to be a longtime member. But so far, I'm so glad that I decided to join Junior League after moving to Virginia Beach! It's already given me many opportunities to meet so many amazing women in the area, and get involved with some incredible community service opportunities. I'm excited for all that's to come with it this year. Junior League does have yearly dues that all members have to pay, but I already think it's worth it.  


  • Spotify (and Hulu) - I've been a Spotify Premium member for quite a few years now. My favorite feature with Premium is that you can download playlists onto your phone and listen to them data-free (I don't have unlimited cell phone data, so I love this). I also have the plan that gets me the lower Hulu membership with ads as well. There's a lot of music I listen to that isn't played on the radio, so I don't see myself ever getting rid of Spotify. And I hope they continue the Hulu bundle for years to come! (I also have Netflix, but my dad pays for that.)
  • SiriusXM - I always feel weird telling people this as I work in commercial radio, but I am a proud SiriusXM subscriber! I had a free trial when I got my first leased car in 2020, and I became absolutely obsessed with it, so I had to keep it going after my trial ran out. I love the unique variety of music genres that there are stations for! My personal music tastes are pretty diverse, and SiriusXM truly has it all. While this definitely isn't a necessary subscription (especially since I have Spotify), I definitely get my money's worth out of it and it makes me so happy to have. I also listen to it at home in my apartment through their Roku app.
  • Fitness classes/gym - I don't do very well working out on my own. I find it hard to stay motivated working out in a gym or going for walks/runs by myself. I love taking fitness classes and being around others for my workouts, as the energy of other people motivates me to push myself harder! For the past few years I've justified being a gym or fitness studio member. I did Jazzercise in Charlottesville and loved it. Here in Virginia Beach I've joined a regular type of gym that offers a variety of different fitness classes at multiple locations. 
  • Hello Fresh - For a long time I didn't understand the point of meal kit subscriptions, but I finally decided to try one in 2020 as a way to mix up all of my meals at home. I have now been using Hello Fresh for over a year, and I absolutely love it! The recipes are easy and they're absolutely delicious. As much as I'd like to do Hello Fresh every week, it does get expensive. I also feel like I appreciate the meals more if I don't do it as often. Lately I've been ordering one box a month and that seems to be the perfect amount!
  • Hair appointments - I started coloring my hair about two years ago, and have continued to maintain it since. I get it colored every 6-8 weeks. It is definitely an investment to regularly get your hair colored at a good salon, but I do find it worth it. (And I personally would never attempt to color my hair myself at home!) I stopped getting my nails done at salons around the time that I started coloring my hair, so at least I had one less expense to make up for this new one. 

     These are my non-essential yearly and monthly expenses that I justify keeping. I'd love to hear what your non-essential memberships and subscriptions are. Maybe there's something you love that I need to make room for in my budget!

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese 



  1. First of all, great outfit! That 3rd picture of you is stunning!
    It's always interesting to see how people spend their money, so this was a great post. I find it hilarious (but totally understandable!) that you are in radio, and still subscribe to satellite. 😂 The radio in my car is broken, so I long for the day when I can get a new car with Sirius!

  2. This was such a great post idea, and so fun to read! I had a free trial of satellite radio for my leased car as well and I really enjoyed it! Monthly I subscribe to Green Chef (my favorite at home meal kit because it has a lot of vegetarian and vegan options), my local reformer pilates studio, and a monthly facial membership at a local spa. I would love to see what other people subscribe to as well! So interesting!

  3. You totally just reminded me to schedule an appointment to get TSA Precheck (+ Global Entry)! It's been on my list since 2018 but since we couldn't travel, it slipped my mind.

    I also did Jazzercise and loved it! Just a fun way to mix up my workout subscriptions :)

    -xo, Azanique


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