This past holiday season my brother-in-law and his lovely wife gave me a Sirius Sportster 5 Satellite Radio kit. Since I travel a fair distance into work each day, the gift was a thoughtful way to better enjoy my commute. The Sirius Radio receiver is a generous gift, weighing in at around $120CDN for just the device. My particular package came inclusive with a $50 credit to cover about 4 months of the satellite service.
Since my $50 credit is almost gone I’m starting to wonder, should I continue the service and pay the $12 monthly fee? I’m also kinda at odds with this gift, as now it’s costing me. I’m not trying to be a gift horse by resenting the thoughtfulness. I’m just wondering, should we give gifts that keep costing the recipient?
Here are reasons to Sirius(ly) reconsider giving gifts like satellite radio, and to start looking certain gift horses in the mouth.
Ongoing gift fees:
I suppose my issue with satellite radio is the ongoing monthly fee. At $12 bucks a month, the Sirius satellite service operates at $144 bucks a year. This doesn’t sound like a lot, but compound the cost by 5 years and suddenly my little $120 dollar radio receiver bites me for $720 bucks total – not including inflationary price increases! Ouch!
There are many gifts which fall into this gray area of ungiftfullness. Gifts like cell phones, puppies, or that XBOX 360 thing you play online. Personally, I never give a gift with an ongoing fee unless the recipient truly desires the thing. I just don’t horse around with other people’s money.
Without paying, the gift ain’t playing:
I chomp at the bit when I consider canceling my radio service, since stopping it renders my satellite receiver device a useless piece of crap. Basically, I have ungifted myself by not continually throwing money at the thing. Nay.
Gifts only holding value when tightly coupled with an ongoing service fee are not really gifts, I think. Sticking your gift recipient with a fee-sucking space-occupying useless-thing kinda sucks.
What should I do?
The sentimental soul in me doesn’t want to cancel my radio service. I enjoy listening to the vast variety of music offered though Sirius Satellite Radio. However, the frugal fool in me looks at the big picture and listens to the bottom line. Every little fee in life adds up and continuously erodes my after tax income. Should I just bite it and keep paying? Or should I hoof this gadget and mosey along?
What would you do? Do you give gifts with fees attached?