Family finances might be tight, but there’s no way we can give up Netflix

Recent gastrointestinal distress caused me to take the time to consider Netflix one of my favorite inventions. When I was a teenager you told me that you could view a future show, hit pause, go to the restroom with cramps, and then come back to the show using your jacks.

ctually, I probably wouldn’t have even heard you as I would have been desperately trying to programme a VCR to record the 10 minutes of free smut that appeared on the multichannel around midnight, but you get the idea.

Netflix, like all streaming services, is a miracle; albeit an increasingly expensive one — €20.99 a month for our all-singing, all-dancing, occasionally buffering package, which makes the jump by Disney+ from €69.99 to €89.90 per year seem minuscule. We have become forensic accountants due to the increasing cost of living. It means we examine every transaction and find out if there are any fats to be cut.

There can be no waste — this was the mantra that got me into my tummy trouble, having opted to eat my eldest son’s lunch when it came home from school untouched. Like anyone who grew up in the 1980s, I had it drilled into me that you don’t waste food — from the Trócaire boxes in the middle of the kitchen table to watching Live Aid on TV, food was something you didn’t bin. Obviously it never occurred to me that eating a ham and cheese mayo wrap that sat in a teenage boy’s schoolbag in a warm classroom for several hours might carry the same risk as eating a pangolin stuffed with bats, but I wasn’t going to just bin it. In these tough times, this would have been a waste. Instead I spent about 1 euro to get food poisoning. It allowed me to relax and watch Netflix for 2 days.

While I’m happy to be a human compost bin in order to save a few cents, Netflix is a luxury we cannot do without, because it has become so central to family life. Halfway through all 14 seasons, the youngest has completed it. NinjagoNickelodeon is highlighting the next Nickelodeon series, while the teenage son searches for criminal ways to make his empire. Breaking BadThe teenager then watches interminable reruns MasterchefBecause she is passionate about cooking, I think they should do an episode on cleaning up after cooks. She will have so much to gain from it.

What makes Netflix so essential is how it can act as a panacea — you can throw your phone into the back of the car on long journeys and say, just watch something on that, and they will. There was a great outcry when I suggested that we might need to cancel it, given that it is now costing us more than €250 a year. On its own that isn’t too much, but when you take all the other packages into account it is quite the sum — the annual licence fee of €160, Disney’s €89.90 per year, and Jeffrey Bezos’s €9.80 a month for Amazon Prime.

We chose streaming over satellite TV as we believed it would be more cost-effective. We are still paying hundreds of dollars per year for television. It had to be something so Prime was always on. We saw nothing. ReacherBecause Prime is a tale about an Easter Island Head sentient who gives out bloody justice, it was simple to reduce.

Disney+ is my next choice, as I love Marvel Cinematic Universe just as much as Disney+. Star Wars(Happy Star Wars Day, by and large), I’m the only one who watches it. Netflix? Netflix is possible, however, you will need to take it out of my sweaty, clammy hands.

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Family finances might be tight, but there’s no way we can give up Netflix

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