Options for escaping Google Workspace
Google initially offered free accounts with custom domains many, many years ago, and kept these "legacy" accounts free when they started charging for new accounts. They have now announced that everyone must pay; accounts without payment info will be suspended. The price of Google Workspace is almost £5 per user per month, which comes in at almost £30/month for my family workspace.
This price seems too high for non-commercial use, but it is important to consider all of the other Workspace products you may be using, eg: calendar; contacts; drive; docs; keep; meet; analytics. It may be that you can just use a standalone personal gmail account for these apps, but does need consideration before jumping ship.
Most email providers do have similar pricing. However, Zoho
charges £1 pppm for email and calendar apps (plus IMAP if needed). Note that this price is trebled if you opt for monthly billing.
Another alternative is to host your own email box. The typical price of a small linux virtual machine is £5/month, and then just follow the steps in one of these solutions:
How to Easily Set Up a Full-Featured Mail Server on Ubuntu 18.04 with iRedMail
Modoboa: Open Source email server
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