So you recently jumped on the bandwagon and bought that new Disney+ subscription. But what about your Netflix and Hulu subscriptions? Will you be canceling those? And wait, don’t you have Amazon Prime? That comes with a video streaming service, right?
In this day and age, it seems like there’s a subscription service for everything. And while they certainly can be convenient and enjoyable, all of those monthly charges can really take a significant bite out of your wallet. The problem with having so many different subscriptions is that it can be hard to keep track of them all. And because many of them renew automatically, you may even be paying for ones you’re not using anymore.
According to a study by West Monroe Partners
, 84% of people surveyed underestimated how much they were spending on recurring subscription services. If you’re serious about your finances, and eliminating wasteful spending, it’s a good idea to do a thorough review of which subscriptions and memberships you’re paying for, versus which ones you’re actually using.
Here’s a list of some common types of subscription services. How many of these are you using? Do you have any that overlap? Are there any that you could do without? Consider this – eliminating just three $15 per month subscriptions would end up saving
you $540 a year.
- Cloud storage (iCloud, OneDrive, Google Drive, etc.)
- Music streaming (Pandora, Spotify, SiriusXM, Apple Music, etc.)
- Video streaming/cable (Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Sling TV, etc.)
- Beauty boxes (BoxyCharm, Ipsy, Allure Beauty Box, etc.)
- Meal kits (Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, Home Chef, etc.)
- Magazine, book, and newspaper subscriptions (Book of the Month, Magzter, etc.)
- Amazon Prime
- Phone service (mobile phone, landline phone, long-distance service, etc.)
- Home security & monitoring (SimpliSafe, Ring, ADT, etc.)
- Audio books (Audible, Scribd, etc.)
- Dating sites (Match, eHarmony, Zoosk, OurTime, etc.)
- Family history/genealogical sites (Ancestry.com, Genealogy.com, MyHeritage.com)
- Gym/health club memberships
- Dieting/fitness apps (FitBit, MyFitnessPal, etc.)
- Identity theft protection (LifeLock, Identity Guard, etc.)
- Video game memberships (Xbox Game Pass, Playstation Plus, EA Access, etc.)
Once you’ve evaluated which subscriptions you’re paying for and identified which ones you could live without, it’s important to keep in mind that not all companies will make it easy to cancel their services. You may need to call the company if you’re unable to find an easy way to halt the service via their app or website. Also, remember that you may have pre-paid for some of your subscriptions on an annual or monthly basis. While some companies will allow you to cancel a subscription early (and will typically issue you a refund for the unused portion of the service), other companies may refuse to cancel your service early, or will charge a penalty for doing so. If you’re unable to cancel a subscription until it expires, it’s a good idea to set a calendar reminder right before the expiration date so you won’t forget. You should also check whether you have “auto-renew” enabled for your subscription. If you do, shut it off so the service won’t automatically renew for another term.
If you feel that you need some assistance with cutting down your recurring charges, there are some subscription management services out there that will do the heavy lifting for you. Trim
are two such tools that can help you analyze your monthly transactions to pinpoint all your recurring subscriptions, and can even help you cancel those that you don’t want anymore.
Whether you tackle your subscriptions on your own, or seek help from a service like Truebill, paying attention to your various monthly or annual fees will help you eliminate wasteful spending and maximize your savings.