How Much Do You Spend on Subscriptions in a Year?
- Written by Remar Sutton
- Category: Articles
The number of products and services available by subscriptions are steadily increasing. From magazines and various forms of news, to digital services, household and health-related products, and beyond, the ease of signing up for automatic renewals may seem more convenient for you to save time and possibly a little more money. While you may save money on a subscription or two, adding multiple subscriptions add up and it can be easy to loose track of how much you are spending. Take a look at these steps to help you determine how to choose a subscription that benefits you and your wallet.
By taking the time to review all of your subscriptions and recurring payments, you may realize you don't need or even want all of those subscriptions after all.
Where to Start
Start with the visible subscriptions that show up in your mailbox or at your door. Which magazines and newspapers do you actually read? If they are just stacking up, it's time to cancel them. If you still want to subscribe, you may be able to save money by switching to a digital subscription.
Other forms of visible subscriptions, like subscription boxes, are typically more expensive than magazines and newspapers. Examples of subscription boxes include clothing, pet toys or supplies, meal kits, and kids toys or books. If you no longer need or want it, cancel it. If you still want or need it, but not as often, you may be able to save money by changing the delivery frequency.
Next, review your digital services. When it comes to apps, most smartphones allow you to review and edit your app store subscriptions all in one place, so you have an idea of where your money is going. Start by determining which ones you are using regularly. If you find yourself not using the service, it's time to cancel it or consider a better alternative. For example, you could buy an external hard drive to store your documents instead of using the online storage subscription.
Similarly, when it comes to your streaming services, you will also need to determine which ones you use regularly. For example, how often do you stream a movie? Would it be less expensive to pay by the movie than pay a monthly fee for a service? If you signed up for a service to watch a particular series consider suspending or canceling the service until you want to use it again. For music streaming, will the free tier meet your needs?
Next, look at your financial statements and payment accounts for recurring payments. Go back at least 12 months to ensure that you find all of your annual payments. Small payments, such as under $10, can add up so be sure to pay attention to those ones, too. Additionally, you will want to look closely for charges related to subscriptions that you didn't cancel after the "try it for free" time period which can be as short as 7 days.
Organizing Your Subscriptions
If corralling your subscriptions seems to be a daunting task, simplify it by putting the information in a spreadsheet or list as you work through each account. The spreadsheet will help you keep track of each subscription including how much it costs, when it expires, which account is used, when you cancelled, and whether it auto-renews. Once you can see all of your subscriptions in one place, organize them in order from highest to lowest priority. From there, you may be able to start eliminating your low priority items.
You Can Always Ask for Help! But, Be Careful
If you don't want to do it yourself, there are services that can help you manage or even cancel subscriptions for you. However, they need the log-in details for your financial accounts, including your credit cards and personal details required for cancellations. Some are free and some have free and paid versions. Check them out carefully before using them. At a minimum, determine how they make their money, how do they protect your information, who do they share it with, and how it will ultimately benefit you.
By taking the time to review all of your subscriptions and recurring payments, you may realize you don't need or even want all of those subscriptions after all. Even though, it may be small fees or payments, it adds up, and is a great way for you to reduce unnecessary spending and increase your savings.