The New Year is upon us, and you have plans to build on your savings in 2023. Maybe you have a wedding to plan, or are looking to move into a larger home, or want to start a college fund. The problem is recurring payments and subscriptions are taking up too much of your monthly spending and you’re not able to save as much as you would like. Sure, subscriptions to video streaming platforms are convenient and typically cost less than paying for cable television outright, but they also are hard to track, especially if the total number of subscriptions you have are high. If you’re not tracking them each month, recurring payments are easy to overlook and can accumulate quickly.
Take a look at your monthly spending and make a list of exactly which services you’re paying for each month. Then, think about how much you need each one. Maybe there are some subscriptions you simply don’t use. There’s no sense paying for something you aren’t using, especially if you can simply re-subscribe in the future if your needs change. Just like with a budget, subscriptions need to be managed to prevent them from getting out of control.
First, you should start by calculating the total costs of your subscriptions. This is just a way to give a clear picture on how much you spend and to make certain that you do want to cut back on subscription costs.
If you are unsure of what subscriptions you have, look at you debit and credit card statements from your bank to see the recurring charges for at least the past month. There are also apps you can download that help track your subscriptions for you. Of course, you will still need the information for each of the subscriptions to enter into the apps, but they provide a way to have all your subscription spending detail in one place.
Once you have the total cost of your subscriptions, consider your usage. Determine which subscriptions you use the most and which ones you are not using enough to justify the cost. Also look at which ones might be redundant. For instance, do you really need to pay for Hulu and Netflix? It might be time to cancel a few of those subscriptions and seeing the numbers in front of you makes that decision a lot easier.
Say you pay for your son’s subscription to an online game that he has not touched in months. It might be time to cancel that to save you a little bit of money – $15 a month might not seem like much, but that is at least $180 saved a year.
Additionally, there may be ways to save on the subscriptions you use most often. Some may allow you to share their service with friends or family to create a more cost-effective option. Also take a look at subscription bundles. Many streaming services are now available in package deals. And, some cellular carriers offer discounts for certain streaming services with various plans.
Subscription service have become a dominant model, but it’s easy to lose track of how much you spend on them, which is why it is important to keep track of them. You may be surprised at how many you pay for that you don’t use enough, and can cut from your spending.
Remember, if you ever have questions about budgeting, saving, or any other financial needs, do not hesitate to contact your local bank to see how they may be able to help you.