No matter how small they may seem, subscriptions services can add up fast and cause a significant turn in your budget. With the proper management of these recurring expenses using our helpful tips, you can start saving money on your subscriptions to maintain your ideal budget.
#1: Cut Out Unused Subscriptions
The first and most crucial step in saving on subscription services is to cut out those you don’t use. There are several ways to go about pegging these unused services, with digital budgeting programs or as simple as writing down active subscriptions that are found on your three most recent financial statements. From there, list those you use, don’t use, and any that are underused to be potentially canceled or downgraded later.
Once these services are categorized, we recommend reviewing your budget weekly to keep these extra expenses top of mind. By doing so, you can immediately cut out a subscription you no longer use out without waiting another month for it to renew
#2: Use One Payment Method
Whether you use a debit or credit card to pay for your subscriptions, keeping all your services streamlined through one account can keep everything organized. In addition, using an account connected to a digital banking or account management system can help you track these expenses regularly, so you know exactly where your money is going, and which subscriptions are active.
#3: Avoid Duplicate Accounts in Your Household
Many subscription services encourage sharing amongst those in your household by allowing for multiple profiles under one fee, which is slightly larger than an individual plan. However, these “family” plans are often cheaper than individual plans for each member. For example, paying for each person in a 5-person household to have a $9.99 streaming music subscription is $49.95 a month, but a family plan typically costs $14.99 a month for up to 6 members to create their profile. The same applies to several video streaming services that allow for additional profiles for account sharing amongst a household or a group of people in which you share expenses.
#4: Make the Most of Available “Skips”
Several personal care and food-related subscriptions provide members with the option to “skip a month” or “skip a delivery.” This feature allows subscribers to take charge of their services without going through a complete cancellation process. “Skips” can be applied to a period where you may not be home and don’t need groceries delivered, have used less of your monthly personal care supplies than intended, or are looking to cut back on expenses for the month. Those subscribed to monthly, quarterly, or other regular deliveries should locate this feature and not be afraid to use it because there is, in most cases, no penalty for taking a break from your subscriptions.
#5: Consider the Free Options
It may be hard to believe, but “free” is an option for several types of subscription services. This ranges from choosing a free alternative to making the most out of a free trial. Many software-based subscriptions have free options or competitors that offer similar opportunities for no fee. An example is to compare free cloud services such as Google Drive and Dropbox to paid services such as Microsoft 365 and Apple iCloud. Those not using the total capacity of their paid services should consider a free option with less storage and the essential features.
In addition, music services such as Spotify and pandora offer free plans with limited features and some advertisements. This would be a good option for those who do not regularly listen to music and do not mind being served ads, similar to those on a local radio station. This concept is identical to video streaming, with free streaming services such as IMDB TV, Pluto TV, and others that serve ads similar to satellite or cable TV. Replacing your least used streaming service with a free option can save you considerably on monthly fees and keep you entertained with a new selection of movies and shows.