Personal care products, clothing, pet supplies, apps and streaming services are just a few of the subscriptions you can purchase to make your life more convenient and enjoyable. Subscriptions are typically inexpensive, which allows you to fit them easily into your budget. Although each one may be just a few bucks a month, they can add up and slowly drain your bank account. Before you commit to that low monthly payment, consider these subscription tips.
Do the Math
How much are you really spending on subscriptions? Consider the big picture. Instead of looking at the monthly payment, look at the annual amount. Do the math to determine how much you spend each year on your subscriptions. While the low monthly payment makes it tempting to subscribe, the totals can really add up. For example, monthly pet boxes can be exciting to receive in the mail, but does your pet need $400 worth of treats and toys each year?
Look at Usage
Review last month’s bank account activity and make a list of your subscriptions. You may learn you’re subscribed to much more than you thought. Are you paying for five streaming services but only using two or three? Consider canceling any subscriptions you do not use on a regular basis. Subscribing and canceling is usually as easy as a click of a button, and keep in mind that canceling now does not mean canceling forever. If you pay for a streaming service that only has one show you love, cancel it until a new season is released.
Look at Practicality
Maybe a special deal enticed you to subscribe to a cosmetics or clothing box service, but now you have a drawer full of unused or unwanted items you would never have purchased yourself. Alternatively, perhaps your personalized clothing box has too many items you want to keep so the monthly shipments are blowing your budget.
It’s easy to let subscriptions continue wastefully—maybe you’ve forgotten your password, or the app won’t let you cancel from your phone and your computer is in the other room. Set aside thirty minutes to sit down and intentionally cancel unused or unneeded subscriptions. Month after month, the savings will add up.
If drastic measures are needed to take control of your finances, consider canceling all of your subscriptions for a limited time. This will allow you to better identify which subscriptions you actually use. As time passes, add back the subscriptions you deem necessary.
Being mindful of your subscriptions can help keep them under control. As new subscription services pop up, ask yourself if you really need it before clicking that button to subscribe. Set a goal to examine your subscriptions regularly and remove any that are wasting the dollars you could be putting toward your financial goals.