American marketers have expanded subscriptions to include all sorts of products and services in addition to magazines and newspapers. Today the average consumer subscribes to several digital services, such as Netflix, Spotify, Blue Apron, Harry’s Shave Club, and more. Individually, these subscriptions may cost $10 or less per month, but collectively, they can total hundreds of dollars per year. This can take a toll on your finances, so let’s see what you can trim and save.
The subscription enticement
Subscription services are cash cows. When consumers sign up for a service or monthly mailing of a product, they supply a credit card or bank account number that is automatically debited each month. Too often, the consumer then forgets about the service but continues to be charged for it monthly.
Often subscription services such as CBS All Access or Audible offer consumers an initial free trial, after which a monthly fee kicks in. Companies understand that the average consumer will forget to cancel before the trial is up.
Studies show the average consumer spends more than $600 a year on subscriptions and that consumers consistently underestimate how much is being debited from their accounts each year.
Are you still getting value?
You may consider your subscription money well spent. Reading your daily newspaper each morning, listening to Spotify through your earbuds as you work out, and watching Netflix at night may be worth every penny you’re paying. But if you rarely have time to read those magazines, the shavers are piling up faster than you can go through them, or you simply need to get control of your budget, it’s time to make some changes.
Steps for taking control
First, look at your monthly credit card and bank statements and make a list of the subscriptions pinging your account every month, once per year, or at some other interval. Add up the total amount you are spending on subscriptions. Evaluate each service and cancel the easy ones that you will not miss. Some subscriptions are managed with a phone app and can be deleted using your phone.
Related – Five Tips for Managing Monthly Bills