From Netflix to Spotify to perhaps even the newspaper, many of the goods and services we use on a daily basis are paid for through monthly subscriptions. But could you be wasting money?
Money expert Clark Howard says the automatic payments you make for subscriptions will eat a hole in your budget if you’re not careful.
“A lot of us are dying in the wallet from the $10 cut,” Clark says. “You know what the $10 cuts are? Those are the monthly subscriptions we’re signing up for here, there and everywhere. They’re called the $10 cuts because we’re slowly bleeding our wallet dry.”
Think about that for a moment: Cutting just one $10 monthly service from your budget can save $120 a year!
In this article, we’re going to look at some ways to manage your subscriptions so you can save money.
How to Manage Subscriptions and Save Money
Even if you don’t use a service for quite some time, the vendor will almost always continue to charge you. But I was pleasantly surprised recently when one company — discount airline ticket site Secret Flying — did the responsible thing and ended a subscription I was no longer using.
Because I hadn’t used the service in a number of months, Secret Flying sent me a notification telling me that it had canceled my automatic payments.
That’s certainly the exception to the rule. Most companies will continue to siphon money from your account even if you haven’t used their service in months. That’s why it’s important to take inventory regularly.
Here are four steps that Clark wants you to take so that you can regain control of your subscriptions.
Clark Howard’s Old-Fashioned Method for Managing Monthly Subscriptions
- Print out your credit card statement.
- Go through it line item by line.
- Identify your subscriptions and how much they cost.
- Cancel the ones you no longer use or feel are not worth the money.
“When you see one of those monthly subscriptions, think about it: Do you watch it? Do you go there?” he says. “If it’s no longer of value to you, cancel that subscription!”
“You’ll be amazed how much money you can save,” Clark says.
How to Manage Your Subscriptions From Your Phone
If you have a smartphone, it’s easy to manage your monthly app subscriptions from the palm of your hand. We’re going to show you how to do it on an iPhone and an Android.
How to Manage Your Subscriptions on an iPhone
If you have an iPhone or any other iOS device, you can manage your subscriptions by going to the App Store. Once there, click on your Apple ID profile and you will see a settings screen.
About halfway down, you should see “Subscriptions.” Tap it and you can easily delete subscriptions you no longer want.
How to Manage Your Subscriptions on an Android Phone
On an Android phone, launch the Google Playstore app and tap the menu in the top left corner. You’ll see “Subscriptions,” where you can cancel those you don’t want anymore.
Here Are Some Mobile Apps That Can Help You Manage Subscriptions
A few apps exist that can help you manage your subscriptions.
- Trim: Trim helps people save money by canceling old subscriptions, in addition to helping them negotiate bills with service providers when there are issues. Read more here.
- Truebill: Truebill assesses your monthly subscriptions by reviewing your bank or credit card statements. Read Team Clark’s Truebill review here.
- TrackMySubs: TrackMySubs will track up to 10 subscriptions for you for free and send you a reminder before the bills are due each month. There is a charge for tracking more than 10 subscriptions.