Many of the services we use on a daily basis are set up as monthly subscriptions.
Whether it’s Netflix, Spotify or the daily newspaper, the various things we subscribe to are taking bits and pieces of our paychecks each month.
Money expert Clark Howard says if we’re not careful, subscriptions can get out of hand and end up costing us a lot more than we’re aware of.
“A lot of us are dying in the wallet from the $10 cut,” the savings guru says. “You know what the $10 cuts are? Those are the monthly subscriptions we’re signing up for here, there and everywhere and they’re called the $10 cuts because we’re slowly bleeding our wallet dry.”
Think about it for a moment. Cutting a $10 monthly service saves you $120 over a year and declutters your budget!
In this article, we’re going to look at some ways to manage your subscriptions and hopefully save you money by cutting the ones you no longer use.
How to manage subscriptions and save money
When you don’t use a service for a particular period of time, a handful of companies are doing the responsible thing and ending the subscription for you. This happened to me recently with the discount airline ticket site Secret Flying.
Because I hadn’t used the service in a number of months, Secret Flying sent me a notification telling me that they had canceled my automatic payments.
But very few companies will actually end unused or underused subscriptions and will continue to siphon money from your account.
Clark Howard’s old-fashioned method for managing monthly subscriptions
The first step toward stopping that monthly flow of your money to subscription services you may no longer use is to understand what you’re dealing with.
Clark would like you to regain control of your subscriptions. Here’s what he wants you to do:
- Print out your credit card statement
- Go through it line item by line item
- 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.
But did you know that you can also manage many of your monthly app subscriptions directly from your phone?
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 midway down, you should see “Manage subscriptions.” Click it and you can easily delete subscriptions you’re no longer interested in.
The process works similarly on a desktop.
How to manage your subscriptions on Android devices
On an Android phone, just launch the Google Playstore app and click on My Apps. You’ll see My Subscriptions, where you can cancel subscriptions you no longer find are worth the money.
This can be done via desktop as well.
Here are some other apps that can help you manage subscriptions
There are also mobile apps that can help get you out of subscriptions. Here are a few notable ones:
- Trim: This app helps people cancel old subscriptions, in addition to helping you negotiate bills with services providers when there are issues with services
- SubscriptMe, available only for iOS, scans your inbox for transaction receipts to give you an overview of your subscription spending
- 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.
Here are some more articles you might enjoy from Clark.com:
- Automatic bill-pay: How it works and how to do it safely
- This tool negotiates with your cable and internet provider to lower your bill
- Read this before you sign up for a ‘risk-free’ trial