How To Manage Your Monthly Subscriptions To Save Money

Written by |
Advertisement

If you’re like me, keeping up with the many monthly subscription payments coming out of my account can be taxing. To make sure I’m not wasting money, I’ve had to come up with a process to keep track of these withdrawals.

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.

4 Easy Ways To Manage Your Subscriptions and Save Money

In this article, I’ll share some ways to manage your subscriptions so you can save money.

For starters, here’s Clark’s four-step process to help weed out outdated subscriptions.

Use Clark’s Old-Fashioned Method for Managing Monthly Subscriptions

  1. Print out your credit card statement.
  2. Go through it line item by line.
  3. Identify your subscriptions and how much they cost.
  4. 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?” Clark says. “If it’s no longer of value to you, cancel that subscription!”

Manage Game and App Subscriptions From Your Phone

If you have a smartphone, it’s easy to manage your monthly app and game subscriptions. I’m going to show you how to do it on an iPhone and on an Android.

How To Manage Your Subscriptions on an iPhone

If you have an iPhone or any other iOS device, you can manage your game and app 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.

Manage subscriptions on Apple iPhone

How To Manage Your Subscriptions on an Android Phone

On an Android phone, launch the Google Play Store app and tap the menu. Although the steps vary depending on the phone and which version of the Android operating system you have, you should see “Subscriptions” or “Payments and Subscriptions.” That’s where you can manage the subscriptions you’ve purchased through Google Play.

Manage subscriptions in Google Play Store

Use Your Phone’s Calendar App

Android phones and iPhones both have calendar apps that let you create calendar events. When I start a subscription, I create an event in my Apple Calendar app to remind me when the trial period or subscription expires. I use that reminder to decide whether to keep the service or not. That way, I don’t forget!

Advertisement

As you know, 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 when one company, discount airline ticket site Secret Flying, 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.

Secret Flying subscription cancellation
Screenshot via PayPal.com

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 services in months. That’s why I’ve taken to using the calendar method.

Use Apps and Websites To Track Your Subscriptions

There are a few apps and websites exist that can also help you manage your subscriptions:

  • Trim: Trim helps people save money by canceling old subscriptions and can also help negotiate bills with service providers when there are issues. Read how Trim can save you money.
  • Rocket Money: Formerly Truebill, Rocket Money assesses your monthly subscriptions by reviewing your bank or credit card statements. Read Team Clark’s in-depth Rocket Money review.
  • 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.

Use a Separate Account

Another method I use to keep a handle on my many subscriptions is by keeping them all in a separate account.

As you know, all subscriptions are not created equal. Some subscriptions – Costco, Youtube TV, or Amazon Prime – you may be intent on having for a while. Other subscriptions, such as FlexJobs or Netflix, you may want only temporarily.

A separate account gives you a chance to watch the subscription(s) more closely. You also don’t have to worry about withdrawals constantly coming from an account that is more critical to your finances.

For my subscriptions, I use my PayPal account linked to a checking account. The reason I do that is that PayPal notifies me via email every time a withdrawal happens, which helps me stay abreast of what’s going on in the account.

Final Thoughts

By putting the above steps in action, you can keep track of the automatic payments coming out of your account.

Read how budgeting tools can help you manage all your money.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Welcome bonuses can be a great way to boost the value of a credit card. Best Credit Card Welcome Bonuses for 2023 - If you're in the market for a new credit card in 2023, you may be hoping to cash in on the hundreds of dollars in sign-up bonuses offered to new customers. Welcome bonuses and offers are a marketing tool that…
The best cell phone plans include Tello, Mint Mobile, Visible, T-Mobile, Consumer Cellular and more Best Cell Phone Plans in 2023: The Cheapest Plan for Every Need - Team Clark ranks the best cell phone plans and deals! See our favorites for unlimited data, families and cheap plans starting at $10/month.