As prices have crept up, and the purchasing power of money has gone down, many consumers are re-evaluating their spending and making a tighter budget. One of the spending categories taking a hit is subscriptions.
With the subscription business model, customers sign up and pay to get access to a service or product for a period of time, rather than paying per product. This model might be used for products and services including gyms, magazines, TV and music streaming, software, or meal preparation boxes.
But before you hit cancel on that subscription, check if you’ve got the financial guidance you need. At New York Life, our financial professionals can help you with many aspects of your financial well-being.
Here are five ways to keep a check on your subscription spending:
Regular monthly payments that go out of our accounts tend to be under less scrutiny than one-off payments. But now is a good time to keep track of all payments going in and out of your accounts. Start by making a list or spreadsheet of any regular subscription payments you make. Note the amount that you pay and the frequency of the payment. If you’ve signed up for a free trial but don’t intend to switch to the paid version, note the date that the free trial ends, and set a reminder to yourself to cancel the subscription trial.
Is there something on your list of subscriptions that you could do without? This might be obvious – by checking through your accounts you might even find a subscription that you no longer use but had forgotten about. For each of your subscriptions, ask yourself, is it worth it? How often do I use it? For example, if you have a monthly magazine subscription but hardly ever read it, could you instead cancel the subscription and buy a copy of that same magazine once every few months?
It might be a while since you compared prices for subscription services. Many of us tend to keep the same deals for months or years once we have signed up to something. See if you can get a better deal elsewhere, or bonuses that make it beneficial to switch. Even if you can’t, you’ll know you have the best price available. And if you do find a better deal elsewhere, you could ask your current subscription provider whether they can match it (to save you the time and hassle of switching). Look into whether there are special deals if you sign up together with someone else, or any family deals you might qualify for.
Check that your subscription isn’t included with another service that you already have. Don’t forget, this can work for seemingly unrelated products or services. For example, does your employer have an arrangement set up with a local gym where you can get discounted membership? Does your mobile phone service provider give you free access to any TV streaming services? Do your research as to the perks and discounts you already have access to that you might not be making use of.
If your subscription has a pause option, now could be a great time to take advantage of this. By pressing pause, you might realize that you don’t miss the service or product you were paying for each month. In a time of cutbacks, maybe leaving yourself a little space and time – rather than overconsuming – is not a bad thing. When it comes to the end of the pause, you might find it easy to let go of the subscription. Alternatively, you might be ready to resume it, knowing that it’s worth paying for.
High inflation rates can create some financial difficulties, for both individuals and the overall economy. At New York Life we are committed to providing useful information to help navigate every situation we can. If you need further insurance and financial guidance in this time of high inflation, connect with one of our financial professionals.
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