Make the Most of Your Subscriptions

Saving money starts with the little things, such as packing your lunch, brewing your own coffee and cooking dinners at home instead of eating out. The $9 spent on lunch, the $4.25 spent on a latte, or the cost of two large pizzas plus delivery seem nominal at the time but can add up in your bank account if you let them accumulate.

What about the slightly-more-than-nominal, ongoing monthly expenses, like your cable bill, your gym membership, your streaming services accounts, and your beauty box?

Many people love monthly subscriptions because they’re able to amortize the cost of having a service for one year over a twelve-month period. Companies love providing subscriptions because they often extend the relationship with their customers. Imagine if we had to reassess our expenses on an annual basis instead of monthly. Our $12.99 per month movie streaming service subscription becomes an annual payment of $155.88; our $99 per month gym membership is suddenly a lump-sum payment of $1,188. For many of us, continuing to pay $12.99 per month doesn’t impact us the same way that $156 might.

So if you’re looking to save money, take a closer look to make sure you are getting the most of your subscriptions for the money you are dishing out.

Cable

You now have many options when it comes to cutting your costly cable bill. In fact, streaming services are seeing a significant bump in the number of subscribers. As competition increases, cable providers are finding that more and more Americans are cutting the cord and are only paying for the content they really use.

If you’re ready to kiss your cable box goodbye, consider a device that lets you watch your favorite shows on your TV. Usually with a quick plug-in installation, you can easily sign in to your streaming accounts and start watching right away—especially if you’re already shelling out monthly payments for these services.

Even if you’re not ready to cut cable off completely, call your cable company and ask for lower rates; it’s an easy phone call that could save you some money.

Subscription Streaming Services

As much as we love subscription services, many households have more than one—and they might not need it. Think about the shows you watch regularly and consider if you really need more than one service. If you have a service for only one show, consider pausing or canceling the service until you really need it.

Gym

Gym memberships can be costly and many of us are guilty of having one without really taking advantage of the gym. If you only hit the gym a couple times per month or less, it might be worth reconsidering your monthly gym membership.

Still need the motivation and guidance provided by a traditional gym? There are lots of streaming channels—both paid and free—that offer fitness classes and programs online. Programs like Fitness Blender, Daily Burn, Streamfit, FitnessGlo, and YouTube’s BeFit are great options for those looking to do their exercise at home. While some of these services have a monthly fee, almost all are less than a gym membership—and running, walking, or biking near your home are free!

Beauty Box

Beauty box subscriptions have become popular and even large retailers are starting their own services. The content of these boxes is a surprise until they are mailed out to subscribers and the boxes typically contain expensive brand-name products. Receiving a surprise in the mail every month can be fun but it can also wreak havoc on your bank account. The cost per box can range from $10 - $30 and there’s no guarantee you will like—or even use—the majority of the products. Consider canceling your beauty box subscription and instead treating yourself to the items you really use to save yourself a good chunk of change.

We all endeavor to save our hard-earned money and subscriptions can be a great way to save—if you’re using them to your advantage. Start thinking about your subscription services as an annual charge instead of a smaller monthly bill. This quick switch in thinking can help you assess if you’re really willing to pay the yearly cost for the services you have. You can be successful in your efforts to save money and still have many of the services you enjoy.