As you gear up for your 2020 financial goals, consider taking a look at how much you spend on subscription services in order to cut some unnecessary spending out of your monthly budget. In fact, a new study reveals that most Americans vastly underestimate how much they spend on subscriptions by a whopping 197%. To get a holistic view of how much you actually spend on recurring services, consider making these three simple moves.
You might think the biggest culprits siphoning off your budget each month are streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. With more and more streaming options hitting the market (Disney+, anyone?) these expenses can quickly add up. But don’t forget all of the other categories that fall under automatic charges each month. Music, subscription boxes, gym memberships, cloud storage, food deliveries, and smartphone app charges all eat away at your budget.
Once you realize how much you’re spending on subscriptions monthly, cut back on the extra services you don’t use frequently. Doing this audit isn’t just a one-time task; instead try to make it at least a quarterly habit. After all, you’re likely to add new expenses as your interests shift and you should make sure you’re still using those existing subscriptions. Set a calendar reminder to unsubscribe from unused services on a regular basis. There are also a variety of apps that review your subscriptions and prompt you to cancel if you haven’t used them recently.
As you free up additional cash from subscription services, don’t spend it on extraneous things. Assign that money to a new savings goal to stay motivated and mindful of your spending. Try using this streaming calculator to determine how much those monthly costs add up over a lifetime. Seeing the total figure over the course of decades illuminates how much you could save up for other worthwhile goals.
Subscription services aren’t a bad thing. They’re convenient and can keep you from spending on more expensive items, like going out to the movies or buying every new album you like. On the other hand, it’s smart to keep track of this type of spending. By regularly auditing your recurring expenses, you can ensure you’re spending (and saving) wisely.