15th May 2019
Apple Music, Bella Box, iCloud storage, Dollar Shave Club… Do you know your subscription alphabet?
There is a subscription for every letter, for every customer need and every desire. Chances are you have at least one or two under your belt, but have you ever stopped to take stock of your subscriptions and how much they are costing you each month?
In 2018, Waterstone Group ran some research around this subject. Their survey of 2500 American’s found people are spending, on average, $237.33 per month on subscriptions each month. While we don’t have the same research for New Zealand, the subscription offerings are almost identical across both countries, if not more expensive here in NZ. So we’re gonna use $237.33 as a baseline for this article.
I don’t know about you, but $237.33 is a substantial amount to be spending every month that I don’t often account for. Subscriptions are easy - sign up once, put in your bank's details and, hey presto you’re good to go. Their ‘set and forget’ nature means we do forget how much we are getting charged each month. $12 a month seems like nothing until you realise it equates to $144 in a year or a nights accommodation in New York.
Taking the time to catalogue your subscriptions will not only cause you to reflect on if you really need a membership to three streaming services, but could also save you a fair chunk of money that could be spent on better things, like say travel?
Now we get it, some subscriptions are non-negotiable. Everyone knows free to air TV is just a constant repeat of cooking and dating shows, so some form of streaming service is a necessity. Likewise, if you’re a sporting nut, often subscription services are you only chance to cheer on your team short of living at the local TAB. With this in mind, we can guarantee there are few subscriptions you could probably trim off.
Still not motivated to cull the subs? What if we told you that cutting back the $237.33 per month would save you a whopping $2,847.96. That is an overseas holiday, or more specifically*:
- Two return tickets to Los Angeles
- Three return tickets to Singapore
- A 14-day tour through nine countries in Europe
- A full week’s skiing in Queenstown in winter
- Two weeks in Bali
Pretty decent, hey?
So, how do you go about saving this cash? It’s pretty simple, just follow these steps.
1. List out ALL of your subscription services.
Check your bank statements and credit card bills for any monthly or weekly subscription withdrawals. Go beyond TV and music and consider fashion subscription boxes, cloud storage, gaming services, diet and fitness apps, newspapers, magazines, web hosting, meal-kits, dating apps and lifestyle subscriptions boxes.
2. Be brutal and consider which of these are really necessary
Music streaming can probably stay, but Tinder plus and the diet app? Why not go out for a run instead - you might just meet the love of your life in the park and kill two birds with one stone. Meal-kits are convenient, but shopping in the markets only requires an hour of your time can save you a lot of money.
3. Cut anything you don’t use weekly.
This one is simple. If you haven’t used it within the last week, get rid of it.
4. Limit yourself to one subscription per category.
Once again, you don’t need Netflix, Foxtel Now, Stan AND Hulu. If you get bored with one, cancel your subscription before changing to another. We promise it will be there if you decide to come back.
5. Keep track of your current and new subscriptions.
Be sure to avoid the service and expense in your monthly budget, that way you can track the spending and continue to weigh up if it is a necessity.
It might be hard, but we can guarantee you’ll be thanking yourself for squashing those few subscriptions when you’re en route to the States or galavanting across Europe.
Keen on some more travel budgeting advice? We’ve got some epic tips on how you can save for two holidays a year.
Oh, and you know what is free to subscribe to? The Travel Money Club! Better yet, joining puts you in the running to win $500^ EVERY month. Sign me up!
This blog is provided for information only and does not take into consideration your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether the information and suggestions contained in any blog entry are appropriate for you, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs. While we take reasonable care in providing the blog, we give no warranties or representations that it is complete or accurate, or is appropriate for you. We are not liable for any loss caused, whether due to negligence or otherwise, arising from the use of, or reliance on, the information and/or suggestions contained in this blog. *Costs are estimations only and are valid on 14 May 2019. Europan tour pricing is based on Contiki European Highlights tour. ^Terms and conditions apply to the Travel Money Club. See https://www.travelmoney.co.nz/subscribe for more information.