When you live in a world of digital convenience (welcome to the age f the Internet folks!) it feels like there are new apps and services that promise to expand our worlds with the click of a button popping up each and every day, right?
Need new hair products? Curlbox for $20 a month.
Ready to ditch the cable bill? Netflix and Hulu for $9.99 each.
Yoga, barre, and booty boot camp classes that I never make it to? Classpass for $95.00 a month.
And since I don’t have time to go the store anymore to shop for shoes we’ll throw in that Just Fab membership for $39.95.
These sneaky but smart subscription packages that self-deduct their timely payments from your bank account have a way of adding up — so much so that you may not even realize how detrimental the effects actually are on your saving goals. Kris and Betsy Smith, a couple from Brooklyn, New York, recently discovered that they had lost nearly $7,500 to unused subscriptions in the past 18 months. Because the two online entrepreneurs use several software subscriptions to run their businesses, they hopped onto the digital subscription train and started racking up multiple, unused accounts that were unknowingly taking hits to their bank accounts.
“It’s such a slow leak that its not noticeable until one day you decide to get your act together and are shocked,” Betsy told Forbes. “It’s like eating a little too much every day. It’s not noticeable until you step on the scale months later. All those little impulsive decisions add up.”
The biggest leak for the couple came from free-trial subscriptions that they had signed up to use for work…and forgot to unsubscribe from. These are things that we typically don’t notice until the need to save pennies becomes a big deal.
“When we have money flowing we don’t keep a close eye on our bottom line,” Betsy told Forbes. “When we are broke we are better at monitoring and pinching.”
If you’ve been wondering how you can save extra money each month then it’s time to take a closer look to not only where your money is coming form but where it’s going. Here’s how you can calm the subscription junkie in you and stop the financial leak:
- Take a financial audit of all your subscription packages. Write it down a list. Then decide what you need versus what you want. If you can live without it, nix it from your list and add it back when you can actually afford it.
- Create a calendar alert each time you sign up for a free-trial of a subscription package. Set the alert for two days before the end of the subscription to give yourself enough time to make a fair decision as to whether or not you need the service. Sometimes a one-time usage of the service is all you need.
- Split your subscription among your friends. Have two friends that love shoes just as much as you do? Split the cost of a monthly shoe subscription by allowing your friends to pick out a pair with you each month. That way you can keep the luxe in your life for less!
- Pare down services. Do you really need the $20 gym pass that allows you to visit all the locations in a given city that you actually never visit? Look at your subscriptions to see what services you can remove. Paring down is another way to save some dollars and lighten the load on your wallet.
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