Week 2 of the Money Makeover Challenge
Are you a subscription junkie?
Are there monthly amounts that come out of your account that you’ve completely lost track of?
This week is all about those monthly subscriptions that don’t seem like much when you sign on the dotted line…. I’m talking magazines (print and digital), music subscriptions, Netflix, Audible, gym subscriptions, monthly software costs, domain names or ‘sample boxes’ (I could say a lot about these but suffice to say you are paying for marketing samples people! Save your cash!). All those reoccurring expenses that you automatically get charged for.
They may seem like small amounts – $10 a month here, $15 a month there, but of course they add up. And I found some doosies!
What you need to do:
1. Scan through your transaction accounts and credit card statements. What subscriptions do you pay for monthly?
2. Do you actually use the service or product?
If not, that’s an easy one. Email or call the provider and cancel the service. With any luck, this should only take a few minutes.
So here was my beauty of an unused service…. (this is an embarrassing one!) A fax service I was still paying for from when I ran my accounting practice. This did take me a good half an hour to sort out, because I couldn’t find the log on details! But it is a saving of $120 a year, so worth the effort.
The other service I am removing is monthly hosting costs for an old email account. This is proving to be a pain in the butt to remove – I am having to go through and change over email addresses for important contacts (probably a few hours work realistically). Total saving will be $156 a year. And one less email account to manage. Again, worth the effort.
3. So you use it, but do you use it ‘enough’?!
Yep, I’m talking all these entertainment subscriptions, gym memberships, magazine subscriptions. Perhaps you watch a movie on Netflix once a month. Or you have a gym membership, but you only go once a week. Is the subscription worth it? Can you find an alternative? Perhaps you can buy a ‘per visit’ pass to the gym and you will end up better off. Or a pay as you use service, like paying for each movie you watch.
I decided to cancel our Netflix subscription. We rarely watch TV or movies, there is ample free content out there, and when we do look at Netflix we end up scanning through pages of movies that don’t really interest us creating decision fatigue and wasting time. I would rather pay for a movie every now and then that I really want to see, rather than mediocre content. Savings on Netflix – $120 a year.
[Disclaimer – I will be reinstating the subscription when the last season of Suits are available to watch! We all have our vices!!!!]
4. Are there free or cheaper alternatives?
Perhaps you still like listening to audio books or watch movies or work out. Are there cheaper or free alternatives? Is there a free exercise group? Can you organise something with a friend? Can you borrow your audiobooks, magazines or kid’s movies via the local library resources? We have been embracing the library’s movies recently for the kids. Reminds me of when I use to go with dad to the video store as a kid and stand there with great excitement deciding what to pick.
SUMMING IT UP!
Overall, I cancelled 3 services – the e-fax service, Netflix and a domain hosting. My yoga membership escaped the chopping block for now.
I also decided to avoid signing up the kids to weekly swimming lessons, opting for the week intensive classes in the school holidays and occasional casual classes. We always miss a good portion of lessons because of colds, and conflicting appointments. We effectively wasted at least $150 last year in unused lessons.
There are a few other monthly expenses I’d like to review – data storage and software subscriptions for example – but those will have to wait until next round!
How long did it take me?
All in all, I spent just over two hours on this one. The real time zapper is proving to be changing email addresses over so that I can cancel the domain hosting.
Cancelling services like Netflix is super easy – one click of the button and you are done. The pain came from having to search for lost passwords and log on details for accounts, which of course is directly correlated to my lack of organisation!!!
Not much time?
Just pick one subscription, or kids activity, or gym membership and change it up.
Total money saved?
E-fax service – $120
Netflix – $120
Domain hosting – $156
Change to swimming lesson scheduling! – est. $290
Total savings per year – $686
SO is there savings for you to be made when it comes to subscriptions? Any hacks you can share?
Join the conversation – here or on the Facebook Page.
Here’s to living your rich life! xo