5 Tips to Save Money on Your Online Subscriptions
Every month, you spend a good chunk of money on Spotify, Netflix, Disney+, Xbox Game Pass, and who know how many other subscriptions. You likely have the COVID-19 lockdowns to thank for this excessive spending, as you had more time to try new things.
But with so many services these days, the costs can quickly start to add up. Cutting back on your digital expenses will undoubtedly help. Here are five tips you can use to save money on your online subscriptions.
1. Eliminate Services With Similar Purposes
On the surface, spending a couple of dollars here and there might not seem like a lot. But if you take a closer look and consider what you pay throughout the year for all your subscriptions, it can quickly add up and cause severe damage to your finances. This is why it’s vital that you trim the fat by getting rid of some unnecessary online subscriptions.
You can start by taking stock of all your subscribed services and identifying those with similar purposes. To help with this task going forward, consider paying for all your digital subscriptions using the same payment method. This way, you can easily track your recurring payments in one place.
So, after reviewing your list of subscriptions, ditch the one you use the least if you’re paying for services with overlapping functions. For example, if you pay for two or more note-taking apps like Evernote and Ulysses, or project management tools like Asana and ClickUp, you can save money by picking the one you use the most.
You can do the same for your entertainment subscriptions, especially streaming services, as you might not have the time to keep up with them simultaneously. If there are specific shows you’d like to watch from particular platforms, you can plan how and when you will watch them and alternate between services accordingly.
2. Consider Cheaper Plans
There is no guarantee that a more expensive subscription service will be better than a cheaper one. Sometimes, the lower-priced option can provide you with better value for your money, so it’s always worth considering this possibility and researching before you commit to anything.
You can start by taking a close look at the features offered by each subscription service and decide which ones are most useful. Once you’ve determined your must-haves, you can narrow down your options and better compare the prices of the remaining contenders.
If you are on a tight budget, or you want to save money for more important expenses, picking cheaper alternatives, especially when it comes to entertainment subscriptions, can be a very effective strategy. In fact, you would be surprised at how many free video streaming services you can find online.
This is not to say that you should only look for free services, as there are several reasons why you should pay for your apps. However, if you’re trying to save money, it’s definitely worth considering all your options before making a decision.
In addition to picking cheaper alternatives, you could consider downgrading your current subscription plans to save money. For example, Netflix offers four different tiers: Mobile, Basic, Standard, and Premium.
If you primarily stream movies on your phone or tablet, you can save money by opting for the Mobile plan. You could also pick the standard plan over the premium one if you’re okay with watching movies with 1080p resolution or if your computer/ TV lacks 4K support.
3. Leverage Free Trials
When it comes to online subscription services, one of the best ways to save money is to take advantage of free trials, especially when trying out a new service. This way, you can test out the features and benefits of the app without having to commit to anything long-term.
You will be glad to know that some of the best streaming services out there offer free trials, including Hulu and Amazon Prime Video, with a few giving you up to a month to test things out and others giving you a week. You know what this means, right? This allows you to watch some of your best shows for several months by rotating between different services without paying a penny!
However, you will need to set up a system to cancel your subscription before the trial period expires, as you will be automatically charged for the service once it ends. One way to do this is to set a reminder on your phone for the day before the trial ends. This way, you can cancel the subscription in time and avoid being charged.
Better yet, you can automate this repetitive task by using a subscription tracking tool like Frequent to keep track of all your digital subscriptions and free trials in one place. After adding your digital subscriptions and selecting their renewal cycles, Frequent will automatically calculate the next billing date and remind you to cancel the subscription if you don’t want it anymore.
Download: Frequent for iOS (Free)
4. Take Advantage of Group and Family Plans
As we have hinted above, paying for one or two online subscriptions might not seem like much. But when you add up all the different services you’re subscribed to over an extensive period; the costs quickly become overwhelming.
Thankfully, several premium subscriptions offer group and family plans, which can help you save a lot of money in the long run. If you have a big family or live with roommates, you can take advantage of these group plans to save money on your subscription.
Netflix, for example, has a premium plan that allows up to four users to watch movies and TV shows simultaneously, while its standard plan supports two devices at the same time.
5. Pay for Annual Subscriptions
After reviewing your list of online subscriptions and selecting those you like to keep and use for the long haul, consider paying for annual subscriptions, if you can, instead of opting for monthly payments.
That’s so because many companies offer significant discounts for customers willing to commit to an annual plan. So, if you have the money upfront, it’s worth considering this option, as you will save more in the long run.
Enjoy Your Favorite Online Subscriptions While Saving Some Money
With so many subscription services to choose from, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to justify spending money on unnecessary online subscriptions. Some of these digital subscriptions may command a more significant portion of your income, which leaves you with less money to save.
Every dollar counts, and it’s important to be mindful of how you spend your money, especially on non-essential items. You can leverage the tips above to save some money on your online subscriptions.