One of the things I’ve been doing in working on my budget is taking a hard look at my regular expenses and considering whether or not to cancel recurring subscriptions. We all have those little items in our budget that we pay for every month, and it’s easy enough to think that five dollars here or there doesn’t really matter, but those small things do add up.
What Subscriptions Did I Cancel?
When looking at my budget, I realized I had a lot of small subscription payments under $10. So I took a look and made a decision on each one. I realized that I no longer cared about the Discovery+ subscription, and I rarely read the New York Times anymore. Those were easy cancellations.
One place where I struggled when considering whether to cancel recurring subscriptions was those funding smaller creators. I support a few creators on Patreon and through Substack. But in some cases, I was no longer enjoying the work that the creators were doing – not that they were doing anything wrong, my interests had just shifted. So in some cases, I cancelled my subscriptions, and in others, I reduced the amount I was supporting.
I also cancelled one big subscription. For years I’ve had a membership at Massage Envy, which gave me credits for a monthly massage. When I was actively training for triathlons, this was a godsend. But as of late, while the massages were enjoyable, scheduling had become so much more difficult and some months, I was unable to even get an appointment, meaning that my credits were stacking up. I didn’t want to cancel the recurring subscription because if I did that, I lost the credits that had built up – but I realized that I was just continuing to throw money at the problem and was never going to catch up – and I wasn’t enjoying the services anymore. So I decided to just cancel the membership, and yes, lose the credits I had accumulated, but I wouldn’t be spending any more money.
What Subscriptions Did I Keep?
I did keep a few of my Patreon subscriptions – some Podcast creators that I enjoy supporting and a few other creators. I also kept some phone apps that I use regularly and a Substack newsletter that I adore. And of course, we have some household streaming subscriptions that weren’t even in question. But I am going to make a point to keep an eye on subscriptions. It’s easy to ignore a monthly $5 charge, but that’s $60 a year. It certainly adds up.
Making It Easy
To figure out where my subscriptions were, I just took a hard look at my credit card statements. Now, there are apps out there that you can download that claim that they will find and cancel the subscriptions for you. These apps aren’t free. So why bother with them when this is something you can easily do yourself. The hardest subscription for me to cancel was the Massage Envy membership, where I had to go in and sign a paper, but it was also the most expensive subscription. Everything else I was able to do online.
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Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.
i cancel all those little subscriptions linked too tv services I wasn’t even watching anymore. Those things add up. Theres plenty of free TV around.