Understanding the Hidden Dangers
Many services ask you to pay a few pounds every month to use them. They may seem convenient and affordable, but they can have some dangers too. This article will explain the risks that come with monthly subscriptions, so you can make smarter choices about how you spend your money.
The main danger of monthly subscriptions is that they can make you spend a lot of money without realising it. Each subscription might not seem expensive on its own, but when you have many of them, the costs add up. This can leave you with less money for other important things. Sometimes, people forget to cancel free trial subscriptions before they end, and they end up getting charged without wanting to. £25 a month might not seem very much, but it’s £300 for the year!
Another problem is that you might not actually use everything you pay for. You might sign up for things like streaming services or gym memberships, but end up hardly using them. This means you’re wasting money on things you don’t really need. Also, subscriptions can make you feel like you have to use them even if you don’t find them valuable anymore. This makes you spend money on things you don’t really enjoy or need.
Having too many subscriptions can be stressful and confusing. Keeping track of all the different renewals dates can be a lot to handle. This can lead to mistakes, like missing payments or forgetting to cancel subscriptions you don’t want anymore. It can also clutter your email inbox and make it harder to see important messages. Dealing with all these subscriptions takes time and energy away from other important things in your life.
While monthly subscriptions offer convenience, it’s best to try and cut back. By being careful with your subscriptions and considering alternatives, you can make better choices and have more control over your finances and daily life.
What to do with your subscriptions
- Write down all your monthly subscriptions on a sheet of paper (you may need to check all your statements including PayPal).
- Add them all up and multiply by 12. Imagine what you could do with this money! Pay off some debts or treat yourself to something special.
- Go through each one and ask yourself:
- Do I really need it? Be harsh.
- Could I get a cheaper version?
- Could I share the subscription with friends or family?
- Ask your friends how they watch videos, series and sports. Maybe there are cheap services out there that will cover all the bases.
- Cancel the ones you can do without immediately.
- For subscriptions that have a period to run, set a date in your diary to cancel at the most appropriate time.
- Check if you have any expensive insurance add-ons or any other recurring payments.
Examples of savings
- Cancel Netflix and use a family members account.
- Reduce the tariff on your mobile phone contract. Or switch supplier.
- Cancelling your TV licence. You don’t need a TV licence for owning a TV (for streaming and watching pre-recorded programmes). You can’t watch live TV, record live TV or watch BBC iPlayer without a licence). Do you own research. The TV Licensing’s annual report showed that 1.96 million households across the UK stopped paying the fee in 2022.
- When you ask to cancel various subscriptions, companies will often offer you deals to stay.
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