Here is a quick reminder on the continuing journey of saving money: Watch your subscriptions! Monthly memberships will add up quickly. Take time to walk through your subscriptions and evaluate if they are worthy to be apart of your budget.
App Subscriptions: Iphones are sneaky. When you sign up for a subscription via the iTunes store, it will often keep charging your card (even if you have canceled that account!). There is a quick way to see if you are being charged for things you don’t want to. Go into the Settings on your phone. Scroll down to the iTunes and & App Store. Click on your Apple ID and press “View Apple ID”. Press manage subscriptions, and toggle on or off the subscriptions you want to keep, or even evaluate the kind of subscription you have. Often, subscriptions are in bundles. If you use that app all the time and you feel it is worth the subscription, consider upgrading to a longer subscription for a better value. However, if you aren’t using it at all, consider unsubscribing or subscribing for a lesser time.
Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Redbox Instant: There are pros and cons to each of these service. If you have regular satellite or other tv options, are these services really necessary? My family chooses not to pay for any kind of channels, so we find a few of these to be a good value. We share accounts under the house-sharing rules, and we often take time to watch our shows together whenever we are all free. But we don’t sign up for every service out there. Take time to gauge which streaming you use the most, and which ones you can let go.
Social Medias: Measure your needs and see if you really need that extra paid feature. For me, services like LinkedIn, Hootsuite, and CrowdBooster are wise business investments and I find they are worth the money I put into them. However, there are other sites that I don’t think are worth my investment.
Box Subscriptions: There is a new fad out there—monthly “box” subscriptions. Birtchbox, NatureBox, Ipsy, PopSugar’s Must Have Box. There are a lot of times that these monthly subscription of goods is a good investment—my daughter loves her Ipsy subscription. She rarely buys makeup otherwise. She considers it a good investment. However, for the more expensive boxes, like PopSugar, it is often items you don’t need, but rather items you want. Each month adds up quickly, so be sure you are taking into account if what you receive each month is worth it.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind: What is usually a temptation to buy are email subscriptions. Is your inbox flooded with pesky emails reminding you to spend money? What I have found helpful is to Roll them Up. A great site for inbox organization is unroll.me. When you sign up on this site, you are able to unsubscribe from emails you end up deleting anyway, or you are able to put all your emails into one email they will send you each day. I put in things that I like to look at every once in a while (DSW, Fabletics, JustFab,TravelZoo, Apple, RetailMeNot). This way, I am not tempted to look at the email and buy something. This helps with impulsive buying whenever they send emails about sales!
Automatic Renewing Subscriptions: When you buy items from online stores like JustFab, Fabletics, JewelMint, you have to pay attention to the policy agreements. Often, you have to manually “skip” buying an item each month, or you will be automatically charged. My daughter didn’t realize one of these sites worked this way when she bought an item for a friend. Three months later, she realized they had charged her credit card 3 times! She called customer service, had them remove the charges, and had them cancel her account on the phone. Be careful when you call these call centers. The customer service agent has been trained to up the incentive to stay each time she said no. She had to say no 9 times before they finally canceled! Go in with the plan and stick to it!
Pay Attention to “Free” Subscriptions: Often, sites will ask you to try their service for free, and sometimes we forget we were even subscribed. Beware of services that offer a free trial, but ask for your credit card information. If you think the service is something you would be interested in paying for, then try the service for free. But if you don’t like the service be sure to unsubscribe. If you forget and see the charge on your credit card, call their customer service right away. They are often very helpful and are able to reimburse your card.