While it’s undeniable that all these apps can help to make our lives better – pay bills, get entertained and produce a podcast even! – the flipside to that is the different financial obligations that come from the subscription fees because not all apps are free.
We want to help you manage your financial obligations that revolve around subscriptions
. This isn’t limited to the apps you have on your phone or other gadgets, but includes subscriptions for the gym, streaming services, online games, financial software, digital news portals and even some social media tools to make Instagram posts.
Follow the steps below and hopefully, you can save up to a few hundred ringgit a year by managing your subscriptions more effectively:
- Set an alarm for all the subscriptions and their renewal dates
There are subscriptions that you pay weekly, monthly and annually. It can be overwhelming to track all of them at once, so start by listing all the subscriptions you have and their payment due dates.
Set an alarm in your calendar for a week before the renewal dates so you can consider whether to continue those subscriptions. This can save you from auto-renewing the services you no longer or don’t really use. Usually, the providers will ask for your debit or credit card details to start your subscriptions and send you reminders before your card is charged for renewals. So do stay alert on this as well.
- Whenever possible, never choose an annual subscription
A lot of services offer a cheaper package for an annual subscription compared to a monthly one. Always choose a monthly subscription to give you the flexibility to cancel the following month if you no longer wish to use it, unless it is a service that you require for work or something you use every single day.
People choose an annual subscription to “set and forget” but that rule is better used for savings via auto direct debit rather than to auto-pay for your subscriptions like Spotify Premium, Youtube Premium, Netflix, etc.
You should also be mindful of “freemium” (free during the trial period + premium fees charged post-trial period) subscriptions. This concept is great as it allows you to test out the apps or software first for a short period of time before deciding to commit to them. Note the trial expiry date and remember to cancel before the subscription is confirmed.
- Sharing is caring
It is more fun when we do things together with people we love right? Especially when you get to split the bill for the monthly Zoom Premium service with your family and friends. This can help you stay disciplined as you now have a group of people to remind you of the subscription fees due.
Sharing can also maximise the usage of the subscriptions you pay. For instance, during non-work hours you may not need to access the service as frequently but your freelancer friend might be able to do so and vice versa. This sharing network can also apply to streaming services like Netflix and Spotify. Now you can take turns binge-watching favourite shows with your friends.
- Pay your subscriptions with spare change
Here’s a challenge for you: get a jar or an empty can. Save your spare change – coins and small notes and count them at the end of the month. If you are lucky, you might have enough to cover most, if not all, of the cost subscriptions you have due. That way, you are putting your spare change to good use. You will be surprised at how much spare change you can accumulate to pay for these subscriptions, making it a guilt-free transaction.
- Cancel unused subscriptions and unsubscribe from receiving promotional emails
The most important thing: cancel the subscriptions to the services that you have not used in the last few months. If you do not open the apps or use the subscribed services frequently, then most likely you can live without them.
Cancelling unused subscriptions is only the first step. The next is to unsubscribe from the app or service provider’s promotional emails as they will want to entice you with promotions to get you back on board. Just head to the bottom part of the email they send to you and click “unsubscribe” to exclude yourself from the “we miss you” emails they will be sending your way. Don’t worry, you can always re-register if you change your mind in the future.
There you have it, 5 tips to help you consume more responsibly and hopefully, can help you manage your subscriptions better. A little effort goes a long way in managing your expenses!