When it first started, being a “cord cutter” was a rare thing. You were out of place in our culture for not having a cable or satellite tv subscription. Or for the extreme cord cutters, you may have even canceled your landline telephone service.
But as the rise of digital services like Netflix took off, a larger and larger part of the population became cord cutters. Why pay $80/month for cable, when you can get a large number of shows through Netflix at $10/month?
And as more people in your household had their own cell phone, the landline phone service became much less relevant.
So suddenly, everybody is “cutting the cord!” News story after news story talked about how frugal and thrifty it is to join this revolution.
With so many options for streaming subscriptions, there was an option for everyone. Netflix. Amazon Prime. Hulu. HBO Go…etc. And that was just for TV shows! Other services for other industries were popping up as well!
Death By A Thousand Subscriptions
And suddenly we find ourselves bleeding our budget with subscriptions. With dozens of monthly bills being auto-withdrawn from our bank accounts.
We have TV streaming services, music services, cell phone plans (with installment pricing to boot), news subscriptions, app subscriptions, software subscriptions, and even “clothing box” subscriptions.
The added costs of all these subscriptions can easily add up to a couple thousand dollars each year.
Even I, Mr. Simple Living Daily himself, have $72/month in service subscriptions and $65/month in cell phone bills. Money that comes out of the budget each month, no matter how much I utilize the service. Adding up to $1,644 a year!
Most of these subscriptions are very easy to sign-up for. They are also very easy to get forget to cancel long after we stopped using them. In fact, having a large portion of inactive users is a strategic part of subscription-based business models.
So as we move into this new subscription era, it’s important that you remain diligent. On a regular basis, you should:
- Do A Subscription Audit – Write down all of the subscriptions that you are paying for. If you are already doing a budget, that is a great place to start. Otherwise, I’d recommend looking back a few months in your bank statements.
- Cancel Services You Don’t Use – Be ruthless in stopping services that are not benefiting you anymore. It’s important to think beyond just the “small” monthly
cost,and multiply the cost over a few years. You can always re-subscribe if you need to.