(DailyThrive.com) – It seems harmless and convenient at the time: you click to subscribe to a new video game tier or an interesting movie app. Before you know it, there could be an extra $100 or more coming out of your account each month.
How did this happen?!
The truth is that we’re surrounded by subscription options these days. It’s way too easy to sign up for a free trial and then forget about it — until you’re sitting there wondering where all your money went, anyway. Here’s how to beat the system at its own game.
Money Better Spent Elsewhere
If you have a couple of subscriptions and you truly enjoy reaping the benefits each month, that’s ok. But it’s still smart to contact subscription companies about getting a better rate.
On the other hand, if you have many subscriptions, and wind up with late or overdraft fees frequently, it’s time to make a change. The money you’re losing paying those fees and unused subscriptions could go into a high-yield savings account for retirement or an emergency fund. There are plenty of ways to make your money work for you as opposed to draining your funds dry.
What Exactly Are You Dealing With?
Now it’s time to take a hard look at all of those subscriptions. You can even use an app to track your expenses. Open up your email and your bank statement to see what you’re dealing with. Copy down where your money is going every month and take inventory in what subscriptions you are actively using.
Sure, it may only be a few dollars here or there. Or maybe you’re paying one huge annual fee. Whatever your situation, if you’re not actively using the program, it’s time to evaluate if you want to cancel or renew.
Read the Fine Print
The advertisement for subscription-based services is very alluring. The attractiveness of getting a good deal on a product or service makes you want to click “yes” for a six or 12 month subscription. Some programs do offer a cost savings of more time, too. This makes it way too easy to give in.
Be sure to read the terms and services. There may be additional free trials involved that will expire and eventually be charged to your credit card. Renewals are also a common pain point — some subscriptions do so automatically without asking you first.
How to Manage Subscriptions
You may already have a monthly budget you follow to a T. But that doesn’t mean you aren’t still paying hidden charges; they’re often hidden under confusing expense categories. This is why it’s a good idea to go through your bank statements to look at every transaction. Some subscription fees are recurrent while others are quarterly or annually. It pays to take a closer look.
Keeping all your money secure and growing in your bank account is important. If you’re wondering why your money seems to disappear when you check your bank balance, dig deeper. Now is the perfect time to do a personal audit on your financials. Who knows, by this time next year, you could be seeing a lot more green!
~Here’s to Your Success!
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