One of the biggest culprits of unnecessary spending is subscriptions — be they magazines, gyms, dating apps or streaming services, the average American consumer has five paid memberships, according to PYMNTS CNBC pointed out that most people spend an extra $133 per month than they realize on these lagging subscriptions. CNBC also stated 42% have forgotten they’re still paying for a membership that they don’t use. For millennials its even more extreme, as Statista found this age group has 17 or more subscriptions.
Part of the problem is the explosion in app services in the past decade — for streaming alone, you can choose from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Disney+, Peacock and numerous others. There’s competing apps in every category and developers bank on the fact that they can lock you in and you’ll keep paying without even knowing it. CNBC noted 86% have their subscriptions on autopay.
Helpful tools like Truebill and Mint can help you view your portfolio of subscriptions and assess which ones you can unload to save nearly $150 a month. Here are six that you might want to put on the chopping block:
1. HelloFresh (Savings: $49.96-$215 a week)
Meal kits tout convenience, but aren’t always the personal chef they’re cracked up to be. Options like HelloFresh offer pre-planned meals and packaged quantities of the items you’ll need to prepare the meal, but you still have to cook it. So, how much time and money are you really saving?
Plus, if you don’t estimate correctly (you can choose boxes for two or four people, up to six times a week), you’re going to have a lot of leftovers and unnecessary waste food waste. And singles may be wasting money regardless, as meal kits normally cater to couples and families by providing a minimum of two servings.
2. Match.com (Savings: $18.99-50.71 a month)
Dating apps are a dime a dozen and many singles are on more than one — per Healthy Framework, 75.4% of daters are active on multiple apps. You can save money by only using free apps instead of ones that charge for subscriptions (as Match.com does). But even then, the subscription doesn’t always give you 100% access, as there are still premium options that cost an upgrade. Try other options like Hinge, Bumble and OKCupid first and you might find they fit your search for your perfect match.
3. Netflix (Savings: $9.99-$19.99 a month)
Netflix is on the very high end for subscription service charges, as it can cost up to $20 a month — is it worth it? Considering other apps charge a fraction of its cost for similar high-quality programming, the best option is to live without it when you can (perhaps in between the releases of your favorite shows or movies).
4. Classpass (Savings: $19-199 a month)
The beauty of Classpass is that there are a wide variety of fitness classes available — though that may be its downfall. Many experts have pointed out that consistency is key to maintaining a fitness plan, so having a revolving door of gyms may not be the most useful way to spend your time and money. While the app offers different tiers of credits for different prices, you may find you need more credits than you enrolled for which can cost extra.
On the flipside, you can only roll over credits by one month, so purchasing too many is also wasting money. Rather than Classpass, consider home equipment (resistance bands, hand weights, yoga mat) and find free instruction on YouTube.
5. Spotify (Savings: $9.99 a month)
Spotify is a godsend for many who listen to music and podcasts daily. For those with long commutes or who prefer constant background noise at their 9-5, the premium subscription price of $9.99 a month may be worth it. However, you could save even more without the premium option and still listen to music and podcasts — with commercials, of course. As GOBankingRates reported, there are other ways to get Spotify for free, too.
6. Bark Box (Savings: $35 a month)
Pets are like family, but they’re not as needy as we make them out to be. While a Bark Box subscription is a nice idea (it comes stuffed with toys, treats and more goodies for your furry friends), it may be a waste of money to indulge that much every month. Especially if your dog is one that likes to destroy toys or loses interest after a few days. Instead, bring your pooch with you to the dog store a few times a year and let them sniff out the toys they really want while saving yourself $420.
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