We live in an age of comfort. Groceries can be delivered, clothes picked for you, and just about every TV show and movie that has ever been made can be broadcast directly into your living room. If I had the money, I could get pretty much everything I need without ever leaving my house.
Unfortunately I don’t have the money. Do you?
Since our society has fallen in love with subscription services, many of us have allowed them to take on our budget. Since it is a recurring expense, it is all too easy to sign up and forget that your card is charged every month.
It’s time to wonder if all of these subscription services are worth the money.
Are you spending too much on subscription services?
Before you can decide whether food subscriptions and delivery services are consuming too much of your budget, you need to find out how much you are spending. This is a very subjective and personal question that depends on your income, your total expenses and other goals.
View your monthly subscription and grocery delivery expenses in mintCheck that the numbers match your budget. Take the time to sort and categorize the transactions if you haven’t already done so. It can be helpful to review spending for several months as some subscription services like FabFitFun are only sent once a quarter.
Spending may also vary depending on the seasons or other external factors. You may be spending more on food delivery services during the final exams because you’re too busy planning a meal. When the seasons change and you have no clothes, you can spend more on personal styling services.
If you have a clear overview of your expenses, compare this with your income and other expenses. Spending $ 50 a week on a food kit service means nothing without context. You need to know how that compares to your other expenses.
How to reduce subscription services
If you find that you are using too many subscription services, you do not need to delete them entirely. Think about how much value each service offers for your life and prioritize where your money goes.
Make a list of all the subscription services you currently have and how much you spend on them each month. Then rank subscription and delivery services from top to bottom.
Write down how often you actually use the product or service. Be honest with yourself. The goal is to regularly receive the boxes and services that you actually use, love and enjoy. This way you can determine which services do not fit your lifestyle – or budget,
Try to be as objective and ruthless as possible here. Yes, you might like the monthly Stitch Fix box to be mailed, but do you actually keep the items you sent? Learning to cook with Blue Apron may be a worthy goal, but do you actually like the meals they send?
If you have a list of essential subscriptions, check your budget again and see how much money is left for these services. If the amount available exceeds the total cost, you are clear.
However, if the amount is greater than you can afford, it is time to return to the drawing board. If you can’t bear the thought of parting with your subscriptions, you’ll need to look at cuts that you can make in other spending categories.
How to save on subscription services
You may pay more than is strictly necessary for some of your subscription services. Most video streaming services allow you to view multiple screens at the same time to share with friends or family. Some even have student offers if you have a university email address. Your school may even have special agreements with certain providers.
If you want to keep a lot of subscription services, consider which ones you use all year round. Most subscription and delivery services make it easy to cancel and re-subscribe later.
For example, if you have a beauty box subscription and a bathroom with toiletries, stop the service until you have used most of the products. Many of these products are no longer valid. So you save money and save waste.
If you subscribe to services but only use them during a certain season, e.g. For example, if you have a streaming service tied to a seasonal sport, you’ll need to remove and re-enable it when you’re ready. You can also do this with streaming services that contain only a few shows that you are interested in. For example, if you watched Stranger Things, you can deactivate your Netflix membership without paying a penalty.
Look for alternative ways to save
If you’re looking for cheaper versions of your preferred services, you can also avoid spending overruns. Some grocery stores now have similar meal sets like Blue Apron or HelloFresh. It’s not that convenient, but it’s a much cheaper alternative.
Many companies give their customers referral codes that they can send to friends and relatives. When users use your referral codes, you get free credit or cash. For example, Barkbox offers a free month if someone signs up for a membership of six or twelve months using your referral link.
Sometimes companies have a special coupon for new customers who use referral codes, such as Stitch Fix, which provide a $ 25 bonus for both the new customer and the person who referred them.
You can share these links on social media, text, or email. Some programs have a limit on how much you can make with referral codes, but it never hurts to try. If you exceed this amount, you can apply to their official affiliate program to earn cash instead of credit.
If you cancel a program, check your bank account to make sure that you no longer pay for it. Some services occasionally charge former subscribers even after they have canceled.
Which subscription service will you cut this year? Let us know in the comments!
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