How to Manage All Your Monthly Subscriptions

Quick Answer

Some simple ways to manage your subscriptions and lock in potential savings include keeping a list of all your subscriptions, periodically reviewing your subscriptions and looking for discounts.

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From food-delivery apps to streaming music services, some subscriptions just make life easier—but they can also drain your budget if you aren't careful. That doesn't mean you have to cancel your favorite accounts. It's possible to keep the ones you want and find ways to reduce your total spend. Here are eight simple ways to manage your subscriptions.

1. Keep a List of All Your Subscriptions

Staying on top of your monthly subscriptions can help you better manage your accounts. For each one, jot down the cost and when the bill is due—it's an easy way to keep your budget intact and prevent a missed or late payment. You can keep track of your subscriptions by:

  • Keeping a running list on your phone
  • Adding your subscriptions to your monthly budget and reviewing it regularly
  • Setting a calendar alert to remind you of payment due dates and subscription renewal dates

Apps like Bobby and Hiatus can bring all your subscriptions together in one place.

2. Charge Subscriptions to the Same Card

If you use the same card to pay for your monthly subscriptions, all of your charges will be on one billing statement. That can help simplify your budget and make it easier to review recurring charges. You could earn additional perks if you pay with a rewards credit card. The right card can unlock cash back, points or travel rewards that you can redeem as needed. To get the most out of your card, be sure to enroll in autopay and pay off your entire balance at the end of each billing cycle. Carrying a balance on a credit card could stick you with high interest fees that negate any rewards.

3. Periodically Review Your Subscriptions

A subscription that was a great fit for you a few months ago may not feel as relevant today. For example, you may still be paying for a premium membership on an app you rarely use. Reviewing your subscriptions on a regular basis can shed light on your spending. Here are some important questions to ask yourself as you manage your subscriptions:

  • Do you use the subscription?
  • Does it bring value to your life or could you easily live without it?
  • Has the price increased? If so, does the higher price point feel worth it?

You may choose to do a subscription audit monthly or whenever you review your budget.

4. Look for Discounts

Visit the websites for new subscription providers you're interested in—you might find some discounts and promotional offers. A quick Google search of the service's name plus "discounts" or "coupons" could bring up offers through third-party websites that you may not otherwise have known about but that could save you a bundle.

You can also call your current providers to see if they'll honor any discounts. They may offer deals to students, seniors, military service members, veterans, parents and more. You won't know unless you ask.

5. Consider Bundling Your Accounts

Instead of paying for each individual subscription on its own, you may be able to bundle and save. Hulu, for example, has a trio package that includes Disney+ and ESPN+. The bundled cost is less than you'd pay for three separate monthly subscriptions. Look at your current providers to see if they have any partnerships in place. That may extend beyond apps and subscriptions. For instance, your cable provider might offer a discount for bundling your internet service.

6. Take Advantage of Free Trials

Before signing up for a new subscription, take it for a test drive with a free trial. That allows you to dive into it to see if you really like it before signing up. You may discover that it isn't worth the regular fee—or you could decide that it's a handy subscription you want to add to your budget. Just make sure you mark your calendar or set a reminder to cancel free trials before they expire. Some platforms will automatically charge you for a membership when the promotional period ends.

7. Negotiate Lower Rates

Some credit card companies will reduce your interest rate if you call and ask. The same idea may apply to your subscriptions. Contact each provider to see if they're willing to come down on the price. If you're OK with canceling, you may be able to use that as leverage—some providers might reduce your rate if it means keeping your business. Others may have no wiggle room on their prices, but it's still worth asking.

Experian BillFixer™ takes it a step further, negotiating better rates for you to help you save. You get the benefit of the reduced rates without having to do any of the work.

8. Shop Around for Better Prices

Your current subscription providers may not be the only game in town. Streaming music platforms are a great example. Apple Music, Spotify and Amazon Music all have different offerings at varying price points. Think about what you're looking for in a subscription, then compare different platforms to find the best deal for you. It could help you save money and get the most out of your subscriptions.

The Bottom Line

Being intentional about how you manage your subscriptions can lead to big savings. It begins with getting clear on what you're paying for—then finding simple ways to reduce your costs. In some cases, you may choose to cancel a subscription altogether.

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