You already know it’s not good for your budget if you go to a concert or the movies every day, but how often do you indulge at home when it comes to music, music and television?Are you paying more than you think to enable frequent weekends of binge-watching the newest season of your favorite shows?
Today’s subscription services add up quickly. And by cancelling the ones you use least, you could save significant money each year. Keep in mind that $9.99 per month might not break your bank account; however, that’s nearly $120 annually and each rarely used subscription is money that could be in your pocket.
Although you probably don’t want to give up your all access connections to entertainment, ask yourself if you are truly getting your money’s worth. These services charge the same, no matter if you use a subscription for a hundred hours each month or zero hours each month.
Here’s how to start saving without losing your entertainment options: First, evaluate the services you use daily and weekly—if you’re using a service often and the subscription fee is providing hours of entertainment, then the outlay of dollars is worth the cost.
Next, think about the subscription services you might use once a month or less.
Maybe you’re a big fan of a talk-radio show on Sirius XM? Or maybe there’s a show on HBO or Hulu that you love? That’s great; however, do you have time to listen to talk radio? Is there anything else on that particular streaming roster that interests you? If not, then it might be more financially resourceful to investigate free podcasts you can download.
If you’re only subscribing to a service to watch one or two shows, it might make much more money sense to purchase downloads of the entire season. Being tied to a monthly subscription for a service when you rarely, if ever, watch any other of the programming on that same streaming service, it a waste of money.
Streaming services can add up quickly. We’ve put together a list of many popular subscription costs (monthly | yearly)—although the fees vary depending on the type of plan you subscribe to—so that you can see how much you’re spending each month an annually. Review which subscriptions you have:
TV & Movies:
- HBO Now costs $14.99 per month, which is $179.88 per year annually
- Hulu costs $7.99–$11.99 per month, which is $95.88– $143.88 annually
- Netflix costs $8–$12 per month, which is $96–$144 annually
- Amazon Prime Video costs $8.99–$10.99 per month, which is $107.88–$131.88 annually
- Cable TV Plans costs $50–$100+ per month, which is $600–$1200+ annually
Music & Radio: Whatever you jam, you can cut costs by narrowing down to a single service.
- Sirius XM costs $19.99 per month, which is $239.88 annually
- Apple Music costs $9.99 per month, which is $119.88 per year
- Amazon Music Unlimited costs $7.99–$9.99 per month, which is $95.88–$119.88 per year
- Spotify costs$9.99 per month, which is $119.88 per year
- Pandora costs $3.99 per month, which is $36 per year—if you can’t live without Pandora, then ensure to upgrade to an annual subscription
Someone who subscribes to all of the above might be paying over $2,435 a year! To help cut costs and still ensure there’s enough entertainment at your fingertips, narrow down to one music plan and two television services. If you already know you watch streaming more than cable, you have a chance for even bigger savings. Depending on your cable plan, going cable-free could save you more than $3 a day — that’s over a $1,000 annually!
Even switching from cable to a Live TV service can be financially beneficial. With Live TV, you can stream all available content from one app across multiple electronic devices—in other words you can watch it on a TV or on a mobile phone. Plus there are no additional boxes in your living room and equipment rental fees to pay. And because there are no subscription contracts or hidden fees, you can decide to cancel at any time without worry if you realize you don’t use the service as much as you thought you might. Most Live TV services are about $39.99 a month, or $479.88 annually, which is a significant savings over even the most basic cable packages.
Along with stopping entertainment subscriptions, there are services that can help you find other opportunities to cut costs, such as with Trim—it’s an app that can help you find subscriptions to cancel as well as automatically renegotiate provider bills (such as when the special deal ends) and provide price protection for Amazon purchases.
Even if stopping a few entertainment subscriptions doesn’t change your finances immediately, every bit of savings collectively can help you achieve financial freedom and taking this first step is the most important part. By accurately evaluating your enjoyment of subscription services, you’ll be able to decide what provides the best value for you and what seems like fluff. Plus there’s the potential to have extra money to use toward a car payment, credit card debt, a utility bill, or whatever else will be more valuable for you than a subscription you barely use.
Along with curbing some subscriptions, another great way to find some extra savings without adjusting your lifestyle too much is with home energy bills. From running your fan in a different direction to knowing when the chimney damper should be closed can cut energy usage and help you save money. Learn how you could reduce costs in your own home, while still living comfortably—take our energy IQ quiz.