Have you seen an ad for some type of subscription service today? Most likely the answer is yes. From streaming services to clothing companies, it seems like everyone has made a subscription service. Even most apps these days have a subscription feature if you want to unlock the best features. A study by Forbes found that among the most popular subscription services in 2018 were Ipsy, Dollar Shave Club, and Amazon Subscribe & Save. While a couple dollars a month for a service seems fine, most of them add up to at least $100 a year and having multiple subscriptions can mean hundreds of dollars spent over a year.
How do they make money?
- Guarantee themselves income for a certain number of months instead of a one time purchase.
- Often people forget that they are being charged on a credit card and keep the service longer.
- If you have to call to cancel your box, they will try to talk you out of it for a long time.
- Increase profits by offering “upgraded” subscriptions such as no ads or exclusive content.
Do you really need it?
- Think about the Latter Factor here (discussed in the “Worried About Your Latte?” post previously).
- That small number builds up over the months and if you have multiple subscriptions, think about cutting down to save money throughout the year.
- Subscription services know how to market their products these days. Their ads make it sound like such a great deal that you can save so much money with. But realistically, take a step back, and ask yourself “Do I really need or really want it?”
- I’ve found myself logging onto some sites because I’ve seen an Ad. They show the product worth as being double what you pay, and everything looks so neat. Then I really think about it and I realize I wouldn’t use half the stuff in the box. It’s the fun of receiving the package and looking at everything that draws me in, but I realize I’d rather save the money to buy myself one thing I really want later instead of a bunch of random things I don’t really need.
Too Good to Be True?
- I see more and more monthly clothing boxes popping up. Some of them seem like such as good deal at first. You need to look at all the small print though. Most automatically charge you for their service at the beginning of the month and a lot do not have an opt out option. Ask yourself if you would really be spending that much money on clothes from their website each month. It might be worth it if they are clothes you really enjoy and you won’t be buying other clothes.
Not All Bad
- This post isn’t supposed to make you cut out every single subscription, it’s simply to try to get you to look and see if you really need all the ones that you currently pay for.
- Cable packages can be pricey, $12 for a Netflix subscription per month would save you money compared to an entire cable package.
- With so many streaming services popping up now though, try not to get hooked on too many because you’ll just pay more and more each month
Every couple of months, re-evaluate if you are still enjoying the service. Before getting another subscription see if it can replace an existing one to offset the cost. Overall, if you just stick with the subscriptions you really need or really want and they fit within your budget, go for it and enjoy.