It is easy to lose track of online subscriptions. You sign up once, put in your payment details then forget about it and eventually move on from using the service. Do you ever look at your bank account and wonder where the money went and why the balance is lower than you thought it should be? If you answered ‘yes’ it is time to audit your monthly subscriptions.
A new era for payments
Pricing models have changed in recent years. In days gone by most companies would charge a one-off fee in exchange for their product or service. Nowadays regular payments have become the norm.
The most notable introduction of a business using this model this year in Australia is Netflix and its local competitors like Stan and Presto. Each month a small fee is deducted from your account for access to their entertainment library. Gaming platforms have been using this model for years, offering a subscription fee that provides access for a certain time frame.
And it’s not just the consumer market catching on either, the corporate world have taken this practice up too. Software companies offering their software and support for a monthly fee as opposed to an outright purchase. It’s even easier for businesses with many expenses to lose track of what services they’ve used and forgotten to cancel.
Only pay for what you use
While this system has the potential to benefit both parties – businesses receiving regular cash flow and consumers making more manageable payments – it has serious potential for the consumer to lose money if they stop using the service and don’t cancel payments.
Services that are a bargain only stay a bargain while you use them. As soon as you start paying for something you don’t use it is a waste of your hard-earned income.
- Always review your bank statements. Know where your money is going and to who. This is a good way to remind yourself of where your money is going and where you can make improvements, as well as keep track of online subscriptions.
- Put together a spreadsheet. It is a practical way to keep a record of where you have online subscriptions, how much they are and when the payment will be deducted. This will give you the opportunity to create a stronger budget that is easier to stick to so you can reach your financial goals.
Completing step one and using that as a basis to achieve step two is the best way forward to stay in control of your online subscriptions and not waste money on them in the future.
If you need assistance to get out of debt and regain control of your finances, contact the team at Life After Debt today on 1300 237 669 or email us here.