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Should You Cancel Your Subscription Services?

Jun 5, 2017
Monthly subscriptions like Netflix and Hulu are often thought of as nominal costs – most do not exceed even $10 per month – but...

Monthly subscriptions like Netflix and Hulu are often thought of as nominal costs – most do not exceed even $10 per month – but when you add up your monthly spending, you may discover you’re shelling out more than you thought. Here are a few questions you should ask to determine if you should cancel a subscription service.

Three Questions to Ask Before Canceling a Monthly Subscription

Am I using it enough?

Recurring monthly subscriptions can often sneak into your monthly budget without much notice. The first step in deciding if you should cancel a membership is to do an audit of your monthly expenses. Music streaming services, television streaming subscriptions, digital news memberships and monthly sample subscriptions are typically less than $10 each; however, when added up, that can account for a large chunk of your budget. A recent Moneyline post on financial spring cleaning explained how finding auto-pay subscriptions hiding in your budget can save hundreds of dollars. When doing your audit, take careful measurement of your true monthly use to determine if there are any opportunities to cut back. If you notice that you usually listen to the radio on your daily commute, consider cutting the music streaming service from your subscription list.

Can I consolidate?

Many monthly services offer family options. Netflix and Spotify both offer packages that include multiple users under the same home address for a slightly higher monthly fee. If your family members all use similar services, it may be economical to combine accounts and share the cost to lower your monthly expense. Also look into subscriptions that offer more than one service. For example, Amazon Prime gives users free two-day shipping for a flat annual or monthly fee. Amazon Prime has other benefits, including a music streaming capability, which can eliminate the need for a separate membership. Consolidating monthly services will save you in the long run without sacrificing convenience.

Are there alternative options?

When completing your monthly services audit, keep in mind that there may be alternative options available. Check out your local library for resources – some offer the ability to check out movies and television series. If you subscribe to a meal delivery service like Blue Apron, consider sharing the cost with a roommate and splitting the meals evenly. PFCU offers Free Kasasa Cash Back Checking to members 18 years old and older. Kasasa users earn 2 percent cash back on debit card purchases (up to $8 per month) and refunds on ATM fees nationwide (up to $10 per month). The rewards from your Kasasa checking account can cover the cost of a monthly subscription!

Small expenses add up and often go unnoticed. Completing a careful audit of your monthly spending is the first step in taking charge of your budget. Take these questions into consideration when evaluating your subscription services and be prepared to make cuts when necessary.


Erin Ellis
Accredited Financial Counselor
Philadelphia Federal Credit Union