Basics: Keeping subscriptions at a minimum

Subscription burn a lot of money over time. Money that I’d rather spent on something I like.

So here is a simple solution to it - “The subscription clean-up”

The problem

A few examples of subscriptions I had during my life include:

I think this is not that atypical, unfortunately. It’s easy to lose track.

There might be subscriptions that you do not even use - producing piles of magazines.

There might be subscriptions that you were sure you canceled - but that continued running.

You might have insurances for unimportant stuff.

Let’s fix this. Now.

Step 1: Create a list of all subscriptions

Compile a list of all your subscriptions. Include the cost, the billing cycle, and when you can cancel them.

Use your credit card bills and bank statements for reference. Otherwise, those yearly subscriptions might not land on the list.

Include everything. Even the ones that you are sure, that you don’t want to get rid off.

A complete list will help you making better decisions.

List of subscriptions
Service name Monthly costs Billing Cycle Cancelable
Spotify $9,99 monthly monthly
Kindle Unlimited $9,99 monthly monthly
DSL $29,99 Monthly 09/2016
Mobile $49,99 Monthly 08/2015

Review and cancel or switch

Now your job is to review this list. Here is a list of questions you can ask yourself.

Do you really need this travel insurance? Are you really a gym goer? Will you really start to read the magazine?

Make up your own questions. Don’t forget that even $1 per month invested in stocks amounts to $980 after 30 years.

Or - if retirement is boring for you - would you rather have a useless second mobile subscription or a romantic dinner with your spouse every month?

You are your own judge.

If in doubt cancel - it will be simple enough to get another contract.

If you are like me you hate writing letters. Don’t accept this as an excuse this time. Sit down and write all of them in one session.

After my first subscription sweep, I felt great and it felt like I got a raise.

Rinse and repeat

If the first round worked for you - start to do this on a regular basis. Every few months maybe.

It took me several rounds until I could admit that I don’t need my own web server.

A few more until I decided that I do not wish for another 24 months of expensive mobile service in exchange of a new phone that I don’t need.

Good luck!

So if you have problems with subscriptions - give this a shot - and buy me a drink if it works