Save Money With An Annual Subscription Audit

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How much do you pay every month for invisible stuff you don’t use? I’m referring to subscriptions or memberships for things like music streaming, movies, software, magazines, gyms, shopping clubs, and other services or online resources you may have forgotten about. Those "small" monthly fees can quietly leak a substantial sum of money out of your wallet.

To stop the leaks, you might want to consider doing an annual subscription audit. In the same way you rebalance your investments annually, it’s a good idea to schedule a day each year and dig through your bank and credit card statements.

The first step is to make a list of every recurring charge. Knowing what a payment is for can sometimes be hard to spot from the statements; a call to the credit card company or a visit to the website can give you a comprehensive list.

Next, ask yourself, “Do I get my money's worth from this? Am I still using it? Do I get value from this?” If the answer isn’t a resounding “Yes,” it's time to cancel.

Sometimes this is harder than it may seem. Many services require you to call rather than give you the ease of canceling online. If you must call, be friendly and firm. Telling a service representative you want to cancel triggers their save-the-customer protocol. You’ll have to stay the course through the offers they will make to retain you, but eventually you will prevail.