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How to manage your subscription services and save money

TV, gym, food delivery, music, software – there’s a growing list of things to pay for each month.

Subscriptions are part of our lives these days, but it can be easy to forget exactly what you’ve signed up for. And if you’re paying £9 a month for something you don’t use, for example, that’s more than £100 you could be saving each year.

If you’re looking to cut back on your spending, managing your subscriptions can be a good place to start. Here’s what to do:

Review your transactions

Go through your bank and credit card statements, or look at your standing orders or Direct Debits for the last 3 months. Make a list of all the subscriptions you’re paying for and work out much much they cost each month (or every year, if you pay annually).

Cut what you don’t use

Is there anything you’re paying for that you haven’t used in the last month? Is this inactivity temporary, or are you unlikely to use the service anytime soon?

If you can’t see yourself using it in the near future, you may want to consider cancelling it.

Assess what you do use

Look at the subscriptions you do use – are you getting value for money? You may be using a service that you don’t really need.

If so, first check there are no penalties for cancelling and starting again. You could then try going without the service for a month to judge how much value it’s really adding to your life.

Look for cheaper alternatives

With the remaining items on your list, you could do some research to see if there are any cheaper options that would provide a similar service.

How to cancel a subscription

What you need to do will depend on the type of subscription you have. If it’s set up through the App Store or Google Play, you should be able to cancel through your phone. See how to do it for:

If you’re an HSBC customer, you can cancel a standing order or Direct Debit at any time online, or using the mobile app. 

Make sure you check how to cancel the subscription service first, then follow what you need to do. If you just cancel the standing order or Direct Debit and you’re in a contract, there may be a penalty.

Think about what you’ll save

What do you want to do with any money you’re saving from reducing your subscriptions? You may want to:

Looking ahead, it could be worth reviewing your subscriptions every 6 months to make sure you’re happy with where your money is going.