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How to manage your subscription services and save money

TV, gym, meal delivery, music, software – there’s a growing list of things you can access via subscription services.

They can be a convenient way of paying for services, but subscriptions can also be easy to forget. And if you’re paying £9 a month for a subscription you don’t use, for example, that’s over £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.

1. 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 calculate the monthly (or yearly, if you pay annually) cost.

2. Cut what you don’t use

Are there any services 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.

3. Assess what you do use

Look at the remaining services – are you happy with what they offer? You may be using a service, but feel you don’t really need it.

If you’re unsure, and assuming there are no penalties for cancelling and starting again, you could try going without the service for a month to judge how much value it’s really adding to your life.

4. Look for cheaper alternatives

With the remaining items on your list, are there any cheaper options that would provide a similar service? If there are, consider whether or not you want to trial one to save money.

How to cancel a subscription

What you need to do will depend on the type of subscription you have. If it’s a subscription set up through the App Store or Google Play Store, 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, and 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

With any money you’re saving from reducing your subscriptions, what do you want to put it towards? For example, 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.

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