You might have heard that Netflix is coming after subscribers who are sharing passwords (wink wink!). I guess most of us are guilty of that. Netflix estimates that more than 100 million households are sharing passwords which are costing them in lost revenue. In order to stop that, Netflix might charge a small fee so that we can continue sharing. Well not only Netflix, but we also share passwords on other subscriptions as well.
But don’t worry. If you enjoy Netflix Originals like Bridgerton and looking forward to Season 2 of Squid Game, the shared subscriptions might only cost you a cup of Starbucks coffee per month. That’s not too bad but then what about all the other shared or individual subscriptions? Since streaming monthly subscriptions are not expensive, we tend to underestimate the actual total figure we are spending per month. I am not sure about you but every month, my credit card gets charged for Amazon Prime, Disney+ (signed up to watch The Mandalorian), Spotify, Canva, iCloud Storage, Dropbox, Malaysiakini and Arissto Coffee. Initially, I was like ala, just RM24 per month, that’s not bad but when I add it up the numbers are substantial.
One survey estimates that on average people spend about $237.33 on subscriptions per month or $2,847.96 per year! It’s easy to overspend on subscriptions as the amount seems low but will pile up over time. If you were charged RM200 one time, that seems like a big bill but RM16.67 over 12 months seems okay.
What is not acceptable is if we actually don’t use the services that we subscribed for. For example, I signed up for Disney+ just to watch The Mandalorian but after that, I don’t use it much but my card still gets charged.
Therefore, it’s good that we do an audit of all of our subscriptions every 3 to 6 months so that we are not simply paying for things that we are not using. At the same time, prioritise your cash flow for your savings and investment goals – maybe buying a house, saving for a 6-month emergency fund or for that long-postponed travel.
To do your audit, a good Free tool I can suggest using is the ICE Jar which helps you to automate your monthly cash flow.
After I run through my subscriptions with ICE Jar, I realised that I am subscribed to too many streaming services. So the first thing I did was figure out which streaming services to keep and cancel the rest or share the cost with friends and family.
Here are the steps on how you can audit your subscription services and start saving more:
When we initially signed up for a subscription, the services might seem justifiable at that moment but the small monthly fees add up over time and we might be overspending.
It’s okay to have subscription services as long as we are using them and don’t overspend. Use the ICE Jar to check and see how are spending on your subscriptions. A Ringgit saved could be put to use to reach your investment goal faster.