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How to Save Money on Your Digital Subscriptions

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Whether it’s due to the long winter months and dark nights, or a leftover symptom from previous time-filled lockdowns, you probably find yourself spending a significant amount each month on subscriptions like Spotify, Netflix, Disney+, Xbox Game Pass, and who knows how many more. Trying new things due to the extra time has certainly contributed to this excessive spending. However, with the abundance of services available nowadays, the costs can quickly accumulate. Refusing a digital subscription is not always the best decision. You can save money online and in other ways. We'll look at the best ways to save money on digital subscriptions below.

How to Save Money on Your Digital Subscriptions

#1 Choose Cheaper Plans

A more expensive subscription service does not necessarily guarantee better quality than a cheaper one. Sometimes, opting for the lower-priced option can actually offer greater value for your money. It's important to consider this possibility and conduct thorough research before making any commitments.

Begin by closely examining the provided features by each subscription service and determining which ones are most beneficial to you. Once you have identified your must-haves, you can then narrow down your options and make more accurate price comparisons among the remaining contenders.

Having every possible channel may seem exciting, but if you’re barely watching any of them then it’s simply a waste of money and it’s time to downsize your plans.

#2 Check for Alternative Deals

It can be incredibly simple to let your digital subscriptions automatically renew month after month, without taking the time to check for better alternatives. However, there are often better options available, such as unused free trials or bundled services.

Your subscribed services won't necessarily notify you of cheaper offers, for obvious reasons. To stay informed, keep an eye on technology news and daily deals. For instance, Spotify recently tested a $0.99-per-month Plus tier that retains ads but has fewer restrictions. Netflix, for example, offers three different plans with varying video quality and number of concurrent streams.

Advice: Be sure to choose secure services for payment such as credit cards or PayPal where possible. PayPal, with its technically advanced and reliable tools, is one such option. Numerous audits affirm the robustness of PayPal transaction security, supported by its additional security features, at a high level. Of course, this does not eliminate the need for auxiliary security measures. For example, VeePN can enhance the security of virtually any application, payment instrument, and device. Also, avoid saving card numbers on services, so that in case your account is hacked, you do not risk exposing this data.

#3 Use Free Trials

To save money on online subscription services, taking advantage of free trials can be a great strategy, especially when exploring new platforms. By testing out features and benefits without committing long-term, you can make informed decisions. Popular streaming services like Hulu and Amazon Prime Video offer free trials, some lasting up to a month, while others provide a week of trial period. This allows you to enjoy your favourite shows for several months by rotating between different services without spending anything.

However, it's crucial to set up a system for cancelling subscriptions before the trial expires since automatic charges will kick in once the trial concludes. Setting a reminder on your phone the day before the trial ends can help you cancel in time and avoid being charged.

For a more convenient solution, you can automate this task using subscription tracking tools like Frequent. By consolidating all your digital subscriptions and free trials in one place, Frequent calculates upcoming billing dates and sends reminders to cancel unwanted subscriptions.

#4 Stop Subscriptions If Needed - You Can Return

Most digital subscriptions are designed to be easily cancellable and responsive, acknowledging that long-term commitments can deter customers. Therefore, you can conveniently suspend and resume these subscriptions at your discretion, whether it's for a month or six months.

However, the manageability of this feature varies depending on the service. While most cloud storage services won't delete your files if you stop paying, they will restrict you from adding more or making changes. It's worth checking the fine print to confirm. Similarly, with software subscriptions, you cannot utilise the software until you subscribe again.

This flexibility is particularly beneficial for music and video streaming subscriptions, as you may anticipate not requiring them for an extended period. You might want to give an alternative service a try or have already exhausted the content available on Hulu. When you decide to return, everything will be just as you left it, as long as you reactivate within a reasonable timeframe (check the fine print again, as it's around 10 months for Netflix).

#5 Use Group and Family Plans

Having one or two online subscriptions may not appear significant. However, when you aggregate all the various services you have subscribed to over an extended period, the expenses can quickly become overwhelming.

Fortunately, some premium subscriptions provide group and family plans, which can help you save a significant amount of money in the long term. If you live with roommates or have a large family, you can take advantage of these group plans to cut down on your subscription costs.

For instance, Netflix offers a premium plan that enables four users to watch movies and TV shows simultaneously, while their standard plan supports two devices at the same time.  Spotify has a family plan that is good value if you’re whole household uses this service and are looking to save money as a family.

Final Word

To cut your digital subscription costs, you might want to experiment a little. To begin with, it is worth studying the available tariff plans. Perhaps a more affordable subscription also fully covers your requirements. Also, focus on package purchases or family tariff plans. They often offer the best value for money and services available. You can also periodically use the free trial period. Ultimately, you need to analyse your subscriptions and see if some of them perform the same functions. Switching to one service instead of 2 or 3, even with a higher tariff package price, usually turns out to be a profitable move.

To roundup the ideas so far in this article:

  • Choose Cheaper Plans: Evaluate features and opt for budget-friendly options.
  • Check for Alternative Deals: Look for better offers and bundled services.
  • Use Free Trials: Test new platforms without long-term commitments.
  • Suspend Subscriptions: Pause when not needed, most are flexible.
  • Use Group and Family Plans: Share costs with roommates or family members.

Additional Strategies to Save Money on Digital Subscriptions:

Here are some additional strategies to save money on digital subscriptions:

Loyalty Discounts: Some services offer discounts to long-term subscribers. Check if your provider offers loyalty rewards for sticking with them.

Student or Military Discounts: If you're eligible, take advantage of student or military discounts provided by certain subscription services.

Bundle Services: Consider bundling multiple subscriptions together if the service offers it. This can often result in lower overall costs.

Monitor Usage: Regularly review your usage of each subscription. If you're not using a service as much as you thought, it may be time to cancel or downgrade.

Promo Codes and Coupons: Keep an eye out for promotional codes and coupons that can provide temporary discounts on subscription fees.

Annual Payments: Some services offer a discount if you pay for a full year upfront instead of monthly. Calculate if this option is cost-effective for you.

Share with Friends: If allowed by the terms of service, share your login details with trusted friends to split the cost of subscriptions.

Remember to always read the terms and conditions of each service and make sure you're complying with their policies when implementing these money-saving strategies.

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