Subscribe to Saving!

Let’s do a quick recap on some of the things that I learned by analysing one month of my spending: 

  • I have multiple monthly subscriptions, some of which I could likely live without 
  • The miscellaneous/once-off and fast food spend can quickly add up and are not required 
  • I am spending far too much on grocery shopping 
  • I don’t have any sort of ’emergency’ fund 
  • I am not contributing anything worthwhile to Savings for future-me 

In this post, I’d like to talk about my review of my Subscriptions, and the changes (and savings!) I have made in a short space of time, without even leaving the house! 

The 5 monthly subscriptions that I have are: 

  • Netflix 
  • Audible 
  • Kindle 
  • Dropbox 
  • Spotify 

First thoughts – what is that Kindle subscription for and when was the last time I used Dropbox for anything… There’s two that should be able to go immediately. Though I do regularly use the other 3, I’ll also have a look into those. 

On checking my Amazon account, it looks like the Kindle subscription has been ongoing since July 2018, and likely something I signed up for prior to (or during) a lot of business travel last year. At £7.99 (€9.34) a month, as frustrating as it is to discover I have already spent over €120 on something that I have never used, I can fix that going forward. So with an extra eager click of the mouse, I have chosen the ‘Cancel Membership’ button. And while €9.34 a month might not sound like much, that’s €112.08 a year that was going down the drain and will now be mine again. And you know what – it feels good! 

Staying put in Amazon, I took a look at the Audible subscription. Now, I absolutely love Audible – I think it’s a great app – listening to the latest books, narrated by some wonderful authors and actors. Living in the midlands, with frequent long drives, I find the time flies when listening to a good book. I have a subscription that costs £7.99 (€9.34) a month and gives me 1 credit each month: 1 credit = 1 book. With some of the books priced at €20+, this is not too bad, considering I actually use it. However, on review of my account, I currently have 5 credits to use up, along with some previous books that I’ve bought, but haven’t yet read. As I really am committed to heading towards a lifestyle where I save more and waste less, this is another subscription that can go. I’ll choose 5 good books to use up my current credits, then cancel that membership. I won’t lose the books I’ve already purchased and I can always buy a book as a once-off treat without the need for the subscription. So there we go – another €9.34 a month, adding up to €112.08 a year. There’s that lovely “saving money” feeling again! 

Again staying in Amazon (seems I really like to give these guys my hard earned cash!), I take a look at my Prime Membership. This is an annual payment of £79, and amongst some other benefits; gives access to Prime Video (streaming service), Amazon Music and Faster/Cheaper Delivery. Now I’ve had Prime for a few years now, and really I don’t know why I haven’t cancelled it until now. I really don’t find it that beneficial for people in Ireland as we can’t use the Pantry for grocery items and we can’t avail of the next day delivery, though we can save money on delivery fees for most Prime eligible items. Personally, I don’t rate the offering of TV shows and movies available on Video and I don’t have a need for Amazon Music. So while I’m logged in to Amazon and on a money-saving roll, I’m going to go ahead and cancel this. It’ll also help me stop the frivolous purchases from late-night Amazon browsing. I’m paid up until the end of the year, and won’t lose the benefits until then, but at least it’s another step in the right direction for financing future-me. It’s £79 a year, and last year this worked out at €90.57. There’s another prime saving, excuse the pun! 

Spotify was next on the list, and this is one I use almost daily and at this time, don’t see the need to get rid of it. I pay €12.49 a month for the Premium Duo plan and this means both my partner and I can listen ad-free at the same time – can create and manage our own playlists, while also being able to share playlists with eachother. We both use Spotify a lot for music and podcasts – in the car, on the phone and on the speakers in the house. We don’t stream or buy music elsewhere and I feel it’s worth the monthly cost. Don’t get me wrong, if, God forbid, I was ever in a situation where I needed an extra few quid – this is not a life-essential and I would gladly pause the subscription until I was back on my feet again. But thankfully for now, I am happy with keeping this one and enjoying the great benefits. 

Next up is Netflix. We are definitely fond of an ol’ Netflix n chill in this house, and have so many box-sets and movies that we haven’t yet seen. I find the content is great, they’re consistently adding new series and movies and (once we both reach agreement!) will always find something to watch. We use it on so many devices – on the kitchen tv while making dinner, on the iPad while running on the treadmill, living room for movie nights and bedroom for a quick Ozarks/Black Mirror/Peaky Blinders fix before bed. I also find the Download feature really handy while travelling. So I know that Netflix isn’t something that I’d easily want to get rid of, but nevertheless it’s worth taking a look at my subscription. I am on the premium plan; this allows watching on up to 4 screens at a time, along with Ultra HD and is €13.99 a month. The next plan down is Standard; allows watching on up to 2 screens, and is €11.99 a month. The basic plan allows watching on 1 screen at a time and is €7.99 a month. Now, I know that this is a blog about saving money and I do want to (and need to) cut back where I can. However…we often watch at the same time (me cooking dinner, him on the treadmill!), and I stay signed in at my parents’ house to allow the grandchildren to watch when they’re over. So at this time, I’m not going to make any changes to my Netflix subscription. Though it is good to know the information on the different plans, and again, if I need to make changes in the future I know what my options are. 

Last on the list to review is Dropbox – the cloud storage service. I have had Dropbox for approx 3 years now and I signed up when I was making the move from iPhone to Samsung and wanted somewhere to store my photos rather than transfer them all across to the new phone. So over 3 years later and I haven’t yet taken the time to do anything with the photos, and I also haven’t found the need to use Dropbox for anything else. I am paying €11.99 a month for this. It pains me to realise that I have spent over €450 on something that I really could have done without. But this is all about learning from my mistakes, and now I can do something about it. The plan I have gives me 2TB of storage and I found that I was only using 15GB – and all photos. For now, I deleted a good few photos and copied the rest over to my laptop. Someday when I have some time, I’ll go through the photos in more detail and organise them better. But right now, I have cancelled the plan and will get a refund for this month. €11.99 a month adds up to €143.88 a year so this is another great saving – in just a few clicks! 

So there we have it – I was paying for services that I simply wasn’t utilising, some I didn’t even know I had. I haven’t dropped everything and the changes I have made here won’t dramatically change my life – yet I have just saved €458.61. This is simply by reviewing what I am spending, and comparing that with what I am actually using. This is a really positive start for me, and I’m so glad I’ve started on this journey! 

Why don’t you have a review of your own? Are you paying for monthly or yearly subscriptions that you don’t use or don’t need? Maybe you too can save over €450 in just a few minutes! Let me know how you get on, would love to hear. 

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