Are You Wasting Money on Memberships and Subscriptions You Don't Use

Paying for a membership or a subscription automatically can be convenient since you don’t have to think about it and pay a monthly bill, but it’s also easy to forget what you’re paying for. Many Americans have multiple memberships and subscriptions that they get charged for every month, but they rarely or never use those services. 

Common Ways That People Waste Money

Cable can be expensive. That’s why many people have switched to streaming services, which can be much cheaper. Millions of people subscribe to more than one streaming service. The total cost may still be less than cable, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s money well spent. If you have one or more streaming subscriptions that you don’t use on a regular basis, you may be throwing money away. You may be able to cut back, save money and still enjoy your favorite TV shows and movies.

Food delivery services, subscription services that deliver beauty products and companies that send monthly deliveries of pet supplies have all grown popular. Those companies may provide useful and valuable products, but there is no point in paying for those deliveries if you don’t actually use the things you’re receiving.

Gym memberships are another area where people frequently waste money. It’s common to sign up for a gym membership with every intention of working out on a regular basis, then stop going after a few weeks or months. This happens a lot around the beginning of a new year. If you’re paying for a gym membership you don’t use, either start working out so you get what you’re paying for, or cancel your membership.

You may be paying for a service that you signed up for years ago and forgot about or that you never signed up for at all. Many people subscribe to websites and mobile apps, then rarely or never use them and forget about their subscriptions. Sometimes a child signs up for a subscription without permission using a parent’s phone. 

Figure Out How Much You’re Spending

People often dramatically underestimate how much they’re paying for subscriptions and memberships. It’s easy to forget that you’re paying those fees if they’re automatically billed to your credit or debit card. A small fee might not seem like a big deal, but the money can add up, especially if you’re paying multiple companies every month for things you don’t use. 

Look over your recent bank and credit card statements and make a list of all your monthly and annual charges for subscriptions and memberships. Then think about how much you actually used each service and whether the expense is justified. If not, consider canceling your plan. In some cases, you may be able to keep a service but switch to a less expensive option that better suits your needs.


Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2022. All rights reserved.

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