Dial Down Your Debits — Save Money Each Month

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Cutting Back to Get AheadEver opened a bank statement and failed to recognise the details of something you’ve paid out for? While your bank is always able to clear up any confusion, it can be equally confusing to wonder why you’re still paying for something that you don’t need, or haven’t made use of for a long time.

That’s right, we’re talking about subscriptions. If you’re no longer getting the benefit of the products and services you’re subscribed to, why not take a few minutes to decide what you can afford to amend or perhaps offload completely, saving you money and possibly a little guilt?

Here’s our suggestions on ways to save on some of the worst subscription offenders!

The ‘bundle’ – TV, broadband and phone

If you’re paying a rather large sum of money every month for a landline you’re not using and a TV channel package you aren’t getting the most use from, it may be worth reconsidering which services you choose to receive in future.

You would typically pay extra for HD channels on top of your subscription, but if you’re not especially moved by the small increase in picture quality – or your TV isn’t HD-ready – there’s really no need to pay this supplemental charge.

Top tip: Although it’s a lot less hassle, it isn’t always the best value for money to get the entire kit and kaboodle through one single provider. Take a look at each individual part of your package, and work out the cost to subscribe to more than just one provider for your phone, TV and internet.

Movie and sports packages

Another part of your home entertainment package, and for some the least used. The extra sports and movie channels can soon add up to an expensive monthly outgoing, particularly if you don’t get to view these as often as you intended.

Having both on your Sky subscription costs more than £40 a month extra in total, and potentially even more on a Virgin Media deal if you’ve got the expanded catch-all option with added Netflix monthly subscription.

Top tip: if you’re paying for all the sports channels just to follow one sport, why not cut down on the number of months you subscribe for by cancelling just this extra at the end of your sport’s season? Re-subscribe in time for the new season, and you’ve not missed a thing!

Gym subscription

Getting fit is at the top of many peoples’ New Year’s Resolutions, and as a result gyms reportedly welcome 12% of their new members during the month of January – with other months averaging at just over 8%[1]. A Facebook study[2] noted that US gym check-ins drop 10% into February and increase again in March as students look to get in shape for spring break.

If you’ve signed up to use a gym but are already unsure if you’ve got the time to make it a regular commitment, it may be worth reconsidering your membership. Perhaps you signed up a year ago and have since only put in a handful of appearances, or have allowed your contract to roll on for another year by mistake? In either case, you could try contacting a member of staff to see if you can secure a refund – very useful if your average cost per gym visit was a bit high in 2014.

You can always keep your membership, (along with your good intentions), and instead switch your tariff. A simple jump from peak to off-peak will save you money and may even help motivate you further since you will be limited to certain times to attend. Many gyms also offer a discount for couples.

Top tip: Dedicate a space in your home to a makeshift gym. Whether you want to invest in basic gym equipment – a decent Swiss ball will cost you around £20, and doesn’t need to take up much room – or simply roll out a mat and follow a workout DVD, home exercise cancels out your travel time to and from the gym, saving you even more money.

Whether you pay for a subscription to a monthly magazine or maybe a wine club, whatever it is, try asking yourself two questions – do I use it? Is it worth it? If the answer to either is no, but you really can’t face the thought of cutting all ties, try at least to dial it down. If you haven’t made contact with the provider in a few months or even years, it might be worth contacting them to find out about any promotions or offers for loyal customers.

References

1http://dailym.ai/1yBCKY0

2http://on.wsj.com/1Aosecf

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The information in this article is provided for education and informational purposes only, without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including warranties of accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose. The information in this article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial or any other advice. The information in this article is general in nature and is not specific to you the user or anyone else.