Are you aware of any excessive fees bloating your monthly budget? What memberships or subscriptions have charges that are automatically pulled from your account(s)? Do you still want them? Better yet, do you still need them? Services, goods, or memberships that you and your family no longer use or have outgrown is simply wasted money. Here’s what to keep in mind.
Does your mind play tricks on you while reviewing your monthly spending? Membership fees are frequently ignored—it’s only as a small amount so we chalk up to an annoyance. Beyond the small weekly or monthly installments, there are also annual or semi-annual fees. These costs quietly lurk in your annual costs, until that hefty charge hits your account statement. Cue to loud boom. Do we have you and your wallet’s attention now? Regardless of frequency, membership fees create a steady strain to your cash outflows.
For health and wellness memberships, you have a couple of different fees to consider, both your physical locations plus any online subscriptions. Some examples would include Peloton, FitBit, Weight Watchers, or studios on the MindBody app. These memberships could have been started during the pandemic when they were necessary, but now are no longer needed. Take a peek into your App Store subscriptions and see if there might be something you’ve long forgotten. Even if the monthly fee is minimal, the fact that it recurs is enough to stop it in its tracks. If you don’t use it, get rid of it now. Don’t get caught in the mental trap that you will resume using an annual membership before it renews again. Simply cancel it now, you can rejoin later if your love of pilates, Peloton, or kickboxing returns.
Other memberships to consider and/or be aware of would be your swim, golf, or your country club. If you’re still interested in keeping your membership intact, then be sure to utilize your club’s food and beverage minimums to avoid paying for missing the mark. Treat yourself to a date night or lovely lunch and ensure you spend your minimum. If your professional commitments mean you’re frequently canceling on your favorite sports pro and getting hit with no-show fees, now is the time to temporarily suspend that program fee until things die down at the office.
Also, be mindful of expenses for services or perks that have become unnecessary. Has sciatica killed your golf game? Do you keep your clubs at home? Cancel that club locker you no longer need. Can you kids stay at home without adult supervision? Then it’s time to cancel that babysitter locator service membership too.
Service subscriptions are pesky little buggers – like ants at the picnic. Since there is no tangible thing to remind you to cancel, it’s amazingly easy to forget about them. Many folks end up “setting and forgetting” them, and a few months down the road, you’re wondering what the random, recurring fee is for and where the charge to your account came from.
These likely include subscriptions to that multi-channel package on cable or that upgraded subscription to Netflix or Disney+ you ordered to binge-watch a particular program like Yellowstone or Stranger Things 4, a Whoop band or Oura ring wellness tracker you no longer use, or online music services such as Spotify or Pandora that are no longer your to to platforms. Whatever can go should go, otherwise it’s like burning dollar bills each month.
Beneficial subscriptions are ones that tend to trigger a reminder as tangible items arrive on your doorstep, such as a meal delivery box, a treat box for your furry friend, vitamins or supplements, bottled water jugs, or even publications like magazines, professional journals or newspapers.
Printed publications are rapidly moving away from their printed formats in favor of digitally accessible versions. We have recently said goodbye to many print titles either with reduced numbers per year or conversion to online only editions. If you are hesitant to make the switch away from print, consider a “transition period” where you access the online publication using a service like Apple News+ or Readly.
How a Daily Money Manager Can Help
Your daily money manager (DMM) can help you unearth repeating charges and unnecessary subscriptions that are no longer needed. We scour your accounts, pursuing recurring charges with a curious eyebrow raised. If you’ve moved away from your country club, no longer attend the gym, or don’t need 50 extra channels on your cable, we’ll help adjust your subscriptions and memberships accordingly.
Feeling anxious or embarrassed by what you find lurking on your account statements? If you don’t know where to start, let your DMM come alongside and your accounts for rogue fees and unnecessary charges. You might be surprised just how much money you’ll save – a great investment from a professional’s perspective.