Let’s look at your varying entertainment packages and subscriptions and see if we can’t “entertain” ways to trim these recurring items. According to a Chicago-based C&R Research firm, the average American consumer shells out $219/month on subscriptions. They estimate their average spending is just $86/month when asked. So if your New Year’s resolution was to exercise more, then cutting out screen time binge-watching the Great British Baking Show, White Lotus, or Emily in Paris is most likely very welcome. You might be surprised at how you can eliminate wasted money and utilize your entertainment platforms to the best of your ability.
Your TV Viewing Options
Take a look at the cost of your entertainment provider’s cable TV services. How many cable boxes are currently on your plan? Most consumers pay a monthly fee per box, ranging from $9-$15/per month. Eliminate boxes located in areas of limited use, such as an unused guest room, in your fitness area, or in the bedroom of a child that’s moved out. We suggest swapping out a costly cable box for a Roku, Amazon Fire stick, YouTube TV, BritBox (British TV), or Fubo streaming. These services often have a better price structure than cable boxes. Consider bundling your cable TV and internet services to get the maximum value for your loyalty. These bundles are usually offered at a better price overall.
For those who have cut the cord to traditional cable TV or have a hybrid of both cable and streaming, let’s review. Services such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and Disney+ are all independent of each other and carry their own payment plans. When purchasing multiple viewing platforms, it’s easy to get carried away and end up with a monthly cost equal to or higher than traditional cable.
Avoiding unnecessary and duplicate subscriptions within a household is key to taming spending. Does your teen really need a more costly, upgraded service plan just to view ad-free content? By sharing your plan, you will avoid duplicated accounts among household members. Shared plans also mean you can cancel subscriptions for your teens or yourself once you’ve moved on from a once-favorite show or platform.
Does your family utilize Apple Family Sharing? If so, do you know what it allows you to share? The platform is called Apple One, and with a family or a premier plan, you can share services with up to five people. This platform can be used to bundle all your entertainment under one roof. Apple One bundles Apple’s streaming services, including Music, TV+, iCloud+, News+, and Fitness+.
You’ll also want to check if your mobile provider offers any premium entertainment as part of your cell and/or data package. If so, utilizing these avenues will save you money as well. It doesn’t make sense to pay twice for the same programming.
Check your App Store purchases, as you can catch recurring charges. Some credit card companies, such as Amex, are notifying cardholders of recurring items. However, it’s a good idea to keep your eye on your purchases yourself—or your Daily Money Manager—in order to catch the charges and make the appropriate changes.
Pay attention to any other memberships you might have, as they likely offer you exclusive entertainment packages. These memberships include a Walmart membership which offers Paramount+, or Amazon Prime, which includes Amazon streaming services for movies, TV shows, and music.
Even if these memberships offer you access to new entertainment platforms, it’s better to select a single platform that best fits your needs. Whether or not you have music streaming available from Amazon Prime, perhaps you prefer to use Spotify or iTunes for your music tastes. Be sure your music app carries your favorite bands and artists, helps you find new favorites, or creates custom playlists if that’s your jam.
Do you love watching college sports? A membership to the ACC, SEC, or Big-10 network is in order as your one-stop shop for game-day-watching bliss. Maybe you’ve lost your passion for your favorite NFL team. Did your favorite player retire? Perhaps now is the time to cancel your NFL Sunday ticket package until your team returns to prominence in a few seasons.
At Organized Instincts, our seasoned team of daily money managers will help you keep streaming services hooks out of your bank accounts. Schedule a conversation today and prune what you no longer need.