#HackIt | Lifestyle | Article

Are You Keeping Up With Your Subscriptions?

by Sophia Lee | 31 Mar 2023 | 6 mins read

This article is brought to you by Disney+

Long gone are the days of affordable goods and services and you know it. You might have heard friends or family ringing in the new year by reminding everyone of the newly-increased 8% GST (or you might have been the one crying about it while watching the fireworks).

While there’s nothing we can do about government-mandated tax increases, you can still control your personal finances by recalibrating your monthly expenses. A big part of that could be your ongoing subscriptions—expenses you don’t often think about after you sign up for them!

Given how affordable subscription services are, we may end up having one too many subscriptions that we don’t use or have forgotten about (like that gym membership that you signed up for during the new year). So, it’s time to cull those from your budget, and put your money to better use.

For services that you can’t seem to live without – such as your entertainment subscriptions, it doesn’t hurt to find ways to shave a few extra bucks off your monthly subscription to save your wallet. Here’s what you can do.

Pay annually and get those discounts

Paying monthly might be great for managing your cash flow and dealing with financial damage to your wallet a bit at a time, but annual subscription plans are always better because of the discounts you can snatch up, like the 15% discount on an annual subscription plan. Instead of paying $11.98 a month, an annual subscription plan lets you pay only $9.99 a month.

Sure you may feel the pinch of having to fork out a lump sum each time you renew your subscription. But planning your budget ahead of time and setting a reminder on your calendar to save up early for when the subscription amount comes due will make that pinch feel less painful.

Work out the average cost per day of your subscriptions

When assessing your subscriptions, think about how often you use them. While on face value, a gym membership near your office may cost you $100 a month. But if having an easily accessible gym encourages you to exercise 5 days a week, that expense is well worth it.

The same goes for your entertainment subscriptions. If you’re a movie buff or simply want to wind down at the end of a long workday with a mindless comedy, you’re putting your entertainment subscription to good use.

One method you can use to assess the value of your subscription is by calculating the average cost per day of your subscriptions. For instance, if you’re paying $119.98 a year for your entertainment subscription, that amount works out to $0.33 a day if you consume TV shows and movies 365 days a year.

Share the cost of your subscription with loved ones

These days, subscription services, whether music, software, or entertainment, offer multiple accounts or seats under one package, or household.

This is a great way to reduce the amount you’re paying for the service. If a service offers you 7 profiles for the cost of $9.99 a month, that means you’ll only need to fork out $1.43 a month, if you’re able to share the service with 6 other family members in your household.

Figure out whether you’re getting value for money

As Warren Buffett once said, “Price is what you pay, value is what you get.”

Aside from monetary value, there are other things that you may want to consider when subscribing to a product or service. Things like the variety of content you’re getting, how the recommendation engine works, and whether you can have multiple accounts on a platform all determine the value you get for the price you pay.

If you’re a K-Drama fan while the rest of your family prefers Hollywood movies, having a streaming service that allows you to watch different TV shows simultaneously on different devices provides you with more value for money.

Utilise company benefits and employer subscriptions

People rarely think of doing this, but sometimes our employers offer us “hidden” benefits like being subscribed to useful publications and magazines that directly tie in with our work or even interests. If you’re working in finance and need to keep up with what’s happening in the market, working for a financial company means you might be able to gain access to Wall Street Journal or Bloomberg for free—for as long as you’re employed there, of course.

These subscriptions usually cost quite a significant amount of money, so use any and every opportunity to get things that benefits you!

Regularly review your subscriptions and consumption habits

People change over time, and so do their habits. It’s good to regularly take stock of what ongoing subscriptions you have and to seriously reflect on whether they are still an accurate representation of your current interests.

If your tastes have grown to become more eclectic, you may find yourself drawn to a newer platform that offers a larger breadth of content such as Korean, Japanese, and local content such as Big Bet, Call it Love, Money Not Enough II, and Taiwan Crime Stories that can meet your ever-evolving taste.

It’s important to be aware and cognizant of where your money is going, especially in a time of raised prices and a higher cost of living. Subscriptions are easy to manage, so don’t slack off! It’s easy to link your bank account or card to a service and then forget about it because it is designed to provide convenience to your life. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have to keep tabs on your subscriptions and recurring expenses. If you can save yourself hundreds of dollars a year, why wouldn’t you?

Content sponsored by Disney+

Sponsored message:

If you’re looking for a value-for-money streaming service that provides you with a wide variety of film and television entertainment such as Big Bet, Call it Love, j-hope IN THE BOX, Taiwan Crime Stories, Money Not Enough II, The Mandalorian, Avatar, and more while giving you the ability to stream simultaneously with your family members and friends, look no further than Disney+!

From finance-related content such as Big Bet, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, The Big Short to new Korean shows such as PANDORA: Beneath the Paradise, and and Hollywood TV shows and movies such as Modern Family, Grey’s Anatomy, and music documentaries such as Miley Cyrus: Endless Summer Vacation Backyard Sessions, get unprecedented access to Disney’s library of film and television entertainment as well as exclusive originals that include feature-length films, documentaries, live-action and animated series.

All it costs is just S$11.98/month, or you can save over 15% by signing up for the annual package at just $119.98/year.

Find out more here.