You might not be spending hundreds of dollars every month for various subscription services, as some millennials reportedly do. But you may be spending a lot more than you realize.
Instamotor, a car-buying site, recently polled 600 people ages 18 to 34 and discovered 56 of them—nearly one in 10—acknowledged spending at least $200 a month on subscriptions such as gym memberships, streaming entertainment services, online storage and “personal styling” (think Birchbox and Stitch Fix).
The car-buying site suggests that money might be better used to, say, make payments on a new car such as a Ford Fiesta or a Nissan Versa.
Or maybe not. Few of us are willing to ditch all of our subscriptions, regardless of how much we save. Many are a great value (and online backups are a virtual necessity). But any subscription can be a money suck if it isn’t regularly used.
Are you shelling out more than you realize?
Take a few minutes adding up what you spend on:
- Streaming video (Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, etc.)
- Streaming or satellite music (Spotify, Apple Music, Sirius XM, etc.)
- Security subscriptions (ADT, SimpliSafe, Frontpoint, etc.)
- Online storage (Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, etc.)
- Photo storage and sharing (Flickr, SmugMug, 500px, etc.)
- Online backups (Mozy, Carbonite, iDrive, etc.)
- Personal styling (Stitch Fix, Birchbox, Ipsy, etc.)
- Magazine, book and news subscriptions (Texture, Audible, New York Times, etc.)
If you forgot you even had some of these subscriptions, they’re pretty good candidates for pruning. Others will be a tougher call. Do you really need CBS All Access after you’ve binge-watched all the new “Star Treks?” Is that occasional visit to the gym worth paying $600 a year? Could you get by with free photo storage if you stopped uploading all those fuzzy or duplicate shots?
It should take only a few minutes to cancel an underused subscription or turn off the auto-renew feature, which you’ll typically find in the billing section of your account. And that’s a great investment of your time. You may not spend hundreds a month, but shutting down a few subscriptions could save you hundreds each year.
Written by Liz Weston for NerdWallet.
The article Are Subscriptions Slowly Making You Poor? originally appeared on NerdWallet.