HOUSTON – Canceling cable for live-streaming was supposed to save us money right? Some families have added so many streaming services, they’re paying just as much.
We often set up streaming and subscription services to draft fees from our bank account or credit cards, so you might not even notice how much you’re spending or when the price goes up.
Sure, you cut the cord. But now you’re paying subscription fees to Netflix, Disney+, Paramount+, HBO Max, or Amazon Video. Then there’s music, video games, and apps to help you sleep. Not to mention software updates, gym memberships, and the cheese of the month club.
Those are all subscriptions, often drafting right from your bank account or credit card.
“You might have signed up for a free trial,” said Chandra Steele with PCMag. “You might have signed up at a price that was lower to bring people in.”
To cut your costs, you can go through your accounts and cancel subscriptions yourself. Or just check your phone.
“If you have an iPhone or an Android phone, go into you settings, and check your subscriptions, all your subscriptions are there,” explained Steele.
“It goes into your banking information, and it notices which are subscriptions and tells you this is how much you’re paying per month for all these subscriptions and if you would like to cancel it,” said Steele.
TrueBill offers free services, Premium services starting at $3, and will negotiate lower bills for you for a percentage of what they save you.
Mint is a free app that also connects to your bank account to track your spending.
“Streaming services are going to get categorized under ‘Entertainment,'” said Steele. You can just look there and see everything that you’re paying for.”
Mint also has a 5 dollar a month Premium version that helps cancel subscriptions. And Mint works with Billshark, which negotiates lower bills for a cut of your savings.
If you don’t want to link an app to your bank account, you can enter your bills into the apps Bobby and Subby, which will track your subscription costs and alert you to bills and renewals, for one-time fees of $2 to $3.
If you’re signing up for a free trial of something, use Mastercard or Visa. The cards now require merchants to get your permission before they can charge you when the free trial ends.