With all you have to do during your transition, it may seem absurd that you may have to add another thing to the list. But when you investigate how many subscriptions you have, you may find you not only can relieve some headaches, but also save a few dollars. You may be surprised how many subscriptions you are actually paying for.

The Lure of Subscriptions

Anymore, subscriptions are almost impossible to avoid. During pre-pandemic times, Americans were signed up to pay for 10 subscriptions like video streaming, phone applications, and cloud storage capabilities. The Wall Street Journal stated that if you are under 30, you likely have over 17 subscriptions. Bottom line: paid subscriptions come at a premium price and add up over time.

I am guilty. When cable TV started charging outrageous prices, I consider going to streaming online media only. Today I am the proud owner of over five streaming packages, with cost approaching my cable package. Coincidentally, my wife never let me cut the cable.

I have a home security system I cannot shut down without paying every penny of the three-year contract agreement. Along with a monthly fee for a game that I enjoyed some time ago, I found myself paying for a graphics app on my phone that enables me to modify pictures. I need to get in better shape and lose some of these paid subscriptions.

If you step back and look at it, we are being pulled into an abyss of application fees. We are now paying to have apps tell us to feed the dog, fertilize our plants, compare gas prices, and a multitude of fitness apps. Do not forget the streaming music you listen to, and the video games you pay to play. I personally am a news junkie. I cannot look at more than three or four articles without being asked to pay for a news groups service.

Further, the streaming video apps continue to go up in price. Disney+ service went from $6.99 to $7.99. Netflix climbed from $8 a month in 2010, to $16 per month pre-pandemic. In January, Netflix announced an increase to $18. In 2014, Amazon Prime was $79 a year, and it has gradually climbed to $119.

Many apps are available free, but they have bothersome in-app purchases or commercials, sucking up bandwidth and time. Lower-end streaming video packages often run commercials. Why would you pay to watch commercials? Oh, yea…we do that with cable.

Tracking Your Subscriptions

Numerous companies start their own streaming platform every day. As a nation, we seem to be buying more and more subscription-based services. It may be a good time to get a handle on your recurring payments before they get out of control. There are now multiple apps used to monitor what you are spending and help you cut back and trim up your budget.

One way to track all your subscriptions is with a phone app like Skaffer. This type of app keeps you from forgetting to cancel free trials and subscribing to identical service. Other capabilities are monitoring, managing, and renewing your paid subscriptions. The downside – these apps will want you to buy their “Pro” version or annoyingly irritate you with in-app purchases or advertisements. So, not another subscription, but it is an extra purchase. It could pay off – especially when you’re managing a military transition.

Losing Unwanted Subscriptions

As you move or transition, this is a great time to review your subscriptions and see if you need to take them with you to your next location. You may be tired of subscription on your phone or tablet. It is possible you may not even know you are paying for them. If you are subscribed to a service through the App Store on your iPhone or iPad, you can cancel or manage these subscriptions on your device. Go to Settings > [your name] > Subscriptions (this will not appear if you have no subscriptions) to view your services. Select the service you want to stop and select Cancel Subscription. Not being an android user, I understand a similar feature that can be reached through the “hamburger” menu on Google Play, and click on the subscriptions tab.

If you do not examine your credit card statement each month, a small bump in price on your favorite streaming service or a free trial automatically converting into a paid subscription can be easy to miss. But don’t forget to sift through all the services to see where you may be spending money.


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Jay Hicks is an author, instructor and consultant. With a special kinship for military personnel, Jay provides guidance on successful civilian career transition and has co-authored “The Transitioning Military Series”. He is the co-founder of Gr8Transitions4U, where advocating the value of hiring military personnel is the key focus. More about Jay and his passion can be found at Gr8Transitions4U.com.