Buying and accumulating stuff has never been easier thanks to the power of the internet. Whether it’s physical, tangible goods shipped to you or digital services that make your life easier and fun, you no longer have to go out of your way to spend money. You can simply do so with the press of a button.
Unfortunately, these purchases eventually add up. They also potentially prevent you from buying things you might need in the future. After all, if you’re constantly buying stuff but have a finite source of funds, how are you supposed to save for a rainy day?
Plus, companies no longer just want to sell you something. They want to sell you on a subscription service so they’re constantly taking your money. Sure, their services might seem harmless at first, and require you to forego a few cups of coffee each month just to pay for said service. Yet when you’re subscribed to several services, you’re constantly spending money — sometimes without even realizing it.
However, you don’t have to subscribe to these services. Many of them often outlive their usefulness or be replaced by cheaper/free alternatives. Here’s how to put an end to your automatic spending on unnecessary subscriptions and free up your finances, once and for all.
New companies are hitting the market with irresistible subscription products that augment or replace basic necessities.
Don’t know how to cook or have the time to do the prep work? Boxed meal delivery services will do it for you for a weekly fee. Can’t dress yourself properly? Clothing subscription services will tell you what to wear and send it to you — for a fee. Even razorblades can be shipped to you each month.
But do you need the constant barrage of products sent to you each month? Probably not.
These services are often advertised as costing “less than a few cups of coffee each month.” Yet when you’re subscribed to multiple subscriptions, that cost ads up. New clothes and food shipped to you every week or month is convenient, but if you didn’t live with it before, you could probably live without it and save money buying those goods the regular way. Having razors shipped to you every month sounds nice and all, but it likely costs you the same (if not a few bucks less) to pick up comparable razors on the way home. This way, you’ll be able to purchase razors at your own pace, not have a stockpile of them in your bathroom, and spend less.
While these services market their products better than their store-bought cousins, they’re not necessarily higher in quality…or lower in price. You’re getting perfectly portioned meals from meal delivery services, but the quality of products from your local produce stand or supermarket are often comparable, if not better. They may take forty-five minutes more of your life, but they won’t charge you a delivery fee.
How do you weed out the services you don’t need?
Compare the weekly, monthly, and yearly prices of these services to what you used to pay for the same products before you subscribed. If you’re getting the same amount of product at the same quality but at a higher price than before, you likely don’t need to keep subscribing.
Keep in mind that you’re paying for convenience, but also consider whether or not that premium is worth the extra higher cost. If your time is limited and you can’t afford to get out to a store – especially if you have kids — then some of these services might be worth your time. Yet if you’re spending money on a certain amount of products that you could be used to buy much more of the same product, you might want to hoof it yourself.
Subscription services aren’t bad. They replace once-arduous shopping tasks and let you do things you care about, like not cooking or dressing yourself. Yet this convenience isn’t always worth it, and could end up costing you more than you know over time.