To give you an idea of how you could forget your subscriptions consider this study. The survey on 2,500 participants found that on average, an American spends about $237 monthly on subscription services. The amount is quite high but it’s the number of people who weren’t aware of their spending that was alarming: 2100 of the people surveyed underestimated their payments; some with as much as $400.
How to Cancel Forgotten Subscriptions
Do you have any idea about how much you are spending on subscriptions? The truth is you are probably paying way more than you think. It’s hard to keep track of all the sneaky subscriptions and the automatic billing systems don’t make things easier either. Let’s look at how to go about canceling different categories of common subscriptions.
#1 Smart-Phone/Device Subscriptions
It’s easier to forget subscriptions made via phone apps. These are subscriptions from devices through the Play Store or iOS App Store. The good thing about these subscriptions is that Google and Apple keep a record of payments from your account(s).
Android: Tap the ‘Play Store’ icon on your device. On the top left corner tap on the ‘Menu’ (3 horizontal line icon). This will take you to a screen from which you can choose the specific ‘Account’ that you are concerned about. Tap on ‘Subscriptions’ to view a list of all services that you paying for. From here you can cancel any service that you no longer need. Check Google support for more on this.
Apple: Open ‘Settings’ and choose your name to land on the ‘iTunes & App Store’. Tap your ‘Apple ID’ link followed by ‘View Apple ID’ then ‘Subscriptions’. From this screen open the subscription in question and tap ‘Cancel Subscription’. Note that once you cancel, the subscription stops after the current billing cycle. For more on how to manage subscriptions on various iOS devices, visit Apple support.
#2 Email and Manual Subscriptions
Not all subscriptions originate from app stores. It’s easy to find some forgotten subscriptions that you may have made ages ago on your computer. The same goes for subscriptions filled-in manually at the mall, street, fairs, etc. It’s possible the subscription notifications come as spam mail (let’s be honest, you never read those).
The best approach is to search through your emails for any subscriptions. Cancel the subscriptions by emailing the service providers. If this proves elusive then go through your bank statements going back for 12 months. Look out for regular subscriptions that you forgot or are fraudulent. Cancel them via corresponding websites or by emailing the respective companies.
Is There an Easier way of Cancelling Subscriptions?
Having to go through bank records that may or may not contain subscriptions doesn’t sound interesting at all. Subscriptions made on smart devices are even harder to keep track of; your kids can tap on a new one or make in-app purchases every now and then. So is there an easy way to this? Yes, there is…
#3 Use Subscription-Tracking Tools
These are apps and online tools that track your financial spending on a real-time basis. They work by going through your bank records and providing you with a list of services that are being charged to your account(s).
Truebill is an app that tracks all subscriptions from Netflix to Club memberships. It also gives an analysis of percentage changes on the amounts charged for each item. All you have to do is tap cancel on the subscription that you want to opt-out of.
Trim works similarly but it’s an online tool and the cancellation is done via text.
Empower is an app that follows the same script. It shows you the amounts spent on each service and account balances e.g. Bank balances, Amazon, Uber, AT&T Wireless, etc. With this info, it becomes easy to reach out and cancel specific subscriptions or even renegotiate.
It’s easy to have fraudulent and unwanted subscriptions eating away at your finances. With the onset of automated payment systems, the problem becomes compounded. Go through your bills and bank statements to weed out these payments. You can also use the ‘Cancel Subscription’ option on smart devices. A much easier approach is by using online tools and apps to monitor and cancel unwanted subscriptions.