I know that having a regular service on subscription can be a big time saver, however, I think that putting these expenses on autopilot actually ends up wasting a lot of money for you. Sure, having your necessary and fixed bills on an auto-pay system is a great idea and I highly encourage everyone to set that up if you haven’t already. The problem is that a lot of these services are too frequent and you end up using half of what you are automatically receiving each month.
For example, I recently helped a client with a household budget. Going through her credit card statements we quickly realized she was throwing away hundreds of dollars a month. Between a gym membership she hadn’t used in a year (and hadn’t gotten around to cancelling!), a mail order face wash that she received too often (she had five unopened bottles!), a vitamin subscription (10 unopened bottles!), and miscellaneous other seemingly harmless beauty-related subscriptions, she was spending $800 a month automatically without even thinking about it.
I always like to give personal examples, and I admit, I am guilty of this myself. I subscribed to a biz course that is $35 a month–maybe the perfect price because I haven’t used it in four months but still don’t cancel it. Also, I like the guys and want to support their venture but I haven’t even used their free stuff in over four months. I am going to cancel, I can always go back.
Another culprit and huge money waster in the subscription-based craze are meal prep services. They may be great for some people but almost all of my clients who use them report throwing away at least half of the food because they didn’t get a chance to cook it before it spoiled.
In today’s world everyone is overwhelmed and trying to do too much, so taking just one item off your plate can be a huge help, just make sure it is not something you actually need and use. Take a good hard look at next month’s bank statement (or your mint account!) to see how many automatically-renewing (but maybe unnecessary) subscriptions you could cut out.