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Why it is becoming increasingly important to manage your subscriptions
Not too long ago, if you wanted a computer program, you purchased a physical copy in a brick-and-mortar store and owned that software. Now, you subscribe to have access to that app which isn’t even located on your computer. Subscriptions are common for apps, music, entertainment and even your favorite restaurant might one day require a subscription.
It’s easy to lose track and spend money month after month on a product or service you no longer use. Because of this, it is becoming increasingly important to learn how to manage your subscriptions.
How to keep track of your subscriptions
While it is possible to use a calendar or a spreadsheet to create a monthly schedule of bills, keeping track of so many subscriptions can be time-consuming and confusing. To help you get control of your finances and give you a detailed overview of where your money is going, consider using an app. Rocket Money, Mint, NerdWallet and UnrollMe all have useful features that simplify your life and can help save you money. BestReviews favors Hiatus, a user-friendly app that finds and organizes recurring expenses so you can better manage your subscriptions and save money.
What are the benefits of using a subscription management app?
While subscription management apps are a great watchdog for your budget, each has a slightly different strategy that helps you get the job done. For example, Rocket Money and Mint let you see the subscriptions you are paying for at a glance. If you find one you forgot about or can live without, you can cancel it directly through the app. UnrollMe gathers your notifications so you can identify subscription notices that might not be making it to your inbox. NerdWallet, on the other hand, takes a more comprehensive approach and can help give you the big-picture view of your entire budget.
How can you save money even if you still want to subscribe?
While paying for access to something can be more expensive than owning it outright, shrewd shoppers take advantage of the fact that businesses offer discounts for loyalty. For example, it might seem like a wise choice to pay just $14.99/month for an Amazon Prime subscription, but if you have the finances on hand to pay for an entire year upfront, you save $40. That’s a little over two-and-a-half months for free.
The same goes for many local businesses, like gyms and social clubs. If you know committing to a year (or more) is something you plan on doing anyway, pay upfront and take advantage of the savings. Additionally, some streaming services give you a discount when bundling networks through their company.
Top five subscription managing apps
Hiatus identifies and organizes your subscriptions so you can see your recurring expenses. It keeps you from forgetting about free trials and flags bills that can be negotiated. The app gives you a real-time picture of your assets and debt to help you track and increase your net worth.
Sold by Hiatus
If you want to focus on incoming and outgoing money, this app provides you with the tools you need to do that. Besides keeping track of subscriptions, with Rocket Money, you can stay on top of when bills are due to avoid late fees and overdrafts. This app also identifies subscriptions you no longer need and can cancel them for you.
Sold by Rocket Money
Mint makes managing your money easy. You can view all of your accounts, investments, bills and more at a glance to see your financial situation. Mint provides insights that give you strategies to learn how to save. The app even offers automatic bill negotiation services so users know they are always getting the best rate.
Sold by Mint
With NerdWallet, you get a complete overview of all your income, bills and transactions in one place. The app helps you discover ways to streamline and optimize your budget so you learn better spending habits and can take better control of your finances. It even sends you an alert if something happens that changes your credit score.
Sold by NerdWallet
UnrollMe tackles the subscription problem on an email level. This app organizes your inbox so you see which companies are sending you email and why. It’s up to you to decide if you want to keep the subscription, unsubscribe or rollup messages so you only receive them once each day as a digest.
Sold by UnrollMe
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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.