Over the past 15 years, the prevalence of subscriptions has increased significantly, encompassing streaming services, gyms, e-commerce platforms, food delivery, and news sites. While competition initially kept subscription prices low, costs have gradually risen. Netflix and Amazon Prime, for instance, raised their charges, attributing this to factors like increased expenses for electricity and labour. Rising prices have led people to reconsider their subscriptions, with one in five Australians reducing in-house entertainment expenses due to factors like inflation. On average, individuals are spending around $30 monthly on two different streaming subscriptions. 

  1. Leverage free trials: Seize the opportunity presented by “one month free” promotions to binge-watch content on a specific streaming service. Remember to set a calendar reminder to cancel before the charges commence. 
  2. Stay informed: Before you can decide what to retain and what to eliminate, it’s crucial to understand what you’re actually paying for each month. Review your previous month’s bank statement in detail (printing it out can be helpful) to verify your direct debits. This process might even reveal certain expenses you weren’t aware of. Additionally, explore whether your bank provides a more modern banking app that can notify you about each transaction. This way, you’ll never overlook a charge from a sneaky subscription.
  3. Opt for annual payments: While most of us are accustomed to paying subscriptions on a monthly basis, Alex Choros, managing editor at the comparison site WhistleOut, suggests that you can achieve substantial savings by switching to annual payments. For instance, a yearly subscription for Prime costs $79, whereas the monthly option is $9.99 – a $40 savings. However, not all services provide annual pricing, so be sure to investigate before making the switch.
  4. Consider ads: In the realm of streaming subscriptions, many services now offer pricing tiers with ads or lower video quality. These options can be notably cheaper if you’re willing to embrace an experience reminiscent of traditional free-to-air television. Chris Ford from Compare the Market suggests, “You’ll pay more for the ability to stream in higher definition and binge-watch across multiple screens, but there are cheaper options available if you’re willing to limit compatible devices and streaming quality.” For instance, Binge’s ad-supported service costs $10 per month compared to $16 without ads, and Netflix’s option is $7 with ads, compared to $11 without.
  5. Bundle services: Telecommunication companies, internet providers, and energy suppliers frequently bundle subscriptions as part of package deals. Choros points out that both Optus and Telstra offer a certain number of free months for services like Spotify and Netflix. It’s essential to scrutinize the fine print, as some offers are only applicable to new users.


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