15 Jan

Stop Wasting Money on Unnecessary Monthly Subscriptions  

Monthly Subscription Box in mailbox

We are living in the subscription economy, where every business is shifting toward monthly or annual bills. There are subscriptions to t-shirts, toilet paper, razors, doorbells, you name it!

The list of recurring expenses we often forget to cancel goes on and on. While most of us might not have a subscription for doorbells, more common ones include:

  • Gym memberships
  • Magazine subscriptions
  • E-book services
  • Video-streaming and streaming services
  • Mobile apps with monthly fees

The internet makes it extremely easy to sign up for a service or subscription and to quickly lose interest in it. If you forget about a recurring expense for a service you are no longer using, it can cost you over and over again.

Why Subscriptions Are Popular

The technology industry is fond of the word SaaS, or Software as a Service. It’s the idea that software is not only bought and installed once, but it is instead subscribed to and always updated. This includes:

  • Office 365
  • Google Drive
  • iCloud

There’s also CaaS, Content as a Service.

  • Netflix
  • Hulu
  • Spotify
  • Apple News+

And then there’s HaaS, Hardware as a Service which includes everything from:

  • Your smart door locks
  • Thermostat
  • Security camera
  • Your car
  • Your toothbrush

These subscription services make it seem like you are part of an exclusive group as you’re receiving a package or paying for a service monthly while in reality, you’re dishing out big bucks! The small monthly payment might not seem like much, but combined with your other subscriptions, they can really add up.

Cancel Monthly Subscriptions cancel button

Here’s What We Can Do

The surge in subscriptions leaves us with such a big task of remembering what you have subscribed to, there are actually new services offering to help find them. Apps like Trim or Bobby scour through your bank account statements to help find what subscriptions you’re paying for and assists you with canceling them. If you’re not comfortable with having a third-party application browse through your bank statements, here’s what to do instead:

Step 1: Audit.

Sign-in to your credit card and bank accounts and make a list (or, even better, a spreadsheet) of all your monthly and annual subscriptions, along with their payments. You might be surprised at how many subscriptions you’re paying for!

Step 2: Share or consolidate.

Do the same for your partner or friend group, and then cross-reference the lists. If you’re able to find duplicates in your household or friend group, decide which ones to keep paying for and which ones to share. You can easily share streaming subscriptions with friends and others like Amazon Prime.

Step 3: Cancel.

Mark the subscriptions you don’t really see much interest in anymore — or worse, those that began as free trials and became a recurring monthly charge. Then bid them farewell.

Of course, this may be easier said than done. More often than not, the “Cancel my subscription” button is hidden in an app or website menu — or you might have to deal with 30 minutes of ear-melting hold music to call and cancel.

A benefit of subscribing to other services through Apple’s App Store is the simple cancel option. The same goes for the Google Play Store and your subscriptions there.

Step 4: Repeat.

The only way we can make sure we don’t continue to pay companies for the rest of our days is to go through this process every year or so. None of your subscriptions will bankrupt you, although the money you put into them may add up to a decent vacation budget or savings goal.

The rising subscription list is yet another reminder of just how much confusion the convenience can offer. Starting an ongoing service is often simpler than stopping it, and even if you see the monthly recurring charge, you may not want to put in the minuscule work needed to get rid of it. This is exactly what businesses want you to do.

So, keep a close eye on your bank and credit card statements. If you have any questions about gaining access to your statements or any questions in general, please call RMLEFCU at 303-458-6660. Let’s start 2020 off with the right budget!

25 Oct

How to Save Money During Thanksgiving Weekend

thanksgiving savings dinner table turkey

If you’ve ever hosted Thanksgiving, then you know how easy it is to rack up a large bill. Turkeys, casseroles, sides, pies, and cakes can all add up to an enormous grocery bill, and if you decide to decorate… It can get expensive!  To help you out this Thanksgiving, here are a few ways you can easily save money and keep on your holiday budget.

Prioritize Holiday Plans

The holiday season lasts for several months, just focusing on Thanksgiving can mean ignoring all the other holidays, which can cause some problems down the line. It’s important to plan out all the things you’d like to do between now and the new year. Incorporate travel, gifts, dinners, and parties and rank these events on their level of importance.

For instance, you might decide to stay home for Thanksgiving, so you have a little extra cash for presents or travel during Christmas. Or perhaps vice versa, have a Thanksgiving trip to see family or friends and cut back on Christmas plans.

Make a Budget

After prioritizing your plans, you can create a budget that reflects the priority of each holiday for the upcoming season. Before you decide to buy groceries or snag some good deals on gifts, take a quick peek at your budget to make sure you’re staying on track.

Having a budget for the holidays will ensure you don’t overspend and are left with a pile of debt. If you need a little extra cash for the holidays, check out RMLEFCU’s Holiday SlideBy! We’re offering an option to skip a payment on a loan in November or December. This is a great way to have a little extra cash for the holidays.

Keep Things Simple

It’s easy to forget what Thanksgiving is all about: being thankful. With Pinterest boards, Instagram, and Black Friday sales, it’s easy to get wound up in hosting the perfect Thanksgiving and getting the best deals on gifts. Reunite with the core meaning of the holidays and with this in mind, think about simplifying these two things so that you have more time to spend with the people you love:

  • Decorations
    Encourage DIY decorations, like paper turkeys or fun garlands! Gather pinecones outside for a pretty, natural, and inexpensive centerpiece! You can also stretch a roll of butcher paper across the table with crayons and markers with prompts like “I’m thankful for . . .” to create a meaningful and collaborative tablecloth!
  • Dinner
    Focus on a few key dishes like the turkey or a ham, two of your favorite sides and one dessert. Leave the rest of your ideas for another time. Sticking to basics will ensure everyone is happy and an easy, low-stress Thanksgiving dinner.

Shop Smart

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two big consumer holidays that immediately follow Thanksgiving. This can add up to a very expensive weekend. As long as you’ve already made a list of what you want to purchase for gifts or a budget you’re sticking to, it should be an easy weekend to navigate. Stay on track by researching sales and making a specific shopping list before heading to the store or sitting down at your computer.

Remember, Thanksgiving is all about spending time with friends and family and being grateful. It’s not meant to be about cooking the perfect meal or hosting the perfect party. Focusing on that is going to run you ragged! Relax and have fun with Thanksgiving this year. If you have any questions about our Holiday SlideBy promotion, give us a call at 303-458-6660.