Subscription services take a big chunk out of your budget. How to avoid the 'subscription creep'

John Gregory Image
Friday, July 5, 2024
How are subscriptions services eating away at your budget?
The average consumer spends more than $1,000 a year on subscription services. Here are some ways to push back on the so-called "subscription creep."

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- With inflation driving price increases across various sectors, including subscription services, those high costs can significantly impact consumer's budgets.

CNET recently conducted a survey on subscriptions and found that they may be draining bank accounts more than consumers think.

"The average consumer is spending about $91 a month on subscriptions," said CNET managing editor Nick Wolny.

The survey found that nearly half of consumers sign up for a free trial "just to test something out," but then forget to cancel the trial.

"Sometimes you're paying for subscriptions that you don't even realize you're still paying for," Wolny said.

The most popular type of subscriptions are streaming services, with nearly 60% of consumers saying they have multiple streaming subscriptions.

However, retail subscriptions like Costco, Amazon Prime, Walmart+ and Target Circle 360 are also cutting into consumer budgets.

These retailers are "really leaning into the fact that consumers shop online more than ever before," said Wolny, who suggests that consumers put alerts on their calendars to avoid getting trapped in unwanted subscriptions.

He also suggests signing up for a budgeting app and says CNET specifically recommends Rocket Monkey because of its subscription-tracking feature and subscription cancellation service.

Other trackers include Pocket Guard, Mint and Trim.

Consumers can also rotate and pause your subscriptions, so you're only paying for what you're currently using.

Wolny also suggests looking into ways to save on subscriptions customers want to keep.

"Particularly as the streaming wars continue. We've got all these streamers competing with one another," he said. "We're seeing more bundles, we're seeing more deals, we're seeing more consolidation."

Wolny adds the number one thing you can do to get your budget back on track is to pay attention and be aware of your spending.