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Save Money: Follow My Guide to Stop Paying for Unused Subscriptions – Advice from a Tech Finance Expert


Clare Seal, financial wellness expert, founder of Instagram community @myfrugalyear (photo supplied)

The ‘subscription economy’ is huge, projected to grow to $1.5 trillion worldwide, according to UBS, and most of us have a few online subscriptions that we no longer need but still pay for.

Figures from C+R Research found that 42 percent of us have stopped using a subscription service but forgot you’re still paying for it.

DailyMail.com spoke to financial wellness expert Clare Seal, founder of the My Frugal Year Instagram community, who said you should be careful when signing up for subscription services and use clever tech tricks to cancel the ones you don’t need.

Seal said: ‘When you sign up for any free trial, check that you can cancel online and just as easily as you signed up.

‘If there’s a long process or you have to call or email someone, you might forget or be too busy and end up paying for a subscription you don’t use.

“Also, as soon as you sign up for a free trial, put a reminder on the calendar the day before the renewal to cancel or renegotiate.”

Seal recommends ‘soft resignation’ as a way to save money on your subscriptions.

She said: ‘If you still want to use a service, but don’t want to pay full price, try ‘quitting up’.

‘This is where you go through all the cancellation motions but accept an offer to stay. This works well with some streaming subscriptions, especially now.

Seal says there are also some steps to take to track down rogue signups that you might have forgotten about.

Automatically find subscriptions on iPhone

Says Seal, “Your phone’s operating system also allows you to keep track of subscriptions you might have made to apps.”

On Apple devices, you can automatically find and cancel subscriptions you’ve signed up for through iOS apps; you can even get refunds for recently billed ones.

You can track and cancel subscriptions through the App Store (Apple) application

You can track and cancel subscriptions through the App Store (Apple) application

Just go to the App Store app, then tap on your profile picture, then on your account page, you’ll see a list of your current subscriptions plus their billing dates (or expiration dates).

You can cancel simply by tapping on any of the subscriptions and selecting Cancel.

Find subscriptions automatically on Android

On Android, open the Google Play Store, tap your profile photo in the top right corner, then select “Payments & subscriptions,” then “Subscriptions.”

You can automatically cancel subscriptions on Android (Google)

You can automatically cancel subscriptions on Android (Google)

You can see all of your current subscriptions here, including your next billing date.

You can cancel directly from the Play Store app, without having to visit the app in question.

Use your banking application, or a specialized one

Setting a time each month to think about subscriptions can help, Seal says, as can using apps to track unauthorized subscriptions.

She says: ‘Set a monthly time to review all your subscriptions by looking at your bank statement or an app that tracks your spending.

Many modern banking apps offer automated ways to keep track of recurring expenses; For example, Bank of America’s virtual assistant Erica can find recurring payments (and warn you when they increase).

She says: ‘Using banking apps or subscription apps, you can calculate the total of what you’re spending on subscriptions each month/year, which can be a wake-up call. Once you review, think about what you get value from and what you don’t, and cancel or pause the latter.

The AskTrim app helps you locate unwanted subscriptions (AskTrim)

The AskTrim app helps you locate unwanted subscriptions (AskTrim)

Apps like Mint and AskTrim offer automatic ways to find subscriptions, log into your online bank account with your details, and spot recurring payments (outside of energy and rent bills).

Services like TrackMySubs take a more manual approach, where you have to add subscriptions yourself, but offer a helpful reminder when payments are made.

Find your email

If you registered using your email as your username, you will likely receive periodic emails notifying you that you have been billed.

Even if you have a lot of email subscriptions, it’s pretty easy to find paid ones: just search for ‘billed subscription’ or ‘subscription receipt’ within your email app.

Within some services, there will be an option to unsubscribe directly from the email; if not, go to the provider’s website or app and cancel the subscription manually.

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