Student Advice Service – Money Matters

News from the Student Advice Service at the University of Brighton

Image of mobile phone app logos

How to manage subscriptions like a pro – Money Week 2024

There are so many things now available as a subscription – Apps, entertainment, gaming, groceries, coffee, beer – the possibilities are endless! And with so many available it can be easy to lose track of what you’ve signed up for.

If you don’t manage your subscriptions carefully it can contribute to your personal finances getting out of hand and now more than ever, anywhere you can limit unnecessary spending is a win! So if you want to control spending and stick to a budget here are a few tips to reducing your monthly subscription costs:

Keep a list of all your subscriptions

Firstly find your subscriptions. You can start this by checking your Apple or Android built-in subscription manager or email.

Any subscriptions you’ve signed up for on Android can be managed through Google Play. Click your profile icon and navigate to Payments & subscriptions > Subscriptions. From here you’ll see information about all the services you’re signed up for.

Apple users can manage subscriptions just as easily. Go to Settings and click on your name, then Subscriptions. From here, you can view your subscriptions, how much it costs and the next billing date.

Or simply check your bank statements and/or email to look for recurring payments or receipts heading out for your memberships.

Keep a list of all your subscriptions

Once you have your comprehensive list of subscriptions, start the cull and be ruthless with this.

Do you really need the subscription?  Here are some useful questions to run through as you make your decision:

  • Do you use the subscription?
  • Does it bring value to your life or could you easily live without it?
  • Has the price increased? If so, does the higher price point feel worth it?

How to cancel a subscription

Once you’ve made your decisions, services that you’ve subscribed to on Apple and Android devices can be cancelled directly. For Apple users, just click on a service and click cancel. And it’s the same with Google Play, where you’ll also get the choice to pause a subscription.

Other subscriptions will have to be cancelled individually. Check your emails for cancellation links or visit your profile page on the provider’s website to action this.

Manage subscriptions the smart way

Now you know what services you want to keep rolling you can keep an eye on them by either:

Charging subscriptions to the same bank card: If you use the same card to pay for your monthly subscriptions, all your charges will be on one billing statement. That can help simplify your budget and make it easier to review recurring costs.

Subscription apps:  These apps are dedicated purely to subscriptions and group your recurring payments in one place. Seeing how much you’re paying and when bills are due makes it easier to stick to a budget. They will also remind you when free trials are expiring. A popular choice on Apple devices is Bobby and on Android Subby.

Banking apps: Some banks now include features for tracking recurring payments. Revolut offers a dedicated subscriptions management solution. HSBC has a much simpler feature called Balance After Bills that does exactly what it says.

Beyond managing subscriptions – financial spring cleaning

Many of the points discussed can be applied to other contracts such as mobile phone, internet providers, utility providers etc. Recurring payments and subscriptions are the same thing. If you’re trying to control spending and stick to a budget, it’s wise to review all your regular bills on a frequent basis as you’re likely to be able to save money by switching to other providers or plans.

With a whopping 89% of us underestimating how much we spend on subscriptions there can be no downside to adding a subscription review practice into our budgeting health check. Not only will you never pay for an unwanted service again and channel those seemingly small monthly outgoings into better use, you will also be keeping yourself internet safe by limiting access to your payment details.  So set some time aside this week to look into those subscriptions and if they are too good to be let go of, perhaps consider a pause or negotiate a lower price to help that budget go further.

Happy financial spring cleaning and de cluttering

Student Advice


Helen Abrahams • March 8, 2024

Previous Post

Next Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published / Required fields are marked *

Skip to toolbar