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How to Avoid Subscription Creep

Subscription creep, or the phenomenon of long-forgotten subscriptions coming back to bite us in the bank account, happens to the best of us.

And it’s no wonder.

Nowadays, you can get almost anything on a subscription.

(Let’s think back to our childhoods for a moment: would you EVER have believed that in the future, we wouldn’t buy music like we did at Sam Goody, but instead we’d subscribe to a service that let us rent it? The future is WEIRD).

There’s nothing inherently wrong with subscriptions.

They often make our lives more convenient.

But the issue is that they're so easy to purchase and they tend to go unused. (I'd venture that most companies actually bank on you forgetting about them - just like gym memberships).

Worse, they can knock a perfectly balanced budget out of whack. (And, well, you know how I feel about budgets).

The key?

Do a subscription audit.

You can do this manually (like I did by looking through my most recent bank statements) or sign up for RocketMoney (like one of my clients did) to see what subscriptions you are a part of.

Then make a list of what you have, when it's due, and mark your calendar for each time a bill is supposed to hit your account. That way, when you create a budget, you won't be surprised.

What I found when I did my subscription audit

I like to do mine every few months, so when I did it the other week, I didn't have too many that were lingering about.

Still, some things I had outgrown or not used (in a while) like my monthly Classpass subscription at $89.99 a pop. Since Pat and I now love to run in the morning, I've been spending $269.97 on something that I hadn't used since December.

I contacted Classpass and put it on hold for a month while I reconfigure my schedule and figure out which local gyms I want to hit up.

What will you find?

Doing a subscription audit can feel like looking underneath the bed to find a boogeyman.

Clicking "cancel" on unused ones, however, is like realizing that nothing is there.

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