If you’re trying to build your savings, targeting subscriptions is an easy way to make a big impact with minimal effort. The cost of subscriptions can easily sneak up on you. That extra $20 you spend each month to watch a couple more TV channels may not seem like much, but it inevitably adds up to $240 over the course of the year.
If you’re able to reduce your subscription or membership spending by $20 here and by another $20 there, in 12 months your savings account will be almost $500 bulkier. And since you can typically replace these subscriptions with free or cheap alternatives, you probably won’t even miss them at all.
If you’re used to having cable TV, it can be hard to imagine life without it. However, this is a big expense, with the average cable subscriber paying $90 a month — that’s over $1,000 a year! And those bills are only going to rise, thanks to mergers in the cable TV industry. By 2020, the average cable bill is expected to more than double to $200 per month (or $2,400 per year).
You don’t have to give up cable TV completely; just be aware of your viewing habits so you don’t pay more than you have to. And if you don’t watch much live TV, then you can ditch the cable subscription entirely and switch to online offerings. Hulu and Netflix memberships cost less than $10 a month and allow you to choose from hundreds of shows and movies—and you can watch whenever you like.
Additionally, some broadcast networks let you stream their shows online for free. The only “cost” is having to watch a few advertisements. You can access NBC, ABC, and CBS shows on their websites and smartphone apps.
Some videos online may be restricted by location, so you may not be able to watch the same shows that are available to viewers in other countries. You can expand your options by using a free VPN tool like Zenmate or Hola.
There’s an online version of practically every newspaper and magazine out there. And even if some content is hidden behind a paywall, you can often find the same information on other websites, blogs or online magazines.
Unless you’re really attached to a certain newspaper or magazine, you’ll probably be able to find great replacements online for free. If you won’t cancel some subscriptions, at least consider switching to digital subscriptions, which are often cheaper.
And we know you love your Kindle—we get it, honest. But remember libraries? They’re still around, and beyond the classics (by classics we mean actual books), they generally offer plenty of ebooks for checkout. Remember that next time you decide to splurge on an all-new Amazon library.
Gym memberships can be a huge waste of money if you’re not taking full advantage of all facilities and classes. However, I’m not saying you should just give up on exercising to save money. You simply don’t need to pay hundreds of dollars in fees a year to work out. You can work out just about anywhere.
From magazine websites to health blogs, there are endless resources online for do-anywhere workouts and accessible meal plans. Pinterest, for example, is a fabulous resource for workouts and healthy recipes.
If you need specialized, professional help with your workouts, there’s probably a website out there than can meet your specific needs. For example, Bodybuilding.com, which claims to be “the world’s largest online fitness site”, has free workout and nutrition plans, as well as free exercise videos. If you prefer yoga and pilates instead, you can find free videos on DoYogaWithMe.com.
According to the 2014 Pew Internet Project’s research, 90 percent of American adults have cell phones. Of these respondents, 44 percent have slept with their phones within reach to avoid missing important calls or messages (or that morning alarm, am I right?).
Like most people, you probably use a cell phone as your main communication device even when you’re at home. So why do you need a landline?
If you need something else at home on top of the cell phone, you can replace the landline with a free VoIP phone service, which lets you make voice calls over the Internet. Major providers of free VoIP service are Google Voice and Skype. Google Voice lets you call most domestic numbers for free and even gives you a phone number that people can use to call you. With Skype, you can make free voice and video calls to other registered Skype users, but you have to pay to call regular phone numbers.
Bottom line, if you’re still paying for a landline (even if it’s part of a bundle), take a second look and evaluate what it’s costing you, and whether you need it at all.
Interested in more ways to save money? Visit NomadWallet.com and follow along as Deia B offers regular advice and resources for ways to do just that.