Now don’t get shocked or anything but we’re pretty sure you’re spending way more money on your monthly digital services subscription fee than you think.
The reason for what is the sheer number of services the majority of online consumers have subscribed to these days.
You have your regular video streaming services and then there are those audio streaming services along with software packages and cloud storage costs.
Add to that some video libraries as well.
The list goes even further for a good bunch of people.
If you just take the time out to add all of them together you will probably find out that a substantial portion of your money goes to your online life on a pretty regular basis.
We want to help you in this guide by teaching you how to start your journey of cutting down all the digital subscription fees you keep paying every month in a manner that won’t leave you insane.
Try out free options before moving to paid ones
We will be the first one to admit that there is actually no proven way of legally getting everything that one wants to watch or currently pays money for.
However, it should not be hard for you to find a good number of no-cost streaming options.
And we are pretty sure that they would cover some portion of the money that you are parting ways with for your digital goods.
For example, let’s start off with the obvious cloud storage expenses.
There is no way to get a ton of space for free without paying something to the service that is providing you with that facility.
However, if you have the will and can actually spread all of your files and folders across a service like Google that offers users free 15GB and combine that with other cloud storage services such as Apple’s 5GB of free storage along with Dropbox’s 2GB of free space, and Amazon’s 5GB free space and Box’s 10GB of free space AND OneDrive’s 5GB of free space, you have in your hands a total of 42 GB of room to experiment with for free.
And we still have not talked about how Google Photos does not have a problem in taking all of the user’s videos and photos without the user having to pay the company anything.
All that you really need to do there is to allow Google to resize your pictures to 16MP and your videos down to 1080p quality.
The other area where most people can save a lot of money is that of software subscriptions.
We’ll show you how right now.
The first thing you should probably try out in this area is GIMP.
We are not trying to suggest that GIMP is any better than Photoshop.
However, it has more than enough features for a good number of online consumers who really need to look at what they actually do and what is the best software for them to do what they want to do.
For Mac users, there is also the option of making use of Pixelmator.
Our research shows that it is more than a decent option for Mac Users.
However, to make use of Pixelmator you will have to fork out around $40 as a one-time payment.
That is still not even close to what you have to pay to something like Adobe and its Creative Cloud offering.
Within just a few months you can eat up that $40 with Adobe, in other words.
Meanwhile, our research shows that the majority of the people on the internet can safely get rid of Microsoft Office 265.
And get Google Docs.
And Google Slides.
And Google Sheets.
That holds especially true for people who rarely use the advanced features that Microsoft Office 365 offers to users.
And unless you feel happiness within you when you break the law, the hardest thing to do here is to not watch all the latest Hollywood movies and all the latest TV series along with every other type of content for absolutely free.
However, there are plenty of alternatives for which you do not have to pay a single dollar.
For older movies, you can go here.
Similarly, there are other sources for audio and other types of content.
All of these work on the web just as Netflix does.
Though you are likely to notice the quality change.
Especially in the beginning.
The other thing that you should know is that if you happen to have an absolute need of services such as Apple Music and others, you need to look for bundles.
They are available quite a few times in any given year.
And while we are at it, keep a note of Kanopy.
It is a streaming movie service that costs nothing.
Of course, there is a catch.
You will need to access it with the help of your public library.
And you may or may not have that.
Consolidate all your online accounts.
Now would be a good time to go through your primary bank account and then take a look at exactly the things that you have subscribed to.
Work them out.
And then look for any of those accounts which you can realistically consolidate or combine.
Remember that if you have managed to sign up for services such as YouTube Music, you always have the option of not having a subscription for Spotify as well.
And when the time comes to pay for your cloud storage, you need to know that there is no reason for you to pay each of Google and Dropbox $10 per month if you never go past using around 250GB or so with each cloud storage facility.
Just move your files to one of the preferred cloud storage services.
We are confident that while doing that you are bound to come across files that you have duplicated by mistake.
In any case, once you are done shifting all of your files and folders to one service, you need to stop paying for the cloud storage service which you like less than the other.
The obvious problem with doing that is that you need a bit of that finite resource called time.
Add that to some diligence and effort on part of the user (that is, you) and you should have no problems in saving some good amount of money every month.
Just make sure you cut down paying for services on a monthly basis that you rarely make use of.
Only pay for those services that you need.
Not for the ones that you want.
Our research shows that you may find that you can actually afford another new subscription-based service if you do everything right and save enough money from all the useless services that you have subscribed to.
The other thing which we think is worth noting is that you need to carry out some sort of an audit and that too on a regular basis.
We suggest you run one every six months or even longer.
If you never do it then you always risk the possibility of paying money for those services that you really do not need to.
Now, for users who have never run an audit of where all of their money is going, they may find it surprising on the amount of money they have actually managed to sign up for on a monthly basis over the years.
Spot all your savings opportunities.
And as is the case most often in the online world, there are a ton of apps around to assists anyone who is looking.
The one app that we recommend here is Clarity Money.
Click here for the Android version.
And click here for the iOS version.
Both are good enough for you to at least get some idea of where your hard-earned cash is going.
Now you need to give it a bit of access to your primary bank account.
Once you do, it will highlight each and every regular outgoing payment on a monthly basis.
Of course, it will only do that for the ones that it can find.
Once done, it will also label those outflows with all the relevant details such as the name of the digital service and other things.
And after that, it will provide you with the option of canceling that digital subscription with the help of a single button.
There is also Trim.
Trim is able to work pretty much on similar lines.
However, it only functions via the web.
Not only that, it also works via Facebook Messenger and/or SMS.
Once again, it is able to highly all the recurring debits but only after the user has taken the opportunity to connect his/her bank accounts with the service.
Trim is able to list out the service and the amount the user is paying in each given case.
After that, the user has the option of canceling any and all services that he/she feels he/she does not need anymore.
Be on the lookout for those services that you have completely forgotten.
Because chances are that if you have forgotten a service, you did not really need it in the first place.
There is also TrueBill.
Click here for the iOS version.
Click here for the Android version.
Our research shows that TrueBill is actually more comprehensive than the two options we have mentioned above.
Why do we say that?
We say that because Truebill is not only able to spot and then identify and then help users remove all the recurring subscriptions that they do not need, it also gives the user all types of other useful, smart and probably lesser-known financial tools as well.
With TrueBill you can carry out activities such as budget tracking.
This option is able to alert users to all the special offers that they might qualify for when it comes to various different services and utilities.
In other words, this app makes sure that you stop paying for services over the odds.
The other thing that we would like to mention here is that you do not necessarily want to take assistance from an app in order to all the things that we have mentioned so far.
You can do the job yourself as well.
We are pretty sure that if you were to take a spreadsheet or maybe some pen and some paper then you would give yourself a good chance of sorting out your digital services as well.
However, we feel that it is far more convenient for everything if they have everything set up and ready to go on their smartphone device and all that they have to do is to tap on the app to open it and let it work.
Users who want to make use of an app to sort out their financials when it comes to digital subscriptions, will have to show a bit of trust.
We’re not saying that is the only thing they need, but it is an element there.
What we mean to say is that the apps that we have mentioned so far in this guide will require a good amount of financial information about the user who makes use of them.
In that context, Clarity Money clearly mentions that it would market various offers to the user.
However, it also mentions that it would not let various third-party applications offer any of their own offers to their users.
It also mentions that it would never share any information about the user’s creditworthiness.
Other such apps such as Trim mentions in its privacy document that the company may actually share aggregated and anonymous data with its various business partners.
Some of these business partners and other companies no doubt would have this desire to advertise their own products to specific demographics.
Truebill also mentions on its website that the service may actually share some information with various third-party actors.
However, it also mentions that it would only do so with the help of the user’s permission.
And as has become the norm in the last couple of years, the policies that these services have mentioned are pretty vague.
Moreover, their documents give them a lot of room to wiggle.
All that we want you to know is that you should read through all the policies that these apps offer and then work with each service thoroughly.
Also, do not sign up with any given service or app if you happen to have any kind of doubts about them.
Moreover, as is usual, we always recommend that you should disconnect from all those applications that you have no need of any more.
Here we need you to ask yourself truly if you really have a need or subscribing to a service on your own.
Or do you even need an account in the first place?
Ask yourself if there is a way you can actually share your account with someone?
Or even take someone else’s account for those rare days when you want to watch something.
Here we recommend that the most obvious place that users should start is with all the family plans that different services offer to users.
Apple Music and Spotify are at the forefront of such features.
These services allow users to get as many people on their service for as less a price as possible.
Now, the only catch here is that you will need to show these services that you indeed live on the same street and have the same address.
In other places on the internet, the approach to various account sharing actually differs.
Sometimes a lot.
You will find it hard to find a common pattern here.
For example, our research shows that Netflix is pretty much okay with users making use of a multiple number of profiles on a single account subscription package.
It even helps users do that.
Though users have to make sure that they know Netflix will limit them to a specific number of streams at any given time.
Then there is Hulu which allows users to sign up as many internet-enabled devices as they want.
However, the only catch here is that you only have the option of running a single stream at any given time.
You should not find it hard to share most of your online subscription accounts.
The process of doing so has actually become much easier than before.
However, what we will mention here is that you need to exercise some carefulness when it comes to choosing people with whom you go ahead and share your digital subscriptions with.
You do not want to give out your login credentials to anyone and everyone.
Moreover, along the way, you need to make sure you always practice strong password security measures.
You also need to make sure that everyone is not just leaving your account logged in after they are done on other devices that people with whom you haven’t shared your account can get to.
We think it is not beyond the realm of possibility that you could do a 50-50 with someone that you trust in, to share your magazine and/or digital news subscriptions as well.
You will, of course, need to ask some people around in your social circle.
Once you do that you should be able to get someone who has a subscription to a service or an account that you are interested in.
Or you may also find someone who is willing to pay you something for sharing your account.
Remember that a Creative Cloud official subscription today allows users to install Adobe applications on a total of two computer machines with the help of a single account.
But that is just an example.
And there is the catch (again) that you can only use any of the Adobe application on a single computer at any given time.
Then there is the Microsoft Office 365 subscription package.
In contrast with Adobe, Microsoft allows users to sign in and use up to five devices simultaneously on a single subscription account.
What we mean to tell you here that there is a lot of flexibility between different services and how they want you to use their product.
Go without it
At the beginning of this guide, we briefly mentioned why you may want to cancel your account.
And there is no denying the fact that the quickest and the most impactful thing that you can do to cut down on your digital subscription expenditure is to get rid of services that you do not like or do not have time to make use of.
But which ones should you ditch if you happen to like all of them or use all of them?
Well, our research shows that the process is simple.
Take a break.
Just, take a break.
Try to not watch Netflix for a couple of months.
This technique holds the most promise for those users who have watched pretty much anything and everything that is available on the streaming platform.
On the other hand, you can also press the pause button on your subscription to Spotify and other such services just to see how your life changes when you get rid of all the audio content you have been feeding to your ears all this time.
Getting back to your official account is not difficult either.
All you need to do is to re-add yourself pretty much any time you feel like it.
We want you to take some time in order to weigh up the options and see whether or not you have the time and the affordability to make full use of all the online services that you pay for each and every month.