Netflix, Disney +, Spotify, Hulu, and other digital subscriptions are starting to feel like necessities for everyday life. Other subscriptions like meal kits, fitness apps, and gym memberships can help you live a healthier, happier, and more abundant lifestyle. But all these subscriptions come at a cost to your personal finances. If you want to save a lot of money in 2024, your subscription costs will be a big part of your monthly bills.
Are your subscriptions becoming more expensive than you realize? On the one hand, that might not be a problem: If you love your subscriptions and use them all, you probably don’t want to cancel anything. But if you want to save a lot of money in 2024, cutting subscription costs can be an easy way to do it.
Let’s look at some ways to grow your bank account in 2024, while keeping the subscriptions you love.
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1. Renegotiate your biggest monthly bill
If your home internet service provider (ISP), mobile phone carrier, or other major monthly biller raises their rates, you don’t have to just sit there and take it. You can negotiate your fees.
For example, if your gym starts offering lower prices to new customers, you can ask the gym to give you the same price. If your mobile phone service is raising its prices, you can ask them to give you a discount, or ask to speak to the customer service team. Many companies would rather keep you as a customer than lose you to a lower-priced competitor.
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You may not always get what you want if you ask for a price break, but it never hurts to try. Sometimes the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Call to ask for a better deal, and your biggest recurring bills might get a little cheaper.
How much you can save: I currently pay $142 per month for home internet. Suppose I ask my ISP for a discount, and they give me a 10% price reduction. That saves me $14.20 per month, or about $170 per year.
2. Switching to a cheaper mobile phone service
Depending on how you use your smartphone, you may be overpaying for cellphone service. Many people want a cellphone plan with unlimited mobile data — this is the most expensive part of most cellphone plans.
But how often do you use mobile data? If you work from home and use free public wifi at coffee shops or the mall, you may not be using nearly as much cellular data as you’re paying for. Check your phone’s data usage — for example, I only used 375 MB of data on my phone, with eight days left in my billing cycle. Why am I paying for unlimited data? I need to get a cheaper cellphone plan.
Mobile phone data is no longer a precious, scarce resource. Maybe your cell phone bill will be cheaper! It may be time to reduce your monthly data allowance, or switch to a new mobile phone company. For example, Mint Mobile (as of Jan. 21, 2024) offers unlimited data for $15 per month for the first three months (then $30 per month).
How much you can save: My mobile phone service currently costs $75 per month. If I switch to Mint Mobile with unlimited data, I’ll save $45 per month, or $540 per year.
3. Cut — don’t cancel — your subscriptions that aren’t being used as much
Some subscriptions provide excellent value, and you want to keep using them, but you don’t want to pay full price or get the most premium options. Sometimes you can save a lot of money by keeping your subscription but cutting the price.
For example, if you are a Peloton customer, you can switch from Peloton App+ ($24.00 per month) to Peloton App One ($12.99 per month). If you subscribe to HelloFresh meal kits, you can go from three meals per week for two people ($70.93 per box) to two meals per week ($56.95 per box).
How much you can save: If you take both of these steps to reduce your Peloton and Hello Fresh subscriptions, you could save a total of about $67 per month, or $804 per year.
4. Change streaming services to ad supported
Everyone loves streaming video and music subscriptions, but these services have been gradually increasing their prices over the past few years. When you add up all your streaming services, you could end up paying more than cable TV costs!
If you subscribe to Netflix, Disney+, Max, and Spotify, here’s how much you can save by switching from premium or free plans to ad-supported plans:
- Netflix: Switch from Premium to Standard with ads and save $16 per month
- Disney+: Switch from Disney+ Premium to Disney+ Basic (with ads) and save $6 per month.
- Max: Switch from Ultimate Ad Free to With Ads and save $10 per month.
- Spotify: Switch from Spotify Premium Individual to Spotify Free and save $10.99 per month.
Based on the price listed as of Jan. 21, 2024, if you switch to ads with four of these streaming services, you’ll save $46.99 per month — or $564 per year.
Bottom line: If you can do all the money moves shown in this article, after one year you will have more $2,078 in your savings account! Not everyone has the same choice; maybe your ISP doesn’t give you a discount, maybe you’re not in a good coverage area for cheap cell phone service. But most people have more control over their monthly bills than you think.
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