Do you get a shock when you check your bank balance because you can’t figure out where your money went? If you are spending more than think you should then take a closer look and determine if unused subscriptions and memberships are draining your finances.
It’s usually easy to keep track of music or video streaming service because those are used on a regular basis. However, you may have long forgotten accounts set up with an online newspaper, or a gym membership from the city you moved out of years ago.
You can rectify the situation and stop paying for things you don’t even use by doing a little investigating. A little time and effort can end up saving you a bundle.
Check Your Bank Statement and Accounts
A simple start to checking on the subscriptions you are paying for is to look closely at your bank accounts and frequently used sites. You should be able to get most of the information you need from these sources.
If you have an electronic payment service, then look at that as well. They are often used for subscriptions and can debit your main bank without providing information on the source of the payment.
Gather All of Your Membership Information
Once you have all of your accounts open or the paper statements in front of you, you can determine which are actual services you use and would like to keep, and which are old memberships that you have forgotten about.
Prices for your memberships can also change over time. Perhaps the rate was minimal when you first signed up but has gradually increased each year. You can contact the company and determine if a reduced rate is possible if it’s for something you would like to keep, but others may not be worth the increased cost.
Maybe you discover you just have a few entertainment subscriptions that are easy to keep or cancel, or you have a bigger commitment that leaves you wondering how to get out of a timeshare. You can’t take action until you know what you are dealing with, so being armed with knowledge is the first step.
Check Your Old Email Accounts
If you can’t find the source of all of your mystery debits, then look a little deeper. Do you have any old email accounts that you don’t use very often? They could have the signup and contact information for these services.
You may have been getting receipts for these payments all along, but were unaware because you don’t log in to these sites any longer. When you have multiple accounts, especially those that are used so infrequently, it’s harder to keep track of all the communications and remember which account was used for what. Consider closing out any extra accounts and consolidating to one or two. Make sure that you change your contact information for any important services so that you continue to receive important information and updates.
Do An Internet Search
Another way you can look up the places that you have subscribed to is to do an internet search of your own information. Type in your name or email address and see if anything relevant comes up. Your name may be associated with a website that you were unaware of.
Monitor Your Privacy and Security
Having accounts in many different places can be a security risk. Your old passwords may be compromised and leave your financial details vulnerable. This is why it’s necessary to use different passwords for each service and to change them frequently. If you find it difficult to remember a lot of passwords you could consider using a password manager. They can help you create strong passwords and keep track of all of your current accounts.
Use an App
Apps are amazing tools that can help you to track and monitor subscriptions so you don’t forget about them. They can keep all of your billed services in one place so you never have to hunt down each one individually.
This can save you a lot of time and hassle. There are many available so you should be able to find one that suits your needs.
After you have all your payments accounted for, and the ones that you no longer want to be canceled, make a point to do a check at least once a year. Set yourself a reminder in your calendar so you don’t forget. This can simplify things in the future and prevent you from having to play sleuth again to track down where your money is disappearing to.