If you’re a child of the ’70s, ’80s, heck even the ’90s, you’re spending money on things that didn’t even exist back then. Smartphones, Netflix, Amazon Prime, satellite, internet, and more, those subscriptions, for a family of four, easily cost hundreds of dollars each month.
Yet, we don’t realize how much money is leaving our bank accounts automatically each month on things we might not even use.
I thought I’d take a calculator and some numbers I found on the internet to get a better idea of how much we’re spending, just on digital subscriptions.
Let’s start with TV. Whether it’s satellite or cable, the average cost is around $110 a month. The internet, the average cost is $60.
Smartphone plans can vary, depending on how many phones there are in the family and if the price of the phones is on the bill. For a family of four on an unlimited plan with four phones being paid off each month, it easily can hit $250 a month, yours may be higher. I know some families who are spending over $400 for 4 phones each month.
Netflix/Hulu or one of the other streaming services is around $10 a month. Amazon Prime is $120/year so we’ll say it’s another $10 a month. If you have Sirius/XM radio that’s another $16, and Apple Music/Spotify and other streaming music services are $10 a month.
Then there are the little things that will be different for everyone. You might pay for Birchbox, or Dollar Shave Club, you might have a membership to a warehouse store like Sams or Costco or subscribe to an app such as Audible or Fitbit. Personally, I subscribe to Dropbox for business and Evernote Premium which comes out to about $20/month. I use MileIQ to keep up with mileage and that’s another $7.
You might subscribe to a home security system, identity theft protection, digital newspapers or magazines, maybe video game subscriptions for Playstation and Xbox. You might even still have a MoviePass subscription.
If you’re a blogger you have to pay hosting fees, a podcaster pays a monthly hosting plan, photographers may pay a monthly subscription for editing. As you can gather, the list goes on and on and on.
By the time you add up all those subscriptions, the average family of four is paying over $500 a month on digital subscriptions and may not realize it.
There are some subscription-manager apps out there to keep an eye on what you’re spending every month. These apps connect to your bank accounts and email, looking for receipts or bills. They’ll also reveal all of the subscriptions you’re paying for and unsubscribe you for the ones you don’t use.
Some of these apps are free for a short time or with limited features. To get everything these apps offer, you’ll have to, you guessed it: subscribe.