What is Subscription Creep?
Written by Preet Banerjee
Friday, August 9th, 2019
If someone offered you $600 for one hour of work, you'd be wondering what the catch was.
Is it criminal work? Extraordinarily difficult? Embarrassing?
What I'm about to propose is none of the above.
Understanding Subscription Creep
As many companies have embraced subscription pricing on everything from streaming services to razors, our personal finances are getting silently squeezed by "subscription creep."
Almost anything can be purchased with automatic recurring payments. Why? For the same reason so many people have gym memberships that they don't use, even after the non-cancellation period has expired. Inertia. We're too lazy or too busy to notice all the expenses we have that we don't use efficiently, or at all.
Automotive retailers and even the car manufacturers themselves are offering subscription pricing on cars instead of traditional loans and leases. You can subscribe to meal preparation kits, beef jerky of the month clubs, and more.
Automatic expenses are killer for the same reason automatic savings are killer (but in a good way). Because after a while you don't even notice them anymore.
Let's take notice of those expenses, shall we?
The Subscription Creep Challenge: One Hour to Find $600 In Annual Savings?
If you can find one hour in the next week, I think many people can find hundreds of dollars in annual savings without feeling much of an impact on their lifestyle. I also know some of you will find over $1,000 in annual savings. Here's a step by step plan on how to do it:
1. Make a list of all the accounts you use to spend money (bank accounts, credit cards).
2. Download or collect the monthly statements for at least two months for each account.
3. On each statement, make a note of all the regularly recurring expenses (subscriptions, membership dues, insurance premiums, etc. that get charged to your accounts automatically).
4. Next, you'll go line by line over all the automatic expenses to see if you can either Eliminate Them, Reduce Them, or Keep Them.
If you can find $50/month in automatic expense reductions, that's $600 per year in savings.
If you can find $83.34/month in automatic expense reductions, that's over $1,000 per year.
Share your success. Post on your preferred social media platform how much money you found per year by doing a subscription creep audit, and most importantly share what you're going to do with the found money. Pay down a credit card? Save more for a down payment on a home? Retirement? Vacation?
Here's a video on how to turn your automatic payments into automatic savings.