Direct debit is a magical feature for most of us, where our bills are deducted on a recurring cycle, meaning we never have to worry about forgetting to pay an owing amount. However, for most of us who don’t regularly check our bank account balances or outgoing expenses, it’s easy to lose sight on what you’re paying for and how often. Subscription services are a huge culprit and the majority of us use multiple streaming services a day for TV, music and education.
Below are our tips on how to streamline your subscriptions and streaming services for a more financially responsible approach to your entertainment.
According to YPulse, Gen Z and Millennials are notoriously ad-averse resulting in 70% of them using streaming services to eradicate them. The majority of Millennial streamers pay for more than one service, with 59% paying for two to five, and 12% paying for more than five. 64% of millennials on the older end of the spectrum (25-37-year-olds) are paying for two to four services. Whether the intention is to avoid ads on free-to-air TV, view specific shows or to find recommended content based on user data and activity, streaming services are widely loved and accessed by the vast majority.
The questions we’re pondering are: at what expense is our entertainment? And how can it be culled for maximum savings?
Let’s start with Netflix
Netflix gives you the option of plans charging $10.99, $15.99 and $20.99 per month based on your needs. One way to save money on your Netflix service is to scale back on the paid features. For example, if you’re happy to part with HD and ultra-HD viewing, then you can cross the premium $20.99 plan straight off the list and take up a basic $10.99 subscription where you’ll still receive an unlimited number of movies and TV shows and be able to stream on your laptop, phone, tablet or TV. If you need a plan that allows you to watch on more than one screen at once, the standard plan that permits two users can be split equally between yourself and a friend for roughly $7.99 each. If your family wants in on the deal or you’d like to share with three other friends, consider splitting the $20.99 premium cost between four people, bringing it down to around $5.25 per person.
Next up: Stan
Unlike Netflix, Stan offers a 30-day trial to ‘try before you buy’ and allows you to ensure you’re confidently signing up to a platform you’re going to use regularly. In this instance, it’s important to set yourself a reminder for when the service is set to expire so you’re not automatically charged. If you decide to continue to a paid subscription there’s a $10, $14 and $19 monthly plan that varies in features just like Netflix. Again, make sure to survey the variables you truly need for yourself and your family to make sure you’re not paying extra for things you don’t need.
Third one: Disney Plus
People love Disney Plus for connecting them to their memories and bringing back the nostalgia and innocence that came with childhood. The streaming service gives users two options for purchasing their subscription: $11.99 deducted monthly or $119.99 annually. If you’re happy to commit to a year up front, purchasing a year with save you roughly $23.89.
Here’s Apple TV
It’s important to take advantage of streaming services that have come with something you’ve already purchased. For example, Apple TV+ is included for one year when you purchase an eligible Apple device and redeem the offer within 90 days. If you haven’t recently purchased, you can take out a free seven-day trial, followed by a $7.99 per month commitment if you should choose to subscribe. If you want to share with others, Apple TV+ allows up to five family members.
With all the above services, it’s important to take advantage of the free trials to work out whether you’d be happy to commit to the service long term. If you’re trying to work out if your allocated budget will cover the year, times the number by 12 and work it into your annual budget predictions. Every different service offers varied advantages so it’s only natural that it’d be a difficult decision to choose just one. Consider rotating your subscriptions: take up a Netflix commitment for a couple of month, pause or cancel it then take up one with Stan, and so on and so forth. This will also allow you to pinpoint exactly which streamlining service you enjoyed the most, used more regularly and which you’d like to annually commit to. Rotating them also allows you to have the best of both worlds: viewing all the new episodes and seasons of your favourite shows when they’re released with Netflix then relaxing in for some cosey Winter nights watching Disney Plus.