I’ve been on my Debt Free Journey for over a year now. It’s ongoing (hence the name journey). I’m always looking for ways to trim excess spending from my budget to increase my debt snowball payments and get out of debt much sooner. Additionally, I reflect often and run some numbers to track my progress, successes, and failures. So you can imagine my surprise when I realized I was saving over $800/year by doing ONE thing!
How I save over $800 Doing This 1 Thing!
I Cut Subscriptions!
That’s Right! I cut subscriptions. Five subscriptions to be exact. Often, subscriptions are broken down into smaller payments to market as “affordable.” Companies advertise “just $9.99” or “for only 10 bucks” to grab your attention and make it seem affordable! Well I eliminated those subscriptions which put a little more than $800 back into my pockets. That $800 does not include the $1000/year I save from cutting cable! Let me share exactly what I stopped subscribing to.
The newspaper was the first subscription to go after cable. I was only receiving the Sunday paper (for the coupons) and had absolutely no use for the remainder of the paper. As a result, papers stacked up. In addition to unused papers, the customer service was awful and sometimes I wouldn’t receive the paper. As a result…I cut it.
Teen Magazine $22.00/ year or $1.83/month
My girls deny subscribing to the magazine and I don’t quite remember signing up myself. However the magazines came and I accepted UNTIL my account was automatically debited $22.00 for an annual subscription. I contacted customer service and complained and stopped the subscription (and got my money back). Teen Magazine also gave me a year free. After that year, it was over. My girls don’t miss it because very similar content is found other places for free!
Just Fab Shoes $39.95 + Shipping/monthly
“For just $40.00/month” I could get the latest shoe fashions delivered to my door and be considered a VIP member, accumulate points, and receive free items…is what hooked me in. “Cancel anytime” they said. “Skip at no additional charge anytime” was something else. $39.95 would turn into $120 as the shoes piled up in my virtual cart to earn “free shipping.” I attempted to cancel 4 times as I was charged the $41 something fee, because I forgot to “skip” my month and discovered that “skip any time” really meant “anytime by the 5th of each month” OR PAY THIS MONTHLY SUBSCRIPTION FEE! Finally I was able to survive the temptations offered to keep me as a “VIP valued member” and gain an additional $40.00/month!
Amazon Prime $99.00/year $8.25/month
Canceling this subscription may have been the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make. The only other retailer I love more than Amazon is Target! But I pulled up my big girl panties and made the executive decision to cut the cord after evaluating why I loved the membership so much. Amazon Prime membership was convenient because I had an Amazon Credit Card. However when I paid Amazon off, I no longer had the urge to conveniently browse Amazon for “knick knacks” and “whatnots” Since I was no longer “busy shopping” I no longer needed the convenience of 1 day shipping (which appealed to me the most). That was it!
Microsoft Office $10.51/month
Social work sometimes can equate to work at home. Before, at my previous job, completing documentation at home meant I needed compatible software to what was used at work. This resulted in me paying to rent Microsoft Office for $9.99/month, equaling $10.51/ month with tax. About 6 month into my journey and about a year renting the software, I noticed I had already paid for Microsoft Office, had I purchased it out right. Google Docs has become a much more affordable option, is user friendly, and I love the fact that the documents can be easily accessed by logging into my account!
If you’ve done the math that is a total of $74.39/month and $892.68/year! $892.68 from these cancelled subscriptions plus my $1000/year saved from canceling cable is nearly $2000! Unfortunately, I was not immediately able to see the benefits in my debt snowball payments. These expenses actually brought me down to “my means” which is as equally important!
So actually this was a couple of things but fell under one category! As much as I would love for this post to reflect my Debt Free Expertise, I am still flawed. I’m recently paying for the Careful Scents Freelance Subscription which is $39.00. However I see that as an investment which will hopefully have a return pretty soon!